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Harvey Weinstein sued for sexual assault by former massage therapist

Disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein and MSG Entertainment CEO James Dolan have been sued for alleged sex trafficking and sexual assault. Kellye Croft, a former massage therapist, filed the lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Central District of California on Wednesday, detailing the alleged 2013 and 2014 assaults she endured by the men.

“I have suffered so profoundly because of what James Dolan and Harvey Weinstein did to me years ago, and it was not an easy decision to come forward and seek justice. But for me, to truly address my trauma, I need to seek accountability,” Croft said in a statement.

“James Dolan manipulated me, brought me to California to abuse me, and then set me up for a vicious attack by Weinstein,” Croft added.

Dolan is a chairman at Madison Square Garden in New York City and coordinates entertainment performances at the arena as well as Radio City Music Hall, The Beacon Theatre and more. Weinstein was sentenced to 23 years in prison on his New York conviction for rape and sexual assault against two women and another 16 years for his Los Angeles conviction.

She added: “My hope is that my lawsuit will force Dolan to acknowledge what he did to me and to take responsibility for the harm he has caused.”

In the lawsuit, Croft explains that she was hired as a massage therapist for The Eagles while on tour in 2013. Dolan’s band JD & The Straight Shot opened for The Eagles and he was believed to have contributed a large sum to finance the tour.

Dolan and Croft met “when she was 27 years old and he was 58 years old,” according to the lawsuit. The MSG executive booked her for a massage and allegedly “was extremely assertive, and pressured Ms. Croft into unwanted sexual intercourse with him.”

“There is absolutely no merit to any of the allegations against Mr. Dolan. Kellye Croft and James Dolan had a friendship. The references to Harvey Weinstein are simply meant to inflame and appear to be plagiarized from prior cases against Mr. Weinstein,” Dolan’s attorney E. Danya Perry said in a Tuesday statement to USA TODAY. “Mr. Dolan always believed Ms. Croft to be a good person and is surprised she would agree to these claims. Bottom line, this is not a he said/she said matter and there is compelling evidence to back up our position. We look forward to proving that in court.”

According to the lawsuit, Dolan allegedly continued to book her for the remainder of the tour and “made unwelcome advances toward Ms. Croft, and she felt obligated to submit to sex with him.”

In January 2014, Croft alleges that Dolan coordinated for his friend Weinstein to bump into her at a hotel in what appeared to be a random encounter. Weinstein allegedly inquired about Croft’s massage therapy, claiming that he had many interested clients on movie sets. Croft proceeded to Weinstein’s hotel room where they were to discuss business opportunities, but instead the producer allegedly tried to force her into giving him a nude massage.

“He stated, ‘Well this is just how people do things in Hollywood, if you will not be reasonable and are not able to handle requests on the fly, you won’t make it in Hollywood,'” the lawsuit alleged Weinstein said. Croft says she escaped Weinstein’s room, but he followed her and proceeded to assault her in her hotel room.

“Mr. Weinstein vehemently denies these meritless allegations and looks forward to litigating these claims in a court of law where the truth will be revealed,” Weinstein’s attorney Jennifer Bonjean said in a statement to USA TODAY.

In the lawsuit, Croft also claims she was on an email thread in 2018 in which Dolan sent the lyrics to a song called “I Should’ve Known,” which references Weinstein’s previous convictions in various sex abuse cases.

“Contrary to Dolan’s overly-insistent incantation in 2018 that he ‘should’ve known’ about Weinstein’s problematic behavior — he did know. Dolan knew about Weinstein’s predatory behavior prior to January 2014 as he readily admitted to Ms. Croft that he knew all about Weinstein’s history of assaulting and sexually abusing women, telling her that ‘we all know’ that Weinstein ‘has problems,’ and insisting that ‘his friends’ were trying to get him ‘help,'” the lawsuit states.

Croft also says she immediately told Dolan about Weinstein’s assault, but he did little to console her.

“Dolan facilitated—and orchestrated—Weinstein’s horrific attack. (Croft) needs the world to know: James Dolan unlawfully trafficked her for his own sexual gratification and knew about Weinstein’s predatory behavior well before he published his musical mistruths; in fact, he knew before he joined the Board of Directors of Weinstein’s production company.”

Various companies tied to Dolan are also named in the lawsuit, including MSG Entertainment and music organization The Azoff Company.

“Irving Azoff is not a party to this lawsuit. Neither he nor his companies had any involvement in any alleged misconduct by others,” Irving Azoff’s publicist Larry Solters told USA TODAY in a statement.

Weinstein, who co-founded the entertainment company Miramax with his brother Bob, was one of the movie industry’s most powerful executives until multiple women went public with accusations of rape, assault and sexual harassment against him starting in 2017. His accusers included well-known actors like Annabella Sciorra and Ashley Judd.

In other news – Actress Lynne Marta dies aged 78

Lynne Marta, who was famous for her roles in Footloose and Love, American Style has sadly passed away at the age of 78, following a battle with cancer. The Hollywood actress passed away at her home in Los Angeles following a cancer battle. Marta died on Thursday morning, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Lynne was best known for playing the role of Lulu Warnicker in the iconic eighties film, alongside Kevin Bacon. While Footloose was undoubtedly her most famous role, she also had a plethora of TV guest appearances under her belt. Read More

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