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Woman accuses James Dolan and Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault

A massage therapist has sued Madison Square Garden CEO James L. Dolan and disgraced movie producer Harvey Weinstein, accusing them of sex trafficking and sexual harassment.

The suit, filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Central California, alleges that in 2013 and 2014, Dolan «manipulated» and brought Kelly Croft, then 27, who worked as a licensed massage therapist, to Los Angeles and other locations «under fraudulent pretenses, that Dolan was engaging in illicit and unwelcome sexual acts with her.”

The federal lawsuit also alleges that Weinstein sexually assaulted Croft with Dolan’s knowledge and that the abuse was funded by Dolan’s corporations, including some connected to veteran music industry executive Irving Azoff, who is not a defendant in the case.

«With the filing of today’s complaint, it is time to finally hold Dolan accountable for his outrageous conduct,» Douglas H. Wigdor, an attorney for Croft, said in a statement.

Dolan’s attorney, E. Danya Perry, said the allegations against her client have «absolutely no merit» and called them an «act of retaliation» by an attorney who has filed several lawsuits against Dolan.

«Mr. Dolan has always believed that Ms. Croft is a good person and is surprised that she agrees with these allegations,» Perry added. «The bottom line is this is not a he said/she said matter and there is compelling evidence they support our position. We look forward to proving that in court.»

«Mr. Weinstein vehemently denies these baseless allegations and looks forward to litigating these claims in court where the truth will be revealed,» a Weinstein spokesperson said.

Last year, Weinstein was sentenced to 16 years in prison for raping a woman at a Beverly Hills hotel in 2013.

In December, another woman sued Weinstein for sexual assault and battery. Weinstein has denied wrongdoing.

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He is already serving a 23-year prison sentence in New York, where he was convicted in 2020 of sexually assaulting other women.

A representative for Azoff said: “Irving Azoff is not a party to this lawsuit. Neither he nor his companies were in any way involved in the alleged wrongdoing by others.»

Croft first met Dolan in 2013 when he served as a masseuse for Eagles singer Glenn Frey during their concert tour, according to the suit.

Dolan financed the tour and opened for the group with his group JD & The Straight Shot.

In the lawsuit, Croft alleges that during the Miami portion of the tour, while she was massaging Dolan, who was 30 years her senior, he «forced Ms. Croft to have unwanted sexual intercourse with him,» despite her protests.

During the rest of the tour, Croft claims that Dolan, who was married, «invited» her to his room several times, making unwelcome advances and «felt obliged to submit to sex with him».

According to the lawsuit, «Dolan was extremely manipulative» and constantly reminded her how he had «fixed» a situation for her involving a former tour manager with whom she had issues, as well as regularly name-dropping famous celebrities and sports figures.

Later in the tour, Croft said the Azoff-owned company asked her to fly from her home in Tennessee to California to work as a masseuse for the Eagles and other tour members. «In fact, Ms. Croft was transported to Los Angeles for the purpose of engaging in unwanted sexual acts with Dolan,» the complaint states.

«Dolan expected Ms. Croft to have sexual relations with him during the tour, and she spent time either in isolation by herself or waiting for instructions from Dolan,» the complaint states.

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In January 2014, Croft claims that while in Los Angeles on tour, she returned to the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills, a visit paid for by Dolan, to find Harvey Weinstein waiting near the elevator. The suit alleges that Weinstein introduced himself as Dolan’s friend and suggested he might have a job for her, bringing her to his hotel suite.

Once in the suite, the suit says, Weinstein suggested she try on clothes in his shopping bags and told her he was involved in the «Project Runway» fashion show before asking her to give him a massage.

Croft claims that after telling Weinstein she didn’t want to engage in a massage without the proper setup, the producer changed into a bathrobe and insisted she could use the bed for the massage. When she refused, he became increasingly «angry and irritated» and told her: «Well, that’s how people do it in Hollywood. If you’re not smart and able to handle requests on the fly, you’re not going to make it in Hollywood.”

When Croft tried to leave the room, she says Weinstein blocked the door. After she managed to get out and run to her room, she claims Weinstein ran after her in his bathrobe, forced his way into her room and sexually assaulted her.

According to the lawsuit, when Croft told Dolan what happened with Weinstein, he responded by telling her that Weinstein was a «troubled person» who had a lot of «serious problems» and that his friends were «trying to get him to talk» to them . «Dolan suggested Weinstein was not a ‘safe’ person but did little to comfort Ms Croft or help her report the assault to the authorities.»

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Dolan and Weinstein were friends, and Dolan served as a board member of the Weinstein Company in 2015.

In 2018, a year after the explosive revelations that Weinstein sexually assaulted and harassed multiple women, Dolan released a song he wrote, «I Should’ve Known.»

According to Croft’s suit, she was among a group of friends who received an email in which Dolan «explained that the song was about his feelings about his friends who allegedly used ‘force to coerce or coerce sexual gratification’ — clear.» a reference to his former best friend and now convicted sex predator Harvey Weinstein.

The day after Weinstein’s alleged assault, Croft claims she was in such bad physical and emotional pain that Azoff’s executive sent a doctor to see her.

Croft says in her lawsuit that she returned home to Tennessee, but the incidents left her with «panic attacks» as she tried to resume work as a masseuse, and that she turned to drugs and alcohol to ease her feelings of guilt and shame.

Croft eventually gave up her career as a licensed masseuse and later underwent «extensive rehab to deal with depression and related substance abuse.»

«I have suffered so deeply because of what James Dolan and Harvey Weinstein did to me years ago, and it was not an easy decision to come forward and seek justice,» Croft said in a statement. “But to really deal with my trauma, I have to seek accountability. James Dolan manipulated me, brought me to California to abuse me, and then set me up for a vicious attack by Weinstein. I hope my lawsuit will force Dolan to admit what he did to me and take responsibility for the damage he caused.»

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