Katz, Marshall & Banks partner Debra Katz was interviewed on the KPCC radio program, The Frame, about recent legal developments surrounding Harvey Weinstein. Weinstein is facing a criminal trial in New York, and investigations are ongoing in Los Angeles and London. Among all of his legal troubles, there are two unique cases that Ms. Katz helped break down.
The first involves allegations that Weinstein violated federal sex trafficking laws. Actress Kadian Noble filed a lawsuit against Weinstein in federal court last November. Two weeks ago, the judge rejected Weinstein’s motion to dismiss – allowing the suit to progress. “It’s a very important case, and it’s an unusual legal theory,” said Ms. Katz.
The judge’s decision is very important, in part because it rejects a common defense of Weinstein’s conduct, which is that he worked in a “casting couch” industry in which sex was an expectation.
The second notable lawsuit involving Weinstein was filed by actress Ashley Judd, who is suing for defamation and lost earnings.
Ms. Katz explains that “when women rejected his advances, [Weinstein] trashed them, and made it very difficult for them to secure important roles.”
Much like Noble’s lawsuit, this is a somewhat novel legal theory. “This is another very important case because she wasn’t an employee of Weinstein’s, yet the actions he took hurt her career, and hurt her ability to make a living.”
Unfortunately for Judd, Noble and all of Weinstein’s other victims, The Weinstein Company declared bankruptcy, and even with lawyers tracking down every asset, it will be nearly impossible for everyone to receive the remedy they are owed. “It’s a long road for victims,” concedes Ms. Katz.
Listen to the full conversation below, starting at 1:16.