According to a lawsuit filed yesterday, Harvey Weinstein alleged that Oscar winners like Renée Zellweger and Gwyneth Paltrow gave him "sexual favors" to advance their careers, People reports.
The lawsuit states that Weinstein used Zellweger and Paltrow's names when speaking with aspiring actresses and told them that they were more likely to achieve fame if they engaged in sexual relationships with him.
"Renée Zellweger, Charlize Theron and other actresses gave sexual favors," Weinstein allegedly told one actress. "Don’t you want your career to be more than just this little teen film?"
The alleged statements emerged as part of a class-action lawsuit against the disgraced film mogul, which was filed by six women in New York. Five of the women — Katherine Kendall, Zoe Brock, Sarah Ann Thomas, Melissa Sagemiller, and Nanette Klatt — have publicly shared their stories in the past. The lawsuit alleges that Weinstein committed civil racketeering in an effort to cover up his crimes.
The lawsuit also names Miramax, The Weinstein Company, and its board members for covering up Weinstein's crimes and actively working to "perpetuate and conceal [his] widespread sexual harassment and assault."
"Mr. Weinstein vehemently denies these accusations and has never stated he slept with any of them," a rep for Weinstein said in an email statement to Refinery29. "It’s ridiculous that anyone would believe these talented women, academy award winners, provided sexual favors in exchange for roles they earned based on their talent and brilliant work. It’s simply not true."
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