Polish former model Kaja Sokola sues Harvey Weinstein alleging sexual assault

Sokola said in her lawsuit that she was 16 at the time of the alleged assault. She filed her complaint under New York's Child Victims Act.

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By Corky Siemaszko

Kaja Sokola, a former runway model from Poland, filed a lawsuit Thursday accusing the disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein of sexually assaulting her when she was 16 years old.

Kaja Sokola at an event in New York in July 2010.Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

Sokola, who said in a statement that she crossed paths with Weinstein a month after she left Warsaw for New York to pursue a modeling and acting career, had been part of a group of women who filed a class-action lawsuit against him and his companies.

"I originally filed my case under a pseudonym," Sokola said in a statement supplied by her attorneys Douglas Wigdor and Kevin Mintzer. "But I cannot accept the proposed 'global settlement' as fair or just. There is no accountability for the perpetrators, insufficient compensation for all of the victims, and millions of dollars going to people that I believe enabled Weinstein."

Sokola, 33, who now works as a psychologist in Poland, was referring to the recently unveiled proposed deal under which almost all the civil cases against Weinstein would be settled for $47 million, about $25 million of which would go to compensate the legion of women who have accused him of having preyed on them.

"Therefore, today I am filing my own case, in my own name, under New York's Child Victims Act, against Harvey Weinstein and some of his enablers, including Robert Weinstein, Miramax, and Disney, each of whom could have — and should have — stopped Harvey Weinstein before he made me another of his victims," Sokola said.

Asked for comment, Weinstein's representatives provided the same statement that Benjamin Brafman, who was his attorney at the time, provided in 2018 when Sokola first laid out her allegations as a Jane Doe.

"The claim is preposterous," it said. "Like so many other women in this case who have already been exposed as liars, this latest completely uncorroborated allegation that is almost 20 years old will also be shown to be patently false."

Weinstein is free on bail awaiting a trial set to begin next month after having pleaded not guilty to raping a woman in a New York hotel room in 2013 and performing a forcible sex act on a different woman in 2006. Weinstein has consistently denied all allegations that he had nonconsensual sex.

Under the terms of the proposed deal that Sokola opposes, Weinstein wouldn't be required to admit to wrongdoing or to pay his accusers directly.

Instead, The Weinstein Co.'s insurance companies would be on the hook for $6.2 million that would go to 18 women who have sued Weinstein independently and $18.5 million more that would be set aside as a settlement fund. That fund would be available to all of the class members in the suit, even in cases in which the statute of limitations has expired.

That deal still has to be approved by judges in the two cases involving Weinstein.

In her lawsuit, Sokola said she was introduced to Weinstein at an event involving her modeling agency. She said that when Weinstein learned that she wanted to become an actor, he said he could help her career.

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Three days later, the complaint states, Weinstein picked Sokola up for what was supposed to be a business lunch and, instead, took her his Manhattan apartment "without her consent" and demanded sex.

When a weeping Sokola tried to resist, Weinstein said he had "made" the careers of the actors Penelope Cruz and Gwyneth Paltrow and warned the teenager that she "would never work as an actress unless she acquiesced to his demands," according to the complaint.

"He would not let her leave until after he terrified and sexually abused her," the complaint states. "This traumatic day has been etched in Sokola's mind every day thereafter, and it has caused her immense emotional pain and suffering, even seventeen years later and long after she gave up her dreams of acting or working in the entertainment industry."

Sokola's suit also targeted Weinstein's alleged "enablers," who are identified in the complaint as Bob Weinstein, his brother, and "numerous employees and executives of Miramax and Disney."

"The companies that employed him utterly failed to supervise him, and they continued to empower him with their prestige and resources and allowed him to find more victims, including Kaja Sokola," the suit states.