Julia Ormond sues Harvey Weinstein for sexual battery

Julia Ormond is suing Harvey Weinstein
Julia Ormond is suing Harvey Weinstein. Photo credit: Getty Images

Actress Julia Ormond is suing disgraced former film producer Harvey Weinstein for battery and sexual assault she says occurred in 1995, according to a copy of the complaint obtained by CNN.

Ormond is also suing the once Weinstein-owned Miramax as well the Walt Disney Company, which purchased Miramax in 1993, for negligence and Hollywood talent agency CAA (Creative Artists Agency), who represented the actress, for negligence and breach of fiduciary trust. (A majority stake of CAA was recently purchased by the Artémis investment firm.)

In the complaint, first reported by Variety, Ormond alleges that in December 1995, she and Weinstein were supposed to have a business dinner to discuss a project.

However at the dinner, Weinstein 'refused to discuss business matters,' saying he 'would only discuss the project back at the apartment Miramax had provided for Ormond as part of their first-look deal with her.' Once at the apartment, Weinstein 'stripped naked and forced her to perform oral sex on him.'

"Harvey Weinstein categorically denies the allegations made against him by Julia Ormond and he is prepared to vehemently defend himself," a representative for Weinstein told CNN 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."

The complaint also alleges that Miramax or Disney could have 'properly supervised Weinstein and not retained him while knowing that he was a danger to the women he encountered at work.'

Ormond claims in the lawsuit that when she recounted what happened, her then-agents at CAA, Bryan Lourd and Kevin Huvane, who are now co-chairmen of the powerful Hollywood talent group, 'suggested that if she reported Weinstein to the authorities, she would not be believed, and he would seriously damage her career. Still worse, not long after Weinstein's assault on Ormond and her reporting of the assault to them, CAA lost interest in representing her, and her career suffered dramatically.'

CNN has reached out to representatives for Miramax, The Walt Disney Company and CAA – along with Lourd and Huvane, who are not directly named as defendants in the lawsuit – for comment.

"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.

"Their courage and the Adult Survivors Act has provided me a window of opportunity and way to shed light on how powerful people and institutions like my talent agents at CAA, Miramax and Disney enabled and provided cover for Weinstein to assault me and countless others."

Ormond is best known for her roles in 1994's Legends of the Fall and Sabrina one year later.

In 2010, she won an Emmy Award for best supporting actress in a limited or anthology series for her role in HBO's Temple Grandin. (CNN, like HBO, is owned by Warner Brothers Discovery.)

She most recently starred in a The Walking Dead spin-off for AMC that ran for two seasons.

"Our client has suffered tremendously both personally and professionally due to the assault by Harvey Weinstein, and the failure from Disney, Miramax and CAA to prevent it and to appropriately respond when she reported what happened," attorneys for Ormond Douglas H. Wigdor, partner at Wigdor LLP, and Effie Blassberger, partner at Clayman, Rosenberg Kirshner & Linder LLP said in a statement.

Earlier this year, Weinstein was sentenced to 16 years in prison for charges of rape and sexual assault, of which he'd been found guilty in 2022.

Weinstein had pleaded not guilty to all seven charges against him in that Los Angeles trial. He was convicted on three of the seven charges.

He is already serving a 23-year prison sentence in New York for a 2020 rape conviction.

Weinstein, 71, was at the centre of allegations that fueled the global #MeToo movement in 2017.