Court Battles

Judge dismisses Rose McGowan lawsuit against Harvey Weinstein

A California judge on Monday dismissed a lawsuit against disgraced former Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein that was brought in 2019 by actress Rose McGowan, one of the first women to accuse Weinstein of sexual assault.

Otis Wright, a judge for the U.S. District Court in the Central District Court of California, dropped the lawsuit accusing Weinstein of attempting to silence McGowan because the actress did not meet a deadline for filing an amended complaint.

All claims were dismissed in the suit with prejudice, meaning the lawsuit can’t be filed again.

McGowan, known for her leading role as Paige Matthews in “Charmed,” was among the first to accuse Weinstein of sexual assault in 2017, alleging the producer raped her in 1997 after she appeared in one of his films.

Her lawsuit alleged that Weinstein violated the Racketeering Influences and Corrupt Organization Act (RICO) by organizing a concerted effort to silence McGowan as she prepared to publish her 2018 memoir, “Brave,” in which she wrote about the rape.

McGowan’s 11-count complaint alleged that Weinstein, law firm The Bloom Firm and private intelligence company Black Cube violated several state and federal laws under RICO by hiring agents to collect information about “Brave” and intimidate the actress so she wouldn’t publish her book. The complaint also accused Weinstein of disparaging McGowan and tarnishing her reputation once he couldn’t stop the publication of her memoir.

“This case is about a diabolical and illegal effort by one of America’s most powerful men and his representatives to silence sexual-assault victims,” the complaint read.

The judge partially dropped four claims made in the lawsuit in December 2020. He partially dropped four more on Nov. 9, ordering McGowan to file an amendment to her claims to show cause for her RICO allegations. Wright found fault with the racketeering allegations, in part because he determined that Weinstein and his alleged conspirators lacked “continuity” and “pattern,” a requirement for RICO-based lawsuits. 

Dozens of women have alleged that Weinstein, 69, committed sexual assault or harassment during his career as one of the leading producers in Hollywood. Accusations made against him by actresses McGowan and Ashley Judd, along with other women, were published in 2017 in a New York Times piece, which launched the #Metoo movement and spurred other women to come forward about sexual assault.

In February 2020, Weinstein was convicted in a New York Court for rape and sexual assault and sentenced to 23 years in prison. He is still facing other lawsuits.

The Hill has reached out to McGowan and representatives for Weinstein for comment.

Tags #MeToo California court Harvey Weinstein lawsuit lawsuit dismissal litigation Rose McGowan sexual allegations Sexual assault Sexual harassment U.S. Central District Court

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