Harvey Weinstein wants a judge to dismiss a federal sexual misconduct lawsuit against him and invoked the words and actions of Oscar-winning actresses including Meryl Streep in his defense. Lawyers for the disgraced film mogul said Tuesday in federal court in New York that the proposed class-action lawsuit filed by six women should be rejected because the alleged assaults took place too long ago and they failed to offer facts to support claims of racketeering. His lawyers cited comments made by Streep in a statement she released last October saying Weinstein had always been respectful in their working relationship. In a blistering response Wednesday, the AP reports Streep said misusing her statement "as evidence that he was not abusive with many OTHER women is pathetic and exploitive."
"The criminal actions he is accused of conducting on the bodies of these women are his responsibility," Streep continued, "and if there is any justice left in the system he will pay for them." The lawsuit, which could potentially involve hundreds of other women, said Weinstein assaulted young women trying to break into Hollywood when they were alone with him and that his former film companies operated like an organized crime group to conceal widespread sexual harassment and assaults. The filing also cited Gwyneth Paltrow as an example, saying she went on to work with Weinstein and win an Oscar for Shakespeare in Love in 1998 after he was accused of harassing her during the filming of Emma in 1994, and mentions Jennifer Lawrence telling Oprah Winfrey that she had known Weinstein since she was 20 and said "he had only ever been nice to me."
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