Madison Square Garden's James Dolan and Harvey Weinstein accused of sex assault in new lawsuit

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Tuesday, January 16, 2024
Knicks owner James Dolan accused of sexual assault in new lawsuit
Ryan Field is in the newsroom with the latest details.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- A federal lawsuit has been filed against Madison Square Garden owner James Dolan and disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein on allegations of sex trafficking and sexual assault of a massage therapist 10 years ago.

The lawsuit was filed against Dolan and Weinstein in Los Angeles on Tuesday by Kellye Croft, represented by Wigdor Law.

The suit claims that Dolan, owner of the New York Knicks and the New York Rangers, not only knew about Weinstein's "predatory behavior" years before serving on the Weinstein Company Board, but that the MSG owner also used his "power and influence to take advantage of a young woman" over a decade ago.

The complaint alleges that in 2013, Croft, who was a 27-year-old licenses massage therapist, was invited to serve as the masseuse for the lead singer of the Eagles, Glenn Frey.

It was during the Eagles tour that the lawsuit claims Croft met Dolan, who was opening for the Eagles with his band, JD & The Straight Shots.

The lawsuit claims that Croft met Dolan in the "context of performing a professional massage," but that Dolan manipulated her into a sexual relationship.

In January 2014, Dolan arranged for Croft to join the tour in Los Angeles, in what Croft thought was an opportunity to continue her work as a masseuse for the Eagles.

During the trip, the complaint claims that Croft returned to the hotel she was staying at, paid for by Dolan, to find Weinstein waiting for her by the elevators. She was then invited back to Weinstein's hotel room to discuss a proposal for Croft to work as a masseuse on film productions.

The lawsuit claims that Weinstein intimidated Croft to give him a naked massage. After attempting to escape the situation to her hotel room, Weinstein followed Croft, pushed her door in, and sexually assaulted her.

Weinstein has been convicted of rape and sexual assault of two women in New York in 2020 and a third in Los Angeles in 2022 and is currently serving prison time in New York.

After the assault, the lawsuit claims Croft told Dolan what happened, but brushed off her report. The suit says Dolan noted Weinstein's "problems" and shared that Weinstein's friends have been trying to get him "help."

Croft is seeking monetary and punitive damages in the lawsuit, which says for years she "had been too traumatized by these events to speak publicly about what happened to her."

"I have suffered so profoundly 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," she said in statement. "But for me, to truly address my trauma, I need 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. My hope is that my lawsuit will force Dolan to acknowledge what he did to me and to take responsibility for the harm he has caused."

Croft's attorney, Douglas H. Wigdor, said, "With the filing of today's complaint, it is time to finally hold Dolan accountable for his outrageous conduct."

Dolan released a statement in response to the allegations through Danya Perry of the Perry Law Firm.

"There is absolutely no merit to any of the allegations against Mr. Dolan. Kellye Croft and James Dolan had a friendship. The references to Harvey Weinstein are simply meant to inflame and appear to be plagiarized from prior cases against Mr. Weinstein," the statement said. "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. Mr. Dolan always believed Ms. Croft to be a good person and is surprised she would agree to these claims. Bottom line, this is not a he said/she said matter and there is compelling evidence to back up our position. We look forward to proving that in court."

The CNN-Wire contributed to this report.


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