Judge rejects challenge to Canadian actress’ lawsuit against Weinstein

The Toronto actress behind the lawsuit cannot be named

A judge has rejected a legal challenge of a Toronto actress’ sexual assault lawsuit against disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, his former assistant and two entertainment companies.

The decision delivered on Friday means the lawsuit, which alleges Weinstein sexually assaulted the actress nearly two decades ago, will proceed without changes to the woman’s statement of claim.

The challenge to the suit was launched by Weinstein’s former assistant, Barbara Schneeweiss, who argued that claims concerning her were not necessarily in relation to any alleged sexual assault and consequently were subject to a statute of limitations that had expired.

The judge who heard the case disagreed.

“Although the claims against Schneeweiss are not for the sexual assaults themselves, they all involve civil liability for actions that relate directly to Weinstein’s (alleged) sexual assaults,” Justice Patrick Monohan wrote.

The Toronto actress behind the lawsuit, who cannot be named, alleged Schneeweiss set up a meeting between her and Weinstein in 2000, despite having some degree of knowledge that it might lead to a sexual assault. The actress’s statement of claim alleges Weinstein forcibly performed oral sex on her without consent at that meeting.

Later, when the actress went with her agent and a friend to meet with Weinstein, expecting an apology, Schneeweiss allegedly conspired to get the actress in a room with Weinstein alone, at which point he attempted to stick his tongue down her throat, according to the woman’s statement of claim.

None of the allegations in the lawsuit, which also names entertainment companies Miramax and Disney as defendants, have been proven in court and no statements of defence have been filed in the case.

Under Ontario law, a plaintiff generally has two years from the time of an alleged incident to sue someone, but legislation passed in 2016 abolished any time limitation for filing a lawsuit for a matter relating to sexual violence or harassment.

Weinstein, an Oscar-winning film producer, faces sexual harassment and sexual assault allegations from several women.

On Oct. 8, he was fired from the Weinstein Company – the film studio he co-founded with his brother in 2005 – days after the New York Times published a story detailing some of the allegations against him. Weinstein’s representative Sallie Hofmeister has said Weinstein denies all allegations of non-consensual sex.

Peter Goffin, The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Greater Victoria is a tough market, even for former homeowners

Seniors often squeezed out of the housing market due to limited income

Garry Oak Meadow Marathon underway at Cattle Point

Every Sunday in February and March Friends of Uplands Park is seeking volunteers

Saanich’s provisional police budget under fire

Grumpy Taxpayer$ of Greater Victoria question why budget requests are rising as crime drops

VIDEO: Historic night in Red Deer as 2019 Canada Winter Games kicks off

Star-studded Opening Ceremony features athletes from across Canada

Flying squirrels found to glow pink in the dark, including two from B.C.

Squirrels from Hope and Abbotsford were included in the biologists’ database

Ontario police field complaints over Amber Alert for missing girl, 11, found dead

Some said the Amber Alert issued late Thursday for Riya Rajkumar disrupted their sleep

Names keep adding to vaccine petition started by B.C. mom

Maple Ridge mom started campaign to make vaccination a condition of attending school

Northern B.C. First Nation clan says ancient tools found at pipeline work site

Archeologists from the Smithsonian Institute estimate one of the stones found dates back up to 3500 years

Wilson-Raybould resignation stokes anger, frustration within veterans community

Liberals have had three veterans-affairs ministers — Kent Hehr, Seamus O’Regan and Wilson-Raybould

No Center of Gravity festival in Kelowna this summer: organizers

COG organizers said the hope is to return to the Okanagan in 2020

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Most Read