Actress Paz de la Huerta has updated her sexual assault lawsuit against former Miramax co-founder Harvey Weinstein to add The Walt Disney Company, its CEO Bob Iger, and former chairman Michael Eisner, to her initial complaint, reports Fox Business.
Disney is gearing up to fight the allegations.
“The Weinsteins operated and managed their business with virtual autonomy. There is absolutely no legal basis for claims against the company and we will defend against them vigorously", the company said in a statement released to Fox Business.
Disney purchased Miramax in 1993, and separated from movie mogul brothers Harvey and Bob Weinstein in 2005.
The new version of the lawsuit filed on Tuesday in Los Angeles County’s Superior Court, states Iger and Eisner “made a series of decisions that allowed a range of actions by Harvey Weinstein that unacceptably harmed certain employees of Miramax".
“Following the departure of Harvey Weinstein and Robert Weinstein from their positions as executives of Miramax in 2005, Iger made no effort to identify or remediate harms by Harvey Weinstein to current or former employees of Disney-Miramax", says the statement by attorneys representing de la Huerta, according to reporting by Deadline.
In the original version of the lawsuit filed last year by the actress, she claimed she was raped twice by Weinstein who had also unleashed a campaign of harassment that harmed her career.
De la Huerta seeks $60 million in damages as she insists she lost out on lucrative contracts with HBO and Lionsgate for two separate projects.
The first version of the sexual assault lawsuit was filed in the wake of Weinstein’s reportedly predatory behaviour towards the actress after their encounter during the filming of “The Cider House Rules".
Paz de la Huerta starred in the film, produced by Miramax which was run by Weinstein but owned by Disney at the time. Eisner was chairman of Disney.
More than a decade later, in December 2010, de la Huerta says she and Weinstein were both attending a party for The Weinstein Company film “Blue Valentine” in New York City.
The “Boardwalk Empire” actress claims Weinstein, her neighbour at the time, offered her a ride home and “insisted on” coming up to her apartment to avoid discussing business and personal matters in the lobby.
The suit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, said that once inside de la Huerta’s apartment, Weinstein threatened to damage her career if she did not submit to sex, then forced himself on her and raped her.
In another alleged incident in 2011 the actress was handed a note asking her to go to Weinstein's room at the Four Seasons Hotel in Los Angeles.
The actress says Weinstein opened the door dressed in a bathrobe and offered her a "threesome" with another woman.
De la Huerta described Weinstein as very angry when she told him to leave her alone and left.