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'Marco Polo' producer accuses Harvey Weinstein of multiple sexual assaults

Posted: 4:23 AM, May 02, 2018
Updated: 2018-05-02 10:23:34Z

Alexandra Canosa, an associate producer on the Netflix series "Marco Polo," has filed a lawsuit in Manhattan Supreme Court alleging Harvey Weinstein raped, physically assaulted and verbally abused her over the course of five years.

Weinstein "constantly threatened" Canosa and "made it clear that if she did not succumb to his demands for sexual contact or if she exposed his unwanted conduct there would be retaliation, including humiliation, the loss of her job and loss of any ability to work in the entertainment business," court documents allege.

The lawsuit claims the former film executive insisted on meeting with Canosa in "isolated environments" and demanded sex. "Marco Polo" was produced by the Weinstein Company and debuted in 2014.

Weinstein attorney Phyllis Kupferstein issued the following comment Tuesday to CNN:

"Ali Canosa was a friend who had worked for The Weinstein Company for 10 years, traveled the world for the company and held several influential roles; overseeing many projects throughout the years. From someone who has been thought of as a good friend, involved only in a consensual relationship, these claims are not only mystifying to Mr. Weinstein, but deeply upsetting, and they cannot be supported by the facts."

CNN received two updates within an hour of the statement. The second had no mention of a "consensual relationship" between Weinstein and Canosa. The Weinstein team had "no additional comment" in regards to the changes in the statements.

Canosa alleged in Monday's amended lawsuit that Weinstein sexually assaulted her multiple times between 2010 and 2015.

Canosa says she was sexually assaulted in a New York hotel room, "sexually assaulted, verbally assaulted, bullied and intimidated multiple times" in Los Angeles, "sexually assaulted and raped" in Malaysia, and "physically assaulted and verbally abused" inside Weinstein's room in Budapest.

In August 2017, Canosa alleges, Weinstein verbally threatened her "not to speak to anyone about his abuse."

In addition to Weinstein, the lawsuit lists The Weinstein Company, LLC, The Weinstein Company Holdings, LLC, Robert Weinstein -- Harvey's brother and co-founder of The Weinstein Company -- and nine other individuals associated with the Weinstein brand as defendants.

Defendants "knew or should have known" about Weinstein's conduct, and didn't correct it. Instead, they "facilitated, hid, and supported" him, the complaint outlines.

The Weinstein Company, LLC, and The Weinstein Company Holdings, LLC, were aware of Weinstein's history of sexual misconduct and facilitated his conduct by arranging meetings in hotel rooms and paying off sexual misconduct claims without corrective actions, according to the court filing.

The companies had notice of Weinstein's actions against Canosa and other women, but failed to investigate further or "take reasonable steps" to do anything about them, the lawsuit alleges.

Individuals who complained to the companies' human resources department for similar situations to what Canosa alleges "were subject to retaliation by Harvey Weinstein as a result of their complaints," the lawsuit says, adding that the failure to investigate claims of misconduct shielded Weinstein from consequences and enabled him to continue victimizing employees.

CNN has reached out to Robert Weinstein's representatives for comment.

"The members of the board, including myself, did not know the extent of my brother's actions," he told The Hollywood Reporter in October 2017 .

Netflix declined to comment on the lawsuit.