Julie Porter, one of McGowan’s lawyers, said in a press statement that the suit details a “conspiracy” led by fallen movie mogul Weinstein and enabled by the other defendants to “intimidate and silence” McGowan and others.
“My life was upended by their actions, and I refuse to be intimidated any longer,” McGowan said in the statement.
Weinstein issued a response via one of his civil attorneys, Phyllis Kupferstein, who said McGowan tried to reach a $US6 million settlement with Weinstein in 2017 and was rejected.
“Once and for all, Rose McGowan will be shown to be what she is; a publicity seeker looking for money,” Weinstein’s statement said. “From the moment she sought a multi-million dollar payout in return for not making these baseless allegations, which we rejected, we knew that she was waiting for an opportune time to begin this. We will demonstrate that this case has no legal merit.”
McGowan, 46, is among Weinstein’s first and loudest accusers. She says he raped her at the Sundance Film Festival in 1997. Her public acknowledgment two decades later helped fire up the #MeToo movement in October 2017. Hundreds of women have come forward since to accuse Weinstein and scores of other entertainment figures of sexual misconduct ranging from groping to rape.
Weinstein is set to go on trial in New York City next year on sex-crime charges, including rape, stemming from encounters with two women.
Both Boies and Bloom have lately been in the news for representing multiple accusers of financier Jeffrey Epstein, the convicted sex offender who killed himself in a federal jail in New York this summer while awaiting trial on new sex-crime charges. Bloom, a noted women’s-rights attorney, also represented accusers of Bill Cosby.
But before that they represented Weinstein in his efforts in 2016 and 2017 to ward off major media exposes about his alleged sexual misconduct over decades, plus McGowan’s own memoir, published in January 2018, which discusses her rape allegation. Black Cube was the firm Weinstein reportely hired, with Boies’ help, to spy on journalists and accusers.
All of this has been in the news again recently due to best-selling books by the New York Times and The New Yorker reporters whose exposes brought down Weinstein and later won them a Pulitzer Prize.
Both Bloom and Boies later apologised for working with Weinstein.
McGowan’s lawsuit alleges that Boies’ and Bloom’s efforts on Weinstein’s behalf were part of a “sprawling smear campaign to defraud, malign and marginalize McGowan, employing unlawful tactics that inflicted severe emotional distress and caused her damages.”
The lawsuit says that their alleged intimidation campaign included hiring “undercover intelligence operatives from Black Cube” who posed as women’s rights advocates and journalists to gain McGowan’s trust, unlawfully record her and acquire her unpublished manuscript.
“The complaint alleges that these defendants launched a coordinated, sophisticated attack on Rose McGowan and others who sought to tell the truth about and expose Weinstein’s misconduct in 2017,” Porter said. “This suit seeks to hold Harvey Weinstein and his team of enablers accountable for the harm that they did to our client.”
Bloom’s lawyer, Eric George, said in a statement to USA TODAY that it’s “inexcusable” that McGowan included Bloom in her lawsuit.
“There is simply no credible factual or legal basis for her claims against my client,” his statement said. “We look forward to our day in court to set the record straight.”