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Toronto actress suing Harvey Weinstein says she’s been unable to serve notice of lawsuit

“His whereabouts are unknown,” said Alex Smith, a civil litigator with the high-profile Henein Hutchison law firm, which has been retained by the Toronto woman, who is identified only as “Jane Doe” in court proceedings.

Harvey Weinstein arrives at the Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. Scores of women, including actresses Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie, have accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment, assault and rape.

Vince Bucci/Invision/AP, File

Harvey Weinstein arrives at the Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. Scores of women, including actresses Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie, have accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment, assault and rape.

An unnamed Toronto actress suing disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein on allegations of sexual assault has been unable to serve Weinstein with notice of the lawsuit, her lawyers told court Monday morning.

“His whereabouts are unknown,” said Alex Smith, a civil litigator with the high-profile Henein Hutchison law firm, which has been retained by the Toronto woman, who is identified only as “Jane Doe” in court proceedings.

Smith said that they have made multiple attempts to serve Weinstein with notice of the suit, to no avail.

They have also been unable to serve Weinstein’s former assistant, Barbara Schneeweiss, whom the woman is also suing for “facilitating” the alleged assaults, which she says occurred in the summer of 2000 when the woman had a small part in a Weinstein production that was shot in Toronto.

The suit’s two other defendants, The Walt Disney Company and the Miramax film company, the production companies behind the film, have been served, Smith said.

Superior Court Justice Todd Archibald granted Smith's motion to allow "substitutional service," meaning notice of the lawsuit can be delivered to Weinstein and Schneeweiss by means other than those outlined in court rules.

Once the film industry’s most powerful producer, Weinstein has become a pariah following a cascade of sexual assault and sexual harassment allegations, first reported in October by the New York Times and The New Yorker.

The allegations have been made by dozens of women, spanning several decades.

Weinstein has since been fired by The Weinstein Company, kicked out of the film industry’s Academy, and is facing multiple lawsuits and police investigations.

The 65-year-old made vague admissions to sexual impropriety in a statement to the Times, but he has thus far denied all allegations of non-consensual sex.

The Toronto woman accuses Weinstein of exposing his penis to her in a Toronto hotel room and then holding her down, pulling her clothes off and forcibly performing oral sex on her. She also accuses him of forcibly sticking his tongue down her throat in a separate incident.

She alleges the production companies were negligent because they should have known of Weinstein’s behavior.

Her statement of claim says she reported the alleged assaults to Toronto police last month. A police spokesman would neither confirm nor deny that Weinstein is under investigation.

Before the $14-million lawsuit can proceed it must also still be decided whether the unnamed woman should be allowed to go forward with a pseudonym. The judge is expected to make that determination in December.

Smith said in court on Monday that the woman was scheduled to see a mental health expert, who would then provide an opinion on whether pursuing the lawsuit with her name attached would cause “irreparable harm” to the woman’s health.

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