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Harvey Weinstein rape victim sues for damages

Harvey Weinstein is expected to be sentenced this month for the rape of a woman who is now suing him for damages. ©AFP

Los Angeles (AFP) - A woman who was raped a decade ago by Harvey Weinstein is suing the disgraced movie producer for damages, according to a lawsuit lodged Thursday in Los Angeles.

Weinstein was convicted in December of attacking the woman, who has not been named, in a Beverly Hills hotel room.

The Oscar-winning former producer, 70, is already serving a 23-year sentence for his 2020 conviction in New York for sex crimes.

At a hearing expected this month in Los Angeles he faces a possible further 18-year term, increasing the likelihood the "Pulp Fiction" producer will spend the rest of his life in prison, even as he appeals both cases.

His victim on Thursday claimed unspecified damages, alleging sexual battery, false imprisonment, intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligence.

"The conduct of Defendant Weinstein was despicable, and done with malice, oppression and fraud, thus justifying an award of punitive damages against him," the lawsuit says.

After his conviction in New York, a civil trial awarded $17 million to dozens of women who had accused the former movie magnate of abuse.

The plaintiff in Thursday's suit was not among them.

Rumors of Weinstein's behavior had circulated in Hollywood for years, but his position at the apex of the industry meant few were prepared to challenge him.

That all changed in 2017 with the publication of bombshell allegations against him, ushering in the #MeToo movement and opening the floodgates for women to speak out against sexual violence in the workplace.

Dozens of women have since alleged they fell victim to Weinstein's predatory behavior.

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