Sokola launched the lawsuit after opting out of a class action settlement she and her attorneys say doesn’t hold Weinstein or his enablers accountable.
Kaja Sokola, a former model who’s accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual abuse, is launching an independent lawsuit against the disgraced Hollywood producer and long-time bigshot.
By launching her own lawsuit, Sokola is opting out of a proposed $25 million award that’d distribute damages among Weinstein’s many accusers. Sokola, says The Associated Press, had earlier been a participant in the class action. But she called the proposal neither “far [nor] just.”
Sokola further claims the settlement’s terms don’t hold Weinstein and his enablers to proper account—financially or otherwise.
Two of Sokola’s attorneys—Douglas Wigdor and Kevin Mintzer—issued a statement on her behalf.
“While others may have decided to settle, albeit under some of the most offensive and one-sided terms, we hope that the filing of this complaint encourages other victims and the New York Attorney General to join us as we continue our efforts at holding Harvey Weinstein and his enablers accountable,” they said.
As The Associated Press reports, Sokola’s suit is filed under New York’s Child Victims Act. The law, passed by the state legislature earlier this year, allows individuals who were abused as youths a year-long window to file lawsuits against perpetrators.
The A.P. notes that Sokola’s attorneys say her suit is the first to be filed under the act.
According to Sokola, Weinstein invited her to a luxurious Manhattan apartment in 2002—back when the then-model was only 16 years old. Weinstein, who’d spotted her at an industry event, told Sokala he wanted to take her to lunch and discuss her future career.
But when Sokola arrived to Weinstein’s flat, the producer ordered her to take off his clothes—all while boasting about how he’d “made” the careers of Oscar-winning actresses. Weinstein further threatened Sokola, telling her she’d never make it as a model or an actress unless she did what wanted.
“Terrified and struggling to hold back tears, Sokola said she did not want to do anything further and resisted his demands,” the suit claims. “Sokola had no intention or understanding when she agreed to a business lunch that she would be put in this position.”
Sokola’s suit states that, as he issued instructions, Weinstein “became intense, as if he was hunting prey.” He physically forced her to touch his genitals as he began pawing her breasts and body.
Sokola, says the Hollywood Reporter, is now 33 years old. Her lawsuit names Miramax and Disney as defendants alongside Weinstein.
While various sources—including The A.P. and Hollywood Repoter—note that Weinstein’s attorneys have yet to provide comment, they suggested, in response to Sokola’s ‘Jane Doe’ claims in the class action, that her story isn’t factual.
“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 shown to be patently false,” former Weinstein attorney Benjamin Brafman said in 2018.