Rose McGowan sues alleging intimidation by Weinstein, others

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Actress Rose McGowan filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday alleging that Harvey Weinstein and two of his former attorneys engaged in racketeering to silence her and derail her career before she accused him of rape.

The suit filed in Los Angeles names as defendants Weinstein, attorneys David Boies and Lisa Bloom and their law firms, and Black Cube, an Israeli intelligence firm hired by Weinstein.

The lawsuit alleges that the defendants conspired to defraud, smear and marginalize McGowan as she was preparing to name Weinstein during the run-up to the explosion of the #MeToo movement late in 2017. The suit comes on the heels of a pair of recent books that detail Weinstein and his team's efforts to keep his accusers quiet.

"Harvey Weinstein was able to perpetrate and cover up decades of violence and control over women because he had a sophisticated team working on his behalf to systematically silence and discredit his victims," McGowan said in a statement. "My life was upended by their actions, and I refuse to be intimidated any longer."

Weinstein's attorney Phyllis Kupferstein said McGowan is "a publicity seeker looking for money" and her suit is meritless.

"From the moment she sought a $6 million dollar payout in return for not making these baseless allegations, which we rejected at the time, we knew that she was waiting for an opportune time such as this to begin her suit," Kupferstein said.

Emails seeking comment from the other defendants were not immediately returned.

McGowan, 46, known for her role in the "Scream" movie franchise, was one of the earliest and one of the most prominent of dozens of women to accuse Weinstein of sexual misconduct, making her a major figure in the #MeToo movement.

McGowan had been tweeting in 2017 that she was preparing to name her rapist in a forthcoming memoir, "Brave," which was published the following year.

The lawsuit alleges that the defendants used spies posing as women's rights advocates and journalists to obtain a copy of the memoir, illegally recorded her conversations, and smeared her to those in the entertainment industry who were working on projects with her.

Related: Harvey Weinstein and celebrities through the years 

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Harvey Weinstein and celebrities through the years
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 27: Harvey Weinstein (L) and actress Meryl Streep attend the Australian Academy Of Cinema And Television Arts International Awards Ceremony at Soho House on January 27, 2012 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage)
Lindsay Lohan and Harvey Weinstein at the Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles, CA (Photo by Eric Charbonneau/WireImage)
Film producer Harvey Weinstein and actress Gwyneth Paltrow arrive for the 50th anniversary gala of the NFT at the National Film Theatre on the South Bank in London. (Photo by Yui Mok - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)
(L-R) Harvey Weinstein and Sarah Jessica Parker attend The Weinstein Co. Celebrates 'I Don't Know How She Does It' Presented By vitaminwater at the Martinez Hotel on May 13, 2011 in Cannes, France.
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 12: Co-Chairman of The Weinstein Company Harvey Weinstein (C) and tv personality Heidi Klum (back, L) and actress Uma Thurman (front, L) attend The Weinstein Company & Netflix's 2014 Golden Globes After Party presented by Bombardier, FIJI Water, Lexus, Laura Mercier, Marie Claire and Yucaipa Films at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 12, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Araya Diaz/Getty Images for The Weinstein Company)
Producer Harvey Weinstein (L) speaks with Jennifer Lawrence during a commercial break at the 20th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles, California January 18, 2014 REUTERS/Mike Blake (UNITED STATES Tags: ENTERTAINMENT)(SAGAWARDS-SHOW)
SANTA MONICA, CA - JANUARY 10: Harvey Weinstein and Jennifer Lawrence during the 18th Annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards at The Barker Hanger on January 10, 2013 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
SANTA MONICA, CA - JANUARY 16: Oprah Winfrey and Harvey Weinstein attend the19th Annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards at Barker Hangar on January 16, 2014 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
SANTA MONICA, CA - JANUARY 10: Actor George Clooney and producer Harvey Weinstein attend the Critics' Choice Movie Awards 2013 with Skinnygirl Cocktails at Barkar Hangar on January 10, 2013 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Michael Kovac/WireImage)
Actress Julia Roberts (R) and producer Harvey Weinstein (L) attend the premiere of 'August: Osage County,' December 16, 2013 at the Regal Cinemas at LA Live in Los Angeles, California. AFP PHOTO / Robyn Beck (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
CAP D'ANTIBES, FRANCE - MAY 25: Harvey Weinstein (L) and Nicole Kidman attend the amfAR Gala Cannes 2017 at Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc on May 25, 2017 in Cap d'Antibes, France. (Photo by Dave Benett/amfAR2017/Dave Benett/WireImage for amfAR )
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 25: Harvey Weinstein and Blake Lively attend the 2017 TIME 100 Gala at Jazz at Lincoln Center on April 25, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Patrick McMullan/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 01: (L-R)Harvey Weinstein and Taylor Swift attend 'Finding Neverland' Workshop Presentation At New 42 Studios on April 1, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Donald Bowers/Getty Images for The Weinstein Company)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 13: Harvey Weinstein (L) and Megyn Kelly attend The Hollywood Reporter 35 Most Powerful People In Media 2017 at The Pool on April 13, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Todd Williamson/Getty Images for The Hollywood Reporter)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 08: Harvey Weinstein, and Jay Z speak onstage during TIME AND PUNISHMENT: A Town Hall Discussion with JAY Z and Harvey Weinstein on Spike TV at MTV Studios on March 8, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images for Spike)
LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 08: Jennifer Lawrence (L) and Harvey Weinstein attend the 'Silver Linings Playbook' Grey Goose Dinner hosted by Harvey Weinstein and Stephen Fry at Little House on February 8, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 21: Co-Chairman of The Weinstein Company Harvey Weinstein (L) and actress/recording artist Jennifer Lopez attend The Weinstein Company's Academy Awards Nominees Dinner in partnership with Chopard, DeLeon Tequila, FIJI Water and MAC Cosmetics on February 21, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for TWC)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 25: (L-R) Actor Dev Patel, producer Harvey Weinstein and actress Priyanka Bose attend The Weinstein Company's Pre-Oscar Dinner in partnership with Bvlgari and Grey Goose at Montage Beverly Hills on February 25, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for The Weinstein Company)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 25: (L-R) Producer Harvey Weinstein, actress Tracee Ellis Ross and fashion designer Zac Posen attend The Weinstein Company's Pre-Oscar Dinner in partnership with Bvlgari and Grey Goose at Montage Beverly Hills on February 25, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Rich Polk/Getty Images for The Weinstein Company)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 11: (L-R) Recording artist Taylor Swift, musician Este Haim, actress Jaime King, producer Harvey Weinstein and recording artist Lorde attend The Weinstein Company's 2015 Golden Globe Awards After Party with Moet & Chandon at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 11, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Moet & Chandon)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 15: Harvey Weinstein and Anna Wintour attend the Marchesa Fashion show during New York Fashion Week: The Shows at Skylight Clarkson Sq on February 15, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Gonzalo Marroquin/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 25: Executive Producer Harvey Weinstein (L) and executive producer and rapper Shawn 'Jay-Z' Carter attend the 'TIME: The Kalief Browder Story' Sundance World Premiere at The Marc Theatre on January 25, 2017 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for Spike TV)
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 08: Harvey Weinstein (L) and Suki Waterhouse attend The London Evening Standard British Film Awards at Claridge's Hotel on December 8, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - SEPTEMBER 07: (L-R) Music Producer Terry Lewis, recording artist Usher and C0-Chair of Weinstein Co., Harvey Weinstein attend the ceremony honoring Usher with a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on September 7, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frank Trapper/Corbis via Getty Images)
Producer Harvey Weinstein and actress Amanda Seyfried attend the Audi celebrates 'The King's Speech' awards season party held at Chateau Marmont on February 7, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 08: Supermodel Heidi Klum and Producer Harvey Weinstein pose at the Project Runway fashion show during New York Fashion Week: The Shows at Gallery 1, Skylight Clarkson Sq on September 8, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images For NYFW: The Shows)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 18: (L-R) Director David O. Russell, actress Jennifer Lawrence and co-chairman of The Weinstein Group Harvey Weinstein attend 20th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 18, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 20: Leonardo DiCaprio attends a Hillary Victory Fund fundraiser at the residence of Harvey Weinstein on June 20, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 10: Film producer Harvey Weinstein and chef Sandra Lee attend the 2016 amfAR New York Gala at Cipriani Wall Street on February 10, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 13: Harvey Weinstein and Tamron Hall attend the Marchesa fashion show during New York Fashion Week: The Shows at Gallery 1, Skylight Clarkson Sq on September 13, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images For NYFW: The Shows)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 07: (L-R) Producer Harvey Weinstein, actors Channing Tatum, and Jenna Dewan attend the world premiere of 'The Hateful Eight' presented by The Weinstein Company at Le Jardin on December 7, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for The Weinstein Co)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 16: Bette Midler (C)and daughter Sophie von Haselberg and Harvey Weinstein attend the Marchesa fashion show during Spring 2016 New York Fashion Week at St. Regis Hotel on September 16, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Gary Gershoff/WireImage)
NEW YORK CITY, NY - NOVEMBER 28: Dame Judi Dench and Harvey Weinstein attend A Special Screening of 'Mrs. Henderson Presents' at MGM screening room on November 28, 2005 in New York City. (Photo by Clint Spaulding/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 21: (L-R) Actress/recording artist Jennifer Hudson, Co-Chairman of The Weinstein Company Harvey Weinstein, and actress Kerry Washington attend The Weinstein Company's Academy Awards Nominees Dinner in partnership with Chopard, DeLeon Tequila, FIJI Water and MAC Cosmetics on February 21, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for TWC)
BERLIN, GERMANY - FEBRUARY 09: Harvey Weinstein and Helen Mirren attend the 'Woman in Gold' press conference during the 65th Berlinale International Film Festival at Grand Hyatt Hotel on February 9, 2015 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 09: Filmmaker Harvey Weinstein with musician Taylor Swift arrives at the 'One Chance' Premiere during the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival at Winter Garden Theatre on September 9, 2013 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 20: Actress Jennifer Lawrence (L) and producer Harvey Weinstein attend the 24th Annual GLAAD Media Awards at JW Marriott Los Angeles at L.A. LIVE on April 20, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images for GLAAD)
PALM SPRINGS, CA - JANUARY 04: Actress Julia Roberts and producer Harvey Weinstein arrive at the 25th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival awards gala at Palm Springs Convention Center on January 4, 2014 in Palm Springs, California. (Photo by Jeff Vespa/Getty Images for PSIFF)
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 24: (L-R) Producer Harvey Weinstein, model Chrissy Teigen, and musician John Legend attend Samsung Studio and Harvey Weinstein Host Annual Weinstein Sundance Bowl Football Party During The Sundance Film Festival 2016 on January 24, 2016 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for Samsung)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 10: Singer Gwen Stefani and Producer Harvey Weinstein attend the premiere of TWC-Dimension's 'Paddington' held at the TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX on January 10, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Mark Davis/Getty Images)
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Hers is one of several lawsuits, along with criminal charges, against Weinstein stemming from the sexual misconduct allegations, including a defamation suit from actress Ashley Judd.

But McGowan's lawsuit goes further than most in including the team around Weinstein, alleging that they illegally conspired to intimidate her, other victims, and journalists attempting to tell their stories.

"Weinstein enlisted others — including his co-Defendants in this case — as co-conspirators, all working with a single mission: to protect Weinstein's reputation, suppress negative information about him, and silence and discredit his accusers," the lawsuit states.

The lawsuit heavily cites and repeats stories detailed in the recently released books "Catch and Kill" by New Yorker writer Ronan Farrow, and "She Said" by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey.

Both books delve in to the work done for Weinstein by Boies and Bloom, two of the most prominent and visible attorneys in the nation, who both faced heated criticism for representing the movie mogul.

Boies is best known for defending Al Gore during the disputed 2000 presidential election. Bloom, like her mother and fellow attorney Gloria Allred, is primarily known as a women's rights attorney who often represents women in sexual harassment and assault cases.

The lawsuit alleges that Bloom approached McGowan and Farrow as an ally in an attempt to get them to back off Weinstein, without revealing that she was working for him to revive his reputation.

Bloom's attorney, Eric M. George, said in a statement that it "is inexcusable that Ms. McGowan chose to include my client in her lawsuit. Facts matter. There is simply no credible factual or legal basis for her claims against my client."

An email to Boies seeking comment was not immediately returned.

The suit seeks both compensatory and punitive damages to be determined at trial, and an injunction forbidding further misconduct toward McGowan.

"McGowan has suffered tremendously from Defendants' conspiracy and lies," the suit states." Her book sales suffered; her expenses mounted; her job opportunities vanished; and her emotional health cratered. She has experienced trauma and depression from defendants' actions, and the deep betrayal will have life-long effects."

The Associated Press generally does not name people who say they are victims of sexual assault, unless they speak publicly as McGowan has done.

Weinstein, 67, is scheduled for trial in January on charges alleging that he raped an unidentified woman in his New York City hotel room in 2013 and performed a forcible sex act on a different woman in 2006.

The former movie mogul has denied all allegations of non-consensual sex.

 

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