SANTA MONICA (CNS) - A lawyer who has represented Bill Cosby and R. Kelly has applied to join the defense team of Harvey Weinstein, who was sued by a former model/actress who says the producer sexually assaulted her in her Beverly Hills hotel room in 2013.
The plaintiff is identified as Jane Doe No. 1 in the Santa Monica Superior Court lawsuit filed Feb. 9, which alleges sexual battery, false imprisonment, negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress. She seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.
On Monday, New York lawyer Jennifer Bonjean filed court papers with Judge Elaine Mandel asking that she be permitted to join the case through a motion allowing her to serve on the case as an out-of-state attorney who is not a member of the California State Bar. Ashley Cohen, another lawyer in Bonjean's firm, also has made an application to represented the disgraced producer.
Weinstein's current lawyer in the case, Michael Freedman, is licensed in California. He and Bonjean represented Cosby in a trial last June in which a jury awarded $500,000 to Judy Huth, a Riverside County woman who said the comedian sexually abused her when she was a teenager at the Playboy Mansion in the 1970s. Cosby, 85, is appealing the verdict.
Although Bonjean's motion in the Weinstein case is not scheduled for hearing until June 9, she and Freedman filed an answer to the plaintiff's complaint on Monday, stating that her claims are barred by the statute of limitations, that her request for punitive damages is unconstitutional and that her lawsuit should be dismissed.
On Dec. 19, Weinstein, 71, was convicted of three of the seven counts he was facing regarding the plaintiff -- forcible rape, forcible oral copulation and sexual penetration by a foreign object. All three of those counts related to Doe, with the crimes occurring on or about Feb. 18, 2013. Weinstein was sentenced to 16 years in prison on Feb. 23.
Weinstein's criminal case attorney, Mark Werksman, told jurors in the criminal case trial that Jane Doe No. 1 "was not a woman who was alone and vulnerable and cut off from the world," noting that she let his client into her hotel room at Mr. C Beverly Hills and had a cell phone and the hotel room phone at her disposal.
The plaintiff was in town to attend a film festival. Her suit states that Weinstein came to her room unexpectedly after she attended events that day related to the festival.
"After he was done raping her, he acted as if nothing out of the ordinary happened and left," the plaintiff's court papers allege.
Doe did not report the incident until 2017, when she had a talk with her daughter, during a time when Weinstein was at the forefront of the #metoo movement, according to her court papers.