Knicks Owner James Dolan Entangled in Sex Trafficking Lawsuit: A lawsuit has been filed against James Dolan, the live events mogul who runs AMC Networks and Madison Square Garden Entertainment. Dolan is one of many Hollywood leaders and companies that are said to have known about Harvey Weinstein’s sex crimes and helped him commit them.
A massage therapist who used to work for Dolan says that he forced her into an unwanted sexual relationship ten years ago and set up her meeting with Weinstein, who she also says sexually attacked her. She says Dolan heard about Weinstein’s inappropriate behavior after the fact, in 2014, a year before he became a board member of the Weinstein Co.
Knicks Owner James Dolan Entangled in Sex Trafficking Lawsuit with Weinstein
A lawyer for Dolan, E. Donya Perry, rejected the claims and said the relationship was a “friendship.”
“The references to Harvey Weinstein are simply meant to inflame and appear to be plagiarized from prior cases against Mr. Weinstein,” she said in a statement. “These claims reflect an act of retaliation by an attorney who has brought multiple cases against Mr. Dolan and has not won, and cannot win, a judgment against him.”
Weinstein is still in jail after being found guilty of rape and assault 39 years ago. Meanwhile, well-known Hollywood companies that used to work with the former movie mogul are still being sued for helping with the alleged assaults. Julia Ormond sued CAA last year, saying that the agency pushed her to meet with Weinstein, which led to her being abused, even though her former agents Bryan Lourd and Kevin Huvane were aware of his “propensity for sexually assaultive and exploitative behavior.” Disney was also sued for not properly managing Weinstein, so they could keep making money from their deal with Miramax without paying attention to the wrongdoing. None of the people were named as suspects in the suit. They have rejected the claims made by CAA and Disney.
In the lawsuit she filed in federal court in California on Tuesday, Kellye Croft says she met Dolan while working as a massage therapist on tour with the Eagles in 2013. She was 27 years old at the time. Dolan’s band, JD & The Straight Shot, opened the show because he works with Azoff Music Management, the management company for the metal band.
The lawsuit says that Dolan started a sexual relationship with Croft in 2014. Croft said that she was brought across the country “under false pretenses so Dolan could engage in unlawful and unwelcome sex acts with her.” She says that unlike other tour support staff, she stayed at the same hotel as Dolan and his band and paid for everything with a “JD credit card.”
“She felt disgusted and terrified of the situation, but the extreme isolation she felt from others on the tour, coupled with Dolan’s attention to her, his assertions that he would take care of her, and her recognition that this man held immense power over everyone’s position on the tour—including hers—led her to submit to Dolan’s advances,” the complaint stated.
Adam Silver on James Dolan and the allegations facing the Knicks owner in a reported lawsuit: “I saw the article and don’t know anything else about it other than I read the article so we’ll stand by and wait to find out more information.”
— Ohm Youngmisuk (@NotoriousOHM) January 16, 2024
According to the lawsuit, Weinstein approached Croft while she was waiting for an elevator at her hotel on January 14 and said he was one of Dolan’s “best friends” and asked if she was “the massage therapist.” He also offered to help her find work. She says Weinstein broke into her room after she turned down his sexual attempts.
The suit stated, “Weinstein then backed Ms. Croft onto the bed, forced her down, and forced her legs open. Standing between her legs, he undid his robe, and shoved his fingers inside of her, using his other hand to hold her down.”
The accusations are similar to what authorities said during Weinstein’s criminal trial in Los Angeles. They said that Weinstein would often lock his victims up in hotel rooms. A massage therapist also said in court that Weinstein offered her work, which she accepted.
She says that Dolan told her that Weinstein was a “troubled person” with “serious issues” but that he was getting help when she told him about what happened.
MSG Entertainment and the Azoff Company, which ran the Eagles and The Straight Shot, are also named in the lawsuit. Croft claims that the company and other business defendants engaged in sex trafficking by “bringing her to California in order to perform sexual favors.” The lawsuit says that Dolan was a “critically important business partner” after Madison Square Garden put $175 million into Azoff MSG Entertainment and helped pay for the Eagles’ 2014 tour.
The suit that was brought on Tuesday is not the first time that Dolan has been in trouble with the law because of his ties to Weinstein. Six women who had been raped by Weinstein sued him in 2017 because he did nothing to stop his “pattern and practice of predatory sexual conduct.” The case was over in 2021.
In a statement, a spokesperson for Weinstein said his client “denies these meritless allegations and looks forward to litigating these claims in a court of law where the truth will be revealed.”