Jennifer Lawrence slams ‘predator’ Weinstein for using her in lawsuit

Jennifer Lawrence has hit back at “predator” Harvey Weinstein after she was used as an example in an attempt to get a class action lawsuit against him dismissed.

Six women are suing Weinstein and the “Weinstein Sexual Enterprise” – which they say includes his brother Bob and their co-founded studio The Weinstein Company – saying they conspired to conceal his widespread alleged sexual harassment.

In the motion to dismiss the class action, Weinstein’s lawyers used favourable quotes about him from Lawrence and Meryl Streep.

Harvey Weinstein (John Stillwell/PA)

Weinstein’s lawyers selectively pointed to Lawrence saying in a previous interview that the disgraced movie mogul “had only ever been nice to me”, although they did not mention her adding: “Except for the moments that he wasn’t, and then I called him an asshole.”

In a statement, Lawrence said: “Harvey Weinstein and his company are continuing to do what they have always done which is to take things out of context and use them for their own benefit.

“This is what predators do, and it must stop.”

She added: “For the record, while I was not victimised personally by Harvey Weinstein, I stand behind the women who have survived his terrible abuse and I applaud them in using all means necessary to bring him to justice whether through criminal or civil actions. Time’s up.”

Her comment follows Streep firing back at Weinstein, who said the action was “pathetic and exploitative” after his lawyers cited her saying she was never harassed by the producer in an attempt to shut the case down.

While the lawyers did not go as far as to say Streep’s comment was evidence he was not abusive to others, they did argue the case should be dismissed because it is “fatally overbroad” and would include all women he has ever met.

Lawyers Phyllis Kupferstein and Mary E Flynn wrote that this would include actresses such as Streep and Lawrence who have not made allegations of sexual misconduct.

They pointed to Streep saying Weinstein had always been respectful with her during their collaborations in a statement to the press.

Meryl Streep (Ian West/PA)

They did not mention that Streep also praised the “heroes” who made allegations about his behaviour, which she said was “inexcusable” and an “abuse of power”.

Weinstein’s lawyers also tried to undermine the lawsuit’s claims by saying Gwyneth Paltrow went on to work with him again after he allegedly harassed her.

The original lawsuit argued the statute of limitations on the allegations does not apply because the alleged victims were under duress not to make the claims earlier.

To support the claim, it pointed to Paltrow saying she feared being fired after her then-boyfriend Brad Pitt confronted Weinstein after the producer allegedly harassed her before filming of 1996’s Emma.

Weinstein’s lawyers disputed that accusers were under duress and said Paltrow went on to star in the producer’s Shakespeare In Love, for which she won an Oscar.

“Paltrow was not so offended that she refused to work with Weinstein again, nor did her career suffer as a result of her rebuffing his alleged advances,” Ms Kupferstein and Ms Flynn wrote.

One of the accusers’ lawyers, Elizabeth Fegan, struck back saying Weinstein fails to understand the law if he thinks he can win by “twisting women’s words against them”.

“His attempt to hide behind female actresses after he’s assaulted their colleagues shows just how low he will go,” she said.

“Our plaintiffs have risen above his cover-ups and finally have a voice — and safe place — to name their abuser. Weinstein will not skate by easily just by invoking the good names of other female actresses.”

Weinstein, 65, has been accused of sexual harassment and assault by dozens of women. He denies all allegations of non-consensual sex.

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