Getty Images/Andreas Rentz(LOS ANGELES) — Six California women filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday against disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, claiming his “unwanted sexual conduct” amounted to racketeering.
Though racketeering is a crime usually seen in organized crime cases, in this instance, the plaintiffs claim they were victimized by what the suit calls the “Weinstein Sexual Enterprise” — a group of people and entities that combined “to facilitate and conceal his pattern of unwanted sexual conduct.”
The lawsuit, a copy of which was obtained by ABC News, names The Weinstein Company, TWC’s board of directors — including New York Knicks owner James Dolan — and others “currently unknown but discoverable.” The court document also mentions law firms Weinstein hired to orchestrate a cover-up, as well as the Israeli security firm Black Cube, which the plaintiffs said approached potential complainants under false pretenses and tried to get their story.
“It’s a classic RICO enterprise,” plaintiff’s attorney Steve Berman of Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP said, using the acronym for the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. “It was pretty clear they knew what was going on.”
The lawsuit accuses the Weinstein Sexual Enterprise of isolating and blacklisting Weinstein’s victims and covering up Weinstein’s alleged predatory tactics.
The plaintiffs include the actresses Louisette Geiss, Katherine Kendall, Zoe Brock, Sarah Ann Thomas, Melissa Sagemiller, and Nanette Klatt. They join the more than 80 other women, including Ashley Judd, Angelina Jolie and Rose McGowan, who have publicly accused Weinstein of sexual harassment and worse.
Through his attorney, Weinstein has denied engaging in any non-consensual sex acts.
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