Emmy-winning actor Julia Ormond publicly accused disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault in a lawsuit filed Wednesday that also alleges Miramax, Disney and Creative Artists Agency acted negligently.
In the lawsuit, filed in New York state Supreme Court, Ormond accused Weinstein of climbing on top of her, masturbating and forcing her to perform oral sex on him in December 1995 after what she thought would be a business meeting.
“After living for decades with the painful memories of my experiences at the hands of Harvey Weinstein, I am humbled and grateful to all those who have risked speaking out,” Ormond said in a statement.
“I seek a level of personal closure by holding them accountable to acknowledge their part and the depth of its harms and hope that all of our increased understanding will lead to further protections for all of us at work,” Ormond added.
Ormond is seeking a money judgment for an unspecified sum, including compensatory damages for lost wages and earnings; “mental pain and anguish and severe emotional distress”; punitive and exemplary damages; and attorneys’ fees.
The lawsuit was filed under the Adult Survivors Act, which opened a one-year window for sexual abuse plaintiffs to file lawsuits regardless of when the alleged abuse took place. It was signed into law last year by New York Gov. Kathy Hochul and plaintiffs have until next month to file claims.
Imran H. Ansari, Weinstein’s attorney, said his client denies Ormond’s allegations.
“Harvey Weinstein categorically denies the allegations made against him by Julia Ormond and he is prepared to vehemently defend himself,” Ansari said in a statement. “This is yet another example of a complaint filed against Mr. Weinstein after the passing of decades, and he is confident that the evidence will not support Ms. Ormond’s claims.”
Weinstein has been accused by dozens of women of sexual harassment and assault — claims that helped inspire the #MeToo movement and a wider cultural reckoning with abuses of power in entertainment and other industries.
He was convicted in 2020 of third-degree rape of one woman and first-degree criminal sex act against another woman after a trial in New York, where he was sentenced to 23 years in prison. He was then found guilty in 2022 of one count of rape and two counts of sexual assault against one woman after a trial in Los Angeles, where he was sentenced to 16 years behind bars.
Weinstein has repeatedly and vehemently denied all allegations of sexual misconduct. He has appealed his conviction in New York and he said he plans to appeal his conviction in Los Angeles.
In the lawsuit, Ormond accuses Weinstein’s former employers, Miramax and Disney, of negligent supervision and retention, and Ormond’s agency, Creative Artists Agency, of negligence and breach of fiduciary duty.
The “sexual assault on Ormond could have been prevented if Miramax or Disney had properly supervised Weinstein and not retained him while knowing that he was a danger to the women he encountered at work,” Ormond alleged in the suit.
“Likewise, had CAA fulfilled its legal duties to Ormond to look out for her well-being, to not place her in danger, and to warn her about Weinstein’s predations, Ormond would not have been in a position to be victimized by Harvey Weinstein,” Ormond added.
NBC News has reached out to Miramax and Disney for comment.
In a written statement Wednesday night, a spokesperson for CAA said the agency would refute the “baseless” claims in court.
“CAA takes all allegations of sexual assault and abuse seriously, and has compassion for Ms. Ormond and the experience she described in her complaint,” the statement said. “However, the claims that Ms. Ormond has levied against the agency are completely without merit.”
The spokesperson said the agency received a demand from Ormond’s attorneys for $15 million in exchange for Ormond not making the allegations public. The agency said it rejected the demand.
Miramax is a film production company and distributor that was founded by Weinstein and his brother, Bob, in 1979; the two turned the firm into a powerhouse, winning Oscars for movies such as “Pulp Fiction” and “The King’s Speech.” Disney owned Miramax from 1993 to 2010. CAA is one of the most powerful agencies in modern Hollywood.
Ormond is best known for her roles in movies such as “Legends of the Fall” and “Sabrina.” She won an Emmy award for her supporting performance in the HBO film “Temple Grandin.”
Diana Dasrath is entertainment producer and senior reporter for NBC News covering all platforms.
Daniel Arkin is a national reporter at NBC News.