FILe - In this July 9, 2018 file photo, Harvey Weinstein arrives to court in New York.

Judge OKs Weinstein suit, cites casting couch’s history

Actress Kadian Noble can sue disgraced Hollywood mogul for violating sex trafficking laws

  • Aug. 14, 2018 11:45 a.m.

A New York judge has ruled that an aspiring actress can sue Harvey Weinstein for violating sex trafficking laws because the proverbial casting couch, in which women are asked to trade sex for Hollywood opportunities, could be considered a “commercial sex act.”

U.S. District Judge Robert W. Sweet said the lawsuit filed by Kadian Noble last fall was fairly brought under sex trafficking laws Congress passed that had an “expansive” definition of what could be considered a commercial sex act. His ruling, dated Monday, was filed publicly Tuesday.

He rejected arguments by Weinstein’s lawyers that nothing of value was exchanged between Noble and Weinstein in 2014 when they watched her demo reel in a Cannes, France, hotel room before Weinstein allegedly molested her and forced her into a bathroom to watch him masturbate.

Weinstein denies wrongdoing. His lawyers did not immediately return a request for comment.

“For an aspiring actress, meeting a world-renowned film producer carries value, in and of itself,” Sweet wrote. “The opportunity, moreover, for the actress to sit down with that producer in a private meeting to review her film reel and discuss a promised film role carries value that is career-making and life-changing.

“The contention, therefore, that Noble was given nothing of value — that the expectation of a film role, of a modeling meeting, of ‘his people’ being ‘in touch with her’ had no value — does not reflect modern reality,” the judge continued.

He included a footnote at the word “reality,” citing sources that explain that the concept of the “‘casting couch’ — in which aspiring actors and actresses are promised valuable professional opportunities in exchange for sexual favours — has been in the American lexicon for nearly a century.”

READ MORE: Harvey Weinstein to surrender in sex misconduct probe: officials

Weinstein claimed through his lawyers that letting the lawsuit proceed to trial means sex trafficking laws now cover all sexual activity between adults when one person holds power and influence over the other.

Sweet said that even if the prospect of a film role, a modeling meeting or a continued professional relationship with Weinstein were not enough to constitute “things of value” necessary under the sex trafficking statute, then her “reasonable expectation of receiving those things in the future, based on Harvey’s repeated representations that she would, is sufficient.”

Sweet also dismissed Weinstein’s brother from the lawsuit.

Larry Neumeister, The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Growls and Hugs for Feb. 20

Someone or something got your hackles up? Or maybe someone made you… Continue reading

Okanagan Shuswap weather: Hold on to your toque, wind and snow today

The sun will be hiding behind the clouds for the next few days

Revelstoke Acrobats bring home nine medals

Gymnastics club leaps to success on trampoline and double mini trampoline

Branching out: learning to ski at Revelstoke Mountain Resort

It’s the first time at the hill for the editor of Revelstoke Review

‘It consumed my life’: Inside the world of gaming addiction

World Health Organization classifies gaming disorder as a mental health condition

Tonight’s sporting event costs more than the Super Bowl, and Obama is going

Tickets are going for more than $4,000 to watch the Duke - North Carolina basketball game

West Kelowna family builds 9-foot tall snowman

A family in Glenrosa is making the most out of the snow

Elk herd crossing Highway 97A in search of food

Snow at higher elevations forces herd to move into valleys

CRTC report finds ‘misleading, aggressive’ sales tactics used by telecom industry

Report recommends measures to make a fairer situation for consumers

Guilty plea from one woman accused of stealing from Central Okanagan Hospice Association

A woman accused of bilking the hospice association of thousands of dollars made a court appearance.

Trudeau takes personal hit amid SNC-Lavalin controversy: poll

Overall, 41 per cent of respondents believed the prime minister had done something wrong in the affair

B.C. photographer captures otters on ice

A Langley photographer was at the right place at the right time on the Fraser River

Most Read