While dozens of women have claimed they were sexually assaulted by Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, the latest allegations accuse him of “sex trafficking,” which would put Weinstein in the same camp as another wealthy man who spent just one year in prison–Jeffrey Epstein.
British actress Kadian Noble has filed a lawsuit against Weinstein that accuses him of violating sex trafficking laws during the Cannes film festival in 2004. The lawsuit claimed that while “travelling in foreign commerce,” Weinstein intentionally “recruited and enticed a young aspiring actress.”
Noble said in the lawsuit that after grooming her by promising her a role in an upcoming film, Weinstein insisted that she come up to his hotel room to discuss the role, all the while “knowing that he would use means of force, fraud or coercion to cause her to engage in a sex act in his hotel room.”
Describing Weinstein as “a gatekeeper of enormous influence in the entertainment industry," Noble said she saw the producer as a man whose approval carried “tremendous significance to the future of her acting career.” According to the lawsuit:
“[Weinstein] approached [Noble] at Le Majestic Hotel in Cannes, France. [Weinstein] asked [Noble] to come to his hotel room to review her reel with her and discuss further steps in securing the role he had previously targeted for her. [Noble] came to [Weinstein’s] hotel room. Once in the room, [Weinstein] instructed [Noble] to have a seat on the couch. [Weinstein] sat next to [Noble] on the couch and had her play him her reel. [Weinstein] began massaging [Noble] and then gripped her shoulders. He informed her that she needed to relax, and if she did, his people would have all of her details and would ‘take care of everything’ for her.”
Noble’s lawsuit also named Harvey’s brother, Bob Weinstein, and The Weinstein Company, claiming that they were aware of Harvey Weinstein’s conduct in the name of promoting the company’s projects. Noble claimed that when she was with Weinstein, he “called an unnamed TWC producer in the United States and put him on the phone” with Noble. The producer told Noble that “she needed to be ‘a good girl and do whatever he wished,’ and if she did, then ‘they would work’ with her further.”
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In addition to accusing Weinstein of violating sex trafficking laws, Noble’s lawsuit also accuses The Weinstein Company of turning a blind eye to, and even helping Harvey in his inappropriate, immoral and manipulative sexual conquests.
The idea that multiple producers and staff members helped enable Weinstein’s actions, serves as yet another similarity between the Hollywood mogul and a wealthy Wall Street hedge fund manager who was also a sexual predator. Jeffrey Epstein had an entire staff that operated his private jet and provided services to his private island—all while knowing that Epstein was using his wealth to facilitate a child sex ring for his friends.
The girls who were abused by Epstein and his friends were as young as 12 years old, and while Epstein was convicted of solicitation and procurement of minors for prostitution, he spent just 13 months in prison and home detention.
Epstein was close friends with another wealthy man who has also been accused of rape and sexual assault—former President Bill Clinton. According to the logs from Epstein’s private jet, which was nicknamed the “Lolita Express,” Clinton was a passenger on the plane at least 26 times between 2001 and 2003—about once a month during the two-year period.
Harvey Weinstein is also good friends with Clinton, and he even contributed $10,000 to Clinton’s legal fees when he was accused of perjury and obstruction of justice regarding his testimony about his conduct with Monica Lewinsky in 1998.
While their mutual friends appear to be the only thing tying Weinstein to Epstein, the rampant sexual assault committed by each of the wealthy figures contains glaring similarities. Although the majority of Weinstein’s victims appear to be in their early 20s, the fact that Epstein was convicted of running a child sex ring, and he served just one year in prison as a result, sets a troubling precedent for other wealthy and famous predators, such as Harvey Weinstein.