Harvey Weinstein was accused of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old model in a lawsuit filed Wednesday, making her the youngest of the mogul’s alleged victims to have come forward.
The accuser, a Polish woman identified only as Jane Doe, claims that Weinstein forced her to touch his penis at his New York City apartment in 2002, according to the Associated Press. She had only recently arrived in the United States and was looking to break into acting, the lawsuit states.
Weinstein's lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, has denied the allegations, made in an expanded class action lawsuit involving 10 complainants.
The woman alleged that, after an initial meeting at a modeling event days earlier, Weinstein had offered to take her to lunch to discuss her career. Instead, he took her to his empty Manhattan apartment, where he “wasted no time in aggressively and threateningly demanding sex,” despite knowing she was only 16.
The age of consent in New York is 17.
According to the suit, Weinstein told the woman that if she wanted to be an actress, “she would have to be comfortable doing whatever the director told her to do — including losing her inhibitions and getting naked.”
“Terrified and struggling to hold back tears, Jane Doe said she would not and resisted his demands,” said the filing. “Jane Doe was a virgin, and had no intention or understanding when she agreed to a business lunch that she would be put in this alarming position.”
The woman alleged that Weinstein would call and text her regularly following the assault, insisting he was the only person who could help her career. At one point, he showed up at her building and unsuccessfully tried to get access to her apartment. As payback for rejecting his advances, the accuser claims Weinstein sabotaged her career.
Dozens of women have accused the 66-year-old, once one of Hollywood’s most powerful men, of sexual misconduct.
The allegations against Weinstein, which helped trigger the #MeToo movement, have resulted in criminal charges relating to an alleged 2013 rape and a forcible sex act in 2006, as well as civil suits.
Weinstein, who has been on $1 million bail since his arrest in May, has denied all allegations of non-consensual sex. Brafman, his attorney, called the latest claims “preposterous.”
“Eventually, just as others have been exposed to be liars, this uncorroborated allegation that is almost 20 years old will be shown to be patently false,” he said.
Cover image: Harvey Weinstein, former co-chairman of the Weinstein Co., arrives at state supreme court in New York, U.S., on Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018. (Peter Foley/Bloomberg via Getty Images).