Alexandra Canosa, an associate producer on the Netflix series Marco Polo, filed a lawsuit in Manhattan Supreme Court alleging that disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein raped, physically assaulted and verbally abused her over the course of five years.
Court documents allege that Weinstein "constantly threatened" Canosa and "made it clear that if she did not succumb to his demands for sexual contact or if she exposed his unwanted conduct there would be retaliation, including humiliation, the loss of her job and loss of any ability to work in the entertainment business."
Marco Polo was executive produced by Weinstein and premiered in 2014. Canosa says the assaults took place over a five-year period, saying he sexually assaulted her between 2010 and 2014, and physically assaulted her in 2015, and verbally threatened her as recently as 2017, weeks before The New York Times and the New Yorker published multiple accusations of sexual assault and harassment against him.
The lawsuit — which lists Weinstein, his brother Bob Weinstein, The Weinstein Company, LLC, The Weinstein Company Holdings, LLC, and nine other individuals associated with the Weinstein brand as defendants — also claims that Weinstein insisted on meeting with Canosa in "isolated environments" and demanded sex.
Canosa alleged that Weinstein sexually assaulted her multiple times between 2010 and 2015, saying she was sexually assaulted in a New York hotel room, "sexually assaulted, verbally abused, bullied and intimidated multiple times" in Los Angeles, "sexually assaulted and raped" in Malaysia, and "physically assaulted and verbally abused" inside Weinstein's room in Budapest.
She also alleged that in August 2017, Weinstein verbally threatened her "not to speak to anyone about his abuse."
In total, Canosa details 11 alleged incidents by the producer, including rape, physical assault and verbal bullying.
"Ali Canosa was a friend who had worked for The Weinstein Company for 10 years, traveled the world for the company and held several influential roles; overseeing many projects throughout the years," said Weinstein's attorney, Phyllis Kupferstein. "From someone who has been thought of as a good friend, involved only in a consensual relationship, these claims are not only mystifying to Mr. Weinstein, but deeply upsetting, and they cannot be supported by the facts."
CNN reports that it received two updates to that statement within an hour. The second had no mention of a "consensual relationship" between Weinstein and Canosa. The Weinstein team reportedly had "no additional comment" in regards to the changes in the statements.0comments
Canosa argues in her lawsuit that the defendants "knew or should have known" about Weinstein's conduct and did not correct it. Instead, they "facilitated, hid and supported" him, according to the complaint.
Casona says that those who complained to the companies' human resources department for similar situations "were subject to retaliation by Harvey Weinstein as a result of their complaints." She says that the failure to investigate claims of misconduct enabled Weinstein to continue victimizing employees while shielding him from punishment or consequences.