TORONTO — A lawsuit against Harvey Weinstein alleging the Hollywood mogul sexually assaulted an Ontario actress nearly two decades ago is being allowed to proceed even though lawyers have not been able to track him down.
A Toronto court gave the woman’s lawyers permission to file a statement of claim despite their failure to serve Weinstein and his former assistant, who is also named as a defendant, with legal documents.
Alex Smith, who represents the actress, says they tried and failed to serve Weinstein at his home in Westport, Conn., and believe he could also be in Phoenix, Ariz., or somewhere in Europe.
Smith says they also repeatedly tried to serve Weinstein’s former assistant at her office and through her lawyer but have not succeeded so far.
In a statement of claim, the actress, who cannot be named as she is seeking a publication ban on her identity, alleges she was sexually assaulted by Weinstein while she had a part in a movie being filmed in and around Toronto.
None of the allegations have been proven in court and no statements of defence have been filed.
The actress is seeking millions of dollars in damages, claiming she has suffered mental distress, extreme social anxiety and depression, as well as social isolation and feelings of guilt, worthlessness and shame as a result of what happened.
The woman’s allegations come as Weinstein, an Oscar-winning film mogul, faces a slew of sexual harassment allegations from several women.
He was fired from his namesake company on Oct. 8, days after reports of sexual harassment by him ran in the New York Times. Weinstein’s representative Sallie Hofmeister has said Weinstein denies all allegations of non-consensual sex.
The Canadian Press