Harvey Weinstein MSG CEO James Dolan has been sued for sexual assault by his former massage therapist
Disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein and MSG Entertainment CEO James Dolan have been sued for sex trafficking and sexual assault.
Kelly Croft, a former massage therapist, filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California on Wednesday, detailing the alleged assaults she suffered in 2013 and 2014 by men.
“I suffered deeply because of what James Dolan and Harvey Weinstein did to me years ago, and the decision to come forward and seek justice was not an easy one. But for me, to truly process my trauma, I need to seek accountability.” Croft said in a statement.
“James Dolan manipulated me, brought me to California to abuse me, and then subjected me to a vicious attack by Weinstein,” Croft added.
Dolan is Chairman of Madison Square Garden in New York City and coordinates entertainment at the square as well as Radio City Music Hall, The Beacon Theater and more. Weinstein was sentenced to 23 years in prison for his conviction in New York on charges of rape and sexual assault of two women, and another 16 years for his conviction in Los Angeles.
She added, “I hope that my lawsuit will force Dolan to admit what he did to me and take responsibility for the harm he caused.”
In the lawsuit, Croft explains that she was hired as a massage therapist for The Eagles while they were on tour in 2013. Dolan’s band JD & The Straight Shot opened for The Eagles and he is believed to have contributed a large sum to fund the tour.
Dolan and Croft met “when she was 27 and he was 58,” the lawsuit said. The MSG executive booked her for a massage and she allegedly “was extremely assertive and pressured Ms. Croft into having unwanted sexual intercourse with him.”
“There is absolutely no merit to any of the accusations against Mr. Dolan. Kelly Croft and James Dolan had a friendship. The references to Harvey Weinstein are simply intended to inflame and appear to be plagiarized from previous cases against Mr. Weinstein,” Dolan said. Attorney E. said: Dania Perry in a statement Tuesday to USA TODAY. “Mr. Dolan always thought Ms. Croft was a good person and was surprised that she agreed to these allegations. The bottom line is, this is not a he-said/she-said thing, and there is overwhelming evidence to support our position. We look forward to proving that in court.”
According to the lawsuit, Dolan allegedly continued to book her for the rest of the tour and made “unwelcome advances toward Ms. Croft, feeling obligated to have sex with him.”
Kelly Croft claims James Dolan set her up with Harvey Weinstein
In January 2014, Croft alleged that Dolan arranged for his friend Weinstein to meet her at a hotel for what appeared to be a random encounter. Weinstein allegedly inquired about Croft’s massage therapy, claiming he had several clients interested in movie sets.
Croft headed to Weinstein’s hotel room where they were scheduled to discuss business opportunities, but instead the producer tried to force her to give him a nude massage.
“Well, this is the way people do things in Hollywood, if you’re not rational and unable to handle requests quickly, you’re not going to make it in Hollywood,” the lawsuit said Weinstein said.
Croft says she fled Weinstein’s room, but he followed her and began assaulting her in her hotel room.
“Mr. Weinstein vehemently denies these baseless allegations and looks forward to litigating these allegations in a court where the truth will be revealed,” Weinstein’s attorney, Jennifer Bonjean, said in a statement to USA TODAY.
In the lawsuit, Croft also alleges that she was involved in a 2018 email chain in which Dolan sent Dolan lyrics to a song called “I Should Have Known,” which references a Weinstein song. Previous convictions In various sexual assault cases.
“Contrary to Dolan’s overly insistent mantra in 2018 that he ‘should have known’ about Weinstein’s problematic behavior — he did know. Dolan was aware of Weinstein’s predatory behavior before January 2014 where he readily admitted to Ms. Croft that he knew everything about him,” the suit states. The court alleges Weinstein’s “history of assaulting and sexually assaulting women, telling her ‘we all know’ that Weinstein ‘had problems,’ and insisting that his ‘friends’ were trying to get him ‘help.'”
Croft also says she immediately told Dolan about the assault on Weinstein, but he did little to console her.
“Dolan facilitated – and orchestrated – Weinstein’s horrific attack. He (Croft) needs the world to know: James Dolan illegally trafficked her for his own sexual gratification, and knew of Weinstein’s predatory behavior long before he spread his musical lies; in fact He previously knew and joined the board of directors of Weinstein Productions.
Various companies associated with Dolan are also named in the lawsuit, including MSG entertainment and music organization The Azoff Company.
“Irving Azoff is not a party to this lawsuit. Neither he nor his companies were involved in any alleged misconduct by others,” Larry Salters, Irving Azoff’s publicist, told USA TODAY in a statement.
Harvey Weinstein returns to New York Los Angeles prison system post-conviction trial
Weinstein, who co-founded Miramax Entertainment with his brother Bob, was one of the film industry’s most powerful executives until several women went public with accusations of rape, assault and sexual harassment against him starting in 2017. His accusers included celebrities. Actors like Annabella Sciorra and Ashley Judd.
If you are a survivor of sexual assault, RAINN offers support through the National Sexual Assault Hotline (800.656.HOPE & online.rainn.org).
Harvey Weinstein is a rape victim She revealed her name. The power to reclaim your identity.
Contributor: Hannah Yasharov
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Harvey Weinstein, MSG Chairman James Dolan is accused of sexual assault