Julia Ormond sues Harvey Weinstein for sexual battery & CAA for not protecting her

One of the most horrifying things about the #MeToo movement’s rise and the outing of Harvey Weinstein as a serial rapist and predator was the dawning realization of just how many women saw their careers destroyed after they were assaulted, raped or harassed by Weinstein. He was a one-man wrecking ball to so many talented women. Even now, years later, we’re still hearing about actresses who had their careers derailed by Weinstein after falling victim to his predations. Well, here’s another name to add to the most depressing list you’ve ever seen: Julia Ormond. In the 1990s, Julia Ormond was everywhere, she was the next big thing, she was the go-to romantic heroine. In the span of about two years, she starred in Legends of the Fall, the Sabrina remake, and First Knight. But something happened after that and her career was never really the same. Sure, she popped up in interesting projects here and there (a brilliant recurring character on Mad Men, a guest-starring role in Nurse Jackie) but after all of that attention and focus, what happened? Harvey Weinstein. And CAA.

Julia Ormond, the English actress best known for her roles in ’90s films such as “Legends of the Fall,” “First Knight” and “Smilla’s Sense of Snow,” is suing Harvey Weinstein for sexual battery. Ormond is additionally suing CAA, The Walt Disney Company and Miramax.

While Weinstein has been named as the defendant in numerous sexual assault lawsuits since exposes published in 2017 in The New York Times and New Yorker uncovered his alleged patterns of misconduct toward dozens of women in the entertainment industry, it is rare for business partners that profited from Weinstein’s work to be named as defendants for supposedly enabling his behavior.

In a lawsuit filed Wednesday morning in New York Supreme Court, obtained by Variety, Ormond claims that Weinstein sexually assaulted her in 1995 after a business dinner when he lured her into giving him a massage, climbed on top of her, masturbated and forced her to give him oral sex.

After the alleged assault, Ormond informed her agents Bryan Lourd and Kevin Huvane what had happened with Weinstein, according to the lawsuit, which states that the CAA agents cautioned her from speaking out and did not protect her. (Lourd and Huvane, who today are co-chairmen of CAA, are not named as defendants, but are frequently mentioned throughout Ormond’s suit as her representatives at the time.) Ormond is suing CAA for negligence and breach of fiduciary duty.

Miramax, the company that Weinstein co-founded with his brother Bob, and The Walt Disney Company, which owned Miramax in the 90s, are being sued for negligent supervision and retention. (Numerous former Miramax and Disney executives are cited in the lawsuit, including Michael Eisner, who was Disney’s CEO, at the time, and Jeffrey Katzenberg, who was chairman of Disney, though they are not defendants. The Disney execs mentioned in the lawsuit are no longer working at the company.)

“The men at CAA who represented Ormond knew about Weinstein. So too did Weinstein’s employers at Miramax and Disney,” the lawsuit states. “Brazenly, none of these prominent companies warned Ormond that Weinstein had a history of assaulting women because he was too important, too powerful, and made them too much money.”

[From Variety]

While CAA hushed up what they could in real time as the stories were breaking in 2017, so many survivors had very similar stories, that after Weinstein raped them or assaulted them or harassed them or chased them around a hotel room, they called their CAA agent and told that person what Weinstein had done to them. And for years, CAA just… continued to send all of these actresses into hotel rooms with Harvey Weinstein, like CAA was procuring victims for Weinstein. Think about Ormond’s story in chronological context: this was around the same time Weinstein attacked Gwyneth Paltrow (a CAA client) in a hotel room, it was around the same time Weinstein assaulted Rose McGowan (and she was one of the few to speak out at the same time), and it was after Weinstein brutally raped Annabella Sciorra in her home. Oh, Ashley Judd – a CAA client – was also harassed by Weinstein around this same time. Ormond also spoke directly to Variety:

In a phone interview, Ormond tells Variety that she is speaking out because she wants to be part of the change that can make Hollywood and other workplaces safer from sexual predators.

“I am coming forward with my story now publicly because I feel as if we still need systemic change, and I feel that we need accountability from enablers, in order to get there,” Ormond tells Variety. “I feel that this is what happened with me.”

Ormond is filing her suit under the Adult Survivors Act, which creates a look-back window outside the statute of limitations. The Adult Survivors Act was passed after the #MeToo movement, and Ormond says she’s able to share her story because of the courage of other women and survivors. Ormond hopes that by sharing her story, she can make an impact in corporate transparency regarding reporting structures in the workplace and the use of non-disclosure agreements to silence victims.

“Obviously, Harvey Weinstein is in jail and is going to be in jail for a very long time. I personally don’t believe that Harvey could have done this without enablers. And for me, that is the layer that you have to get down to, in terms of the root cause,” Ormond says. “If you think about it. If there had been best practices and Harvey Weinstein had been called out at the start after his first sexual harassment or his first sexual assault, he could have learned different behaviors, and potentially all of the people that followed wouldn’t have been harmed. But he wasn’t. And there’s a reason for that.”

[From Variety]

Yep. She’s absolutely right, and she’s incredibly brave to not only come forward with her story about Weinstein, but to actually sue his Hollywood enablers. She also told Variety that after she told Huvane and Lourd (and they failed to protect her) she really never spoke about it again until Me Too started. That’s when she told her family and began studying her options for how to get justice and accountability.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.

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52 Responses to “Julia Ormond sues Harvey Weinstein for sexual battery & CAA for not protecting her”

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  1. Roo says:

    This poor woman! I hope she wins her suit and I hope she’s awarded huge damages against CAA!

  2. SarahCS says:

    I can’t imagine what it must have been like for all these women, they go through a horrifying experience then the people paid to look out for them shrug and tell them to be quiet. Then their careers are destroyed.

    I admire her hugely for taking these steps now.

  3. ML says:

    I didn’t see another Weinstein victim accusing him at this point—there must be so, so many who have suffered in silence like Julia Ormond. It’s incredibly brave of her to come forward and say that she personally doesn’t believe that Harvey could have done this without enablers. And sue them too to make Hollywood safer for the future. I hope she succeeds.

  4. Mireille says:

    Sick. Poor Julia. I hope this case brings CAA to full accountability. Weinstein is one thing but the enablers in this industry need to be brought to justice. CAA KNEW about Weinstein and didn’t care — just sent actresses to him, feeding his predatory nature. If they speak out, they were blacklisted or worse. And here she names Huvane and Lourd as being complicit. GOOD. I’m happy she’s bringing this to light — I hope Julia gets her day in court and the chance to heal.

  5. Izzy says:

    Good. I’ve been completely disgusted by how CAA has managed to skate through this with minimal consequences while they were basically pimping out their actresses to a rapist they knew about.

    • Jess says:

      Totally agree. Monsters like Harvey (or Trump) can only abuse people for this long if others (like the CAA or the GOP) enable them. The enablers are just as damaging as the monsters and they need to be punished too. I was literally just wondering this weekend what had happened to Julia Ormond – I had loved all of her movies. I should have known it had something to do w Harvey. So awful.

    • Raven says:

      Yes, Courtney love, Rae Dawn Chong, and others called out CAA for sending them to Harvey, knowing what he was doing.

  6. Brassy Rebel says:

    Just disgusting what was done to her. I have wondered what happened to her because she seemed to just disappear from films. I commend her for stepping forward now, and I’m sure it was not easy to get to this place where she feels comfortable holding these men to account and then talking about it publicly. Of course, she is 💯 correct that nothing will change until the enablers are also accountable.

    • Jaded says:

      I remember reading an article about how Weinstein tried to ruin Audrey Tautou’s career not long after Amelie came out and made her quite the up and coming international star. She was horribly harassed by him but managed to evade a full on rape, but he vowed she’d never get another role again. She’s managed to come back after the MeToo movement exposed Weinstein and all the other Hollywood predators. So many actresses have been harmed by this malignancy, I’m glad Julia has sued and I hope she wins big.

  7. Seraphina says:

    I too wondered what happened to her when she disappeared o suddenly. is it wrong to hope he is getting the same treatment in prison as these women? Two wrongs do not make a right, but these stories make me sick to my stomach.

    • Nlopez says:

      I feel the same way Seraphina! He is disgusting! I hope she wins, and is able to heal as much as she can from this. It makes me sick to my stomach also!!

    • It Really Is You, Not Me says:

      @Seraphina, I think the same thing sometimes. I worry that hoping predators get a dose of their same treatment in prison is just ingrained rape culture and, worse, perpetuates rape culture. But also, for many of these predators, being assaulted in prison is the worst thing they could ever imagine happening to them so I can’t help being satisfied that NOW THEY KNOW HOW IT FEELS. At the very least, I am not using a single drop out of my sympathy bucket worrying over what may be happening to them in prison.

  8. North of Boston says:

    This is absolutely awful when you think about it in its entirety.

    HW premeditated how to get access to potential victims, women who were professionally and physically “weaker” than him

    CAA knew he did this and nevertheless repeatedly sent their female clients to solo meetings in hotel rooms and other private spaces

    HW proceeded to terrorize, harass, assault, rape those women.

    HW maybe with an assist from CAA then tanked his female victims’ careers.

    Wash, rinse, repeat

    It didn’t matter whether the women managed to dodge HW and flee before he raped them, it didn’t matter what they did or didn’t do once they showed up at the meeting, HW was going to attack them and then trash their careers.

    So CAA purposely and repeatedly put their clients wellbeing, safety at risk, knowing no matter what the women’s careers were toast from that moment on. (On top of the whole ‘yeah, pretty sure he’s going to sexually assault and traumatize her -shrug’ part)

    Ormand is a champ for filing this and telling what happened. Harvey is rotten and predatory and evil. His enablers are just as bad.

    • Betsy says:

      As you point out, the shrug is horrible. Just. Sending women to be, at a minimum, harassed and pressured into something and at worst violently raped, and just continuing to do it? I don’t excuse Weinstein, as a gross predator is gross but somehow, to me, procuring victims is just a hair more disgusting. And then killing their careers?

      There are people in Hollywood who know full well how many victims are out there. I hope the responsible parties see their day in court and in the court of eternity, later. Disgusting.

    • sunny says:

      Also it was wild that CAA was sending their clients, including their top A-list clients into danger. More than her suing Harvey, I am glad she is suing CAA because we have not talked about that enough.

    • SKE says:

      And let’s not forget, these women were paying CAA for the “privilege” of being served up to Harvey on a silver platter.

      • Deering24 says:

        CAA was relying very heavily on the scumbag’s…er, gentleman’s agreement that what happens in Hollywood stays there. They put a long-term relationship with a monster over their clients’ safety because the former was more profitable.

  9. StillDouchesOfCambridge says:

    I am so sad for Julia. I always wondered why I wasn’t seeing her anymore. Hope she wins this and can have some type of closure although what she lost could never be given back to her. Heart broken for her and all the women who had to go through sht like this only to be silenced when they said something.

  10. Lucy2 says:

    I always wondered back then why she didn’t become a bigger star, she was so beautiful and talented. The truth is horrific, and I am so sorry for everything she went through. I admire her bravery now, and wish her success in this lawsuit.

  11. Becks1 says:

    As soon as i saw this headline I thought, “oh, that’s what happened to her.” All these actresses who just dropped off – I just assumed it was because they lacked box office draw or star power or they chose to step back. No, it was Harvey effing Weinstein.

    I think its so important that she’s also suing the companies that protected him and enabled him. Enough power players in Hollywood knew what he was doing and just let it go. I don’t blame the women, they were the victims obviously (even the ones he didn’t directly assault, knowing the power he had was enough to keep women silent even if they weren’t directly victimized.) I’m thinking here of….Courtney Love maybe? When someone asked her what her advice would be to someone trying to make it or whatever and she said “don’t go to a hotel room with Harvey Weinstein.”

    And there’s a similar line from the end of Space Jam – SPACE JAM – in 1996(!!) about never getting into a limo with Harvey Weinstein or something. 1996! Hollywood knew. The power players all knew. And they protected him because $$$$ and Oscars.

    • Deering24 says:

      The folks on Law and Order were on Weinstein’s case from way back. At least two L&O/L&O:CI/L&O:SVU episodes were about producer creeps harassing women. And IIRC, several actresses who had vanished for a bit–like Ormond–got roles on at least one of the franchise shows.

  12. Kristen from MA says:

    Weinstein is the opposite of a gift that keeps on giving. The damage he wrought is seemingly endless.

    BTW, isn’t Bryan Lourd Billie’s father? If so, I hope she asks him some very uncomfortable questions.

    • BQM says:

      Yes he is. 😞 I feel badly for her. She’s a young attractive actress herself. I wonder how that’ll make her feel. Or if it will strike a chord in him. I hope Julia takes CAA to the cleaners.

      • Deering24 says:

        Doubt Lourd Sr. will care. Guys like this figure they are too powerful (or their daughters are too “savvy”) for _their_ daughters to get victimized. And a lot of them figure the victims had it coming to them for being so “unsavvy’ or “ambitions” or “uppity” or…

  13. Sierra says:

    Good for her and I hope she burns down CAA co-conspirators.

    I want to see the so called CAA women ,who supposedly supported MeToo, how loud they will support Julie.

    Stephen Huvane & Bryan Lourd are the CAA top agents who are involved. These two also represents Brad Pitt. Another vile abuser who is using CAA media powers to abuse and harass Angelina Jolie & her 6 children.

    This lawsuit might be what the new owner Henri Pinault (Salma Hayek’s husband) needs to clean house and get rid of every single accomplice.

    PS: Angelina was also assaulted during this timeline

    • kel says:

      Yesterday I saw news about Angelina and Julia and it made me question why Hollywood doesn’t do anything to protect women from the abuse they suffered and still suffer.

      The noise of silence from the women of CAA is appalling…

  14. Flowerlake says:

    Well-written article, Kaiser, also because you put everything in context of 1990s Hollywood. I remember seeing First Knight in the cinema when I was a kid and always wondered what happened to her.

  15. It Really Is You, Not Me says:

    I was not mentally prepared for this article today.

    Still, good for Julia. It takes a lot of bravery to call out the entire system the way she has. I also appreciate that by bringing it up now, she’s keeping this issue at the forefront and not allowing the industry to sweep it under the rug after the initial firestorm subsided.

  16. Bettyrose says:

    I’m so glad she’s speaking up now. Harvey is in prison (feels so nice to type that) but yes there were so many enablers and we can’t let Harvey be treated like an isolated incident while continuing to ignore on going abuses in the toxic swamp that is the Entertainment industry. One need only click a public thread (do not! For your own mental health) to see how steadfast still is the culture of defending rapists and victim blaming.

  17. kel says:

    All facilitators continue to work at CAA and have become more powerful. Unbelievable!! I hope the new shareholders clean the place up, especially since Salma also suffered at the hands of Harvey Weinstein

  18. Laura says:

    Curious how CAA will handle this…. Bryan Lourde is huge in the Hollywood industry with deep roots that go way back. They represent a lot of the big name stars.
    And yes, he was married to Carrie Fisher and is Billie Lourde’s father. One wonders if he would allow Billie to go to Harveys hotel room.

  19. Lala11_7 says:

    Back in the 80s & 90s….it seems like ALL I SAW WAS MIRAMAX FILMS…and I have a list of Actresses that I would BET a trillion dollars that horror master Weinstein DECIMATED out of their career…Leelee…Gretchen anyone?😪🤬😪 And Julia was at the TOP of that list☹️ may she 🔥🔥🔥🔥 it ALL DOWN!

    • BQM says:

      I totally believe it with Gretchen who was smeared in gossip sites as a ‘Harvey girl’. But LeeLee retired in 2012 to pursue art. She’s now a painter and married with two children. She strikes me more as someone who was a child/young adult actress who just didn’t care for acting so much. She says art was always her passion and she got a visual arts degree. Her father was also an artist. She exhibits and gets tens of thousands for her pieces. I’m not ruling out a Harvey angle though.

  20. Jay says:

    I applaud her for speaking out and trying to bring those who enabled serial abusers like Weinstein.

    It is reasonable to concluse that CAA and in particular these specific agents had enough reports to know what was going on and at minimum allowed it to continue, at worst knowingly procuring victims because Weinstein was powerful.

  21. Concern Fae says:

    The casting couch myth, that actresses willingly slept with powerful men for parts did a lot of harm. There were probably some who did so willingly and strategically, but it meant that those who refused weren’t believed when they told their stories. And it gave permission for everyone else to turn a blind eye to what was going on.

    • Hillary says:

      The myth was that women liked it but no one actually believed that, at least not CAA….they get off on having power over women who would not do whatever was done to them willingly & then destroying them if they have the nerve to speak about it. The men at CAA were eating cake paid for by these actresses while serving them up & they knew it.
      I look forward to the discovery portion of the case where emails that these guys sent to each other about HW & Julia, or any other victim, are made public.

  22. Grant says:

    Unbelievable. Horrific. I am so sorry she had to endure this for so long and am so grateful for her bravery in sharing her story. People like to sh!t on the Me Too movement but I do think they’ve made waves in the entertainment industry, due wholly in part to these incredible, talented women who just wanted to practice their art. I can’t imagine having my career cut short because I rebuffed a disgusting, vile predator — but that’s my male privilege talking.

    On a lighter note, I recently re-watched Legends of the Fall and Ormond was luminous, not to mention completely stunning with one of the most beautiful heads of hair I’ve ever seen captured on film. She’s still a knockout, a regal beauty in the truest sense of the word.

  23. L4Frimaire says:

    It’s truly amazing and heartbreaking that basically a whole generation of talented actresses seemed to fall off the radar at the peak of their career because of Weinstein. Ormond really was having a moment, then she just disappeared until she showed up in Mad Men, and I’d wondered what happened to her. I hope she wins her lawsuit. So many women’s lives were ruined by that predator .

    • Deering24 says:

      Same here–always liked her performances, and it never made sense why she suddenly fell off the grid. I hope someone does a book totaling how many actresses’ careers got wrecked by that scumbag–the numbers we’re hearing about now are disheartening enough.

  24. scottiegal says:

    I loved her in the TV mini series “Young Catherine. ” I had wondered what happened to her. Good for her for standing up.

  25. Renee' says:

    Let’s now wait for the sound of crickets from all of the famous actresses and actors who gave talking points during “Me Too” but are represented by Huvane so now they won’t say a word
    (Meryl, Aniston, Witherspoon among others)…..

    Julia’s courage is remarkable. She was always one of my favorites whose career seem to have vanished. How sad that she has to go to these lengths to get some sort of justice.

    Now that Weinstein is imprisoned where he belongs….let’s get the enablers. The folks who aided and abetted his crimes. They need to answer for their part in his horrible crimes.

    Brava Julia!

  26. Raven says:

    During the Metoo movement, when  Angelina Jolie, Goop, Courtney love, Rae Dawn Chong, and more said, they were sent by CAA to meet Harvey at his hotels. When the heat was on CAA  and talks about a exposer piece on theme, they got whole bunch of their A list clients like  Reese Witherspoon and her CAA agent husband and threw a big fundraising events for the victims to deflect from there involvement. 

    That right there shows you how twisted they truly are. I hope she wins and mire victims join this lawsuit and take them to the cleaners.

  27. NEENA ZEE says:

    That pig has always made my skin crawl, even back in the 1990s and 2000s. Bravo to Julia for taking it to court to keep the spotlight on his grossness and put pressure on his enablers. Sadly, there are probably a few dozen (if not a few hundred) other women out there with similar stories that we haven’t heard about yet. Here’s to hoping that Harvey gets his just desserts.

  28. Valerie says:

    I’m so sorry that this happened to you, Julia! You’re a very talented person and brave!! Good for you!

  29. Lady Digby says:

    I always wondered why Julia, Annabella S and Rosanna Marquette just disappeared because they were all so beautiful and talented and I feel sick to my stomach at how these women were being “served” up to HW. Julia is right to call them out and I hope that she gets justice!

  30. tealily says:

    Good for her. Go after that studio money and maybe systematic change will happen. If they can be held accountable, hopefully they’ll stop working with creeps.

    Also, does anyone remember Witches of East End? I love her in that.

    • Tessa says:

      I remember her especially as Sabrina and legends of the fall. I am glad she is fighting back

  31. Mel says:

    So they couldn’t even have the decency to either tell their client to NEVER be alone with this man or send someone with them to protect them from the serial rapist they were to afraid to report. The more I hear about the antics of people, the more I enjoy the company of dogs and cats instead. Well they obviously only saw these women as meat to offer up to Cerberus, I hope actions are about to meet consequences.

  32. Deering24 says:

    It’s a funny thing–ages ago, I applied for a CAA job. I’m hardly psychic, but I got a bad vibe the minute I walked in there. What really creeped me out was the fact that the receptionists looked exactly alike even though they were different races–and were color-coded to the decor. At the time, I wrote off my discomfort to the fact I’m fairly bohemian/eclectic in my tastes–and I’m from the Northeast US, where funky urbanity will always be a thing. 🙂 But looking back on it, there was just something so cold, rigid, and “oppressively successful” about a supposedly “creative” agency–and in Cali, at that. Take this for what it’s worth, but when stories started coming out about CAA’s complicity, I was not surprised.

  33. bisynaptic says:

    Good for her! I wonder, though, why she isn’t suing individuals, besides Harvey?
    I hope she wipes the floor with their asses.