A former masseuse filed a federal lawsuit on Tuesday, alleging that she was coerced into having sex with James Dolan and was also sexually assaulted by Harvey Weinstein.
The woman, Kellye Croft, alleges that Dolan pressured her to have sex after a massage appointment while she was working on an Eagles tour in 2013. She alleges that Dolan ignored her resistance and then summoned her to his room several more times on the tour, pressuring her to have sex.
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The suit also alleges that Dolan arranged for her to meet with Weinstein, who, she alleges, sexually assaulted her at the Peninsula hotel in Beverly Hills in 2014. The suit accuses Dolan of sex trafficking.
According to the suit, Croft told Dolan shortly after the Peninsula incident that Weinstein had been “sexually aggressive.” Dolan responded that Weinstein was a “troubled person” who had “serious issues,” but that his friends were trying to get him to address them, according to the complaint.
Dolan owns the New York Knicks and the New York Rangers, as well as Madison Square Garden Entertainment, which owns the viral Sphere venue that opened in Las Vegas last fall. He is also chairman of AMC Networks.
For about a year, he served as a board member of the Weinstein Co., leaving about a year before sexual assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein caused the banner to collapse. Dolan was named as a defendant in some of the ensuing litigation against Weinstein and the company.
Croft is represented by Douglas Wigdor, an attorney who has pursued numerous suits against Weinstein. In a statement, Wigdor alleged that Dolan has falsely claimed ignorance about Weinstein’s misconduct. The attorney also noted that Dolan has had critics ejected from Madison Square Garden — and that he was found liable in a sexual harassment suit involving Isiah Thomas.
“Over the years, James Dolan has managed to dodge repeated issues concerning his judgment and character,” Wigdor said. “With the filing of today’s complaint, it is time to finally hold Dolan accountable for his outrageous conduct.”
Croft also said she has suffered at the hands of Dolan and Weinstein, making the difficult decision to address her trauma by seeking justice.
“James Dolan manipulated me, brought me to California to abuse me and then set me up for a vicious attack by Weinstein,” she said. “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.”
Dolan’s attorney, E. Danya Perry, said that Wigdor is retaliating against Dolan because he has not been able to win a judgment against him in other cases.
“There is absolutely no merit to any of the allegations against Mr. Dolan,” Perry said. “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 … 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.”
In response, Wigdor said that Dolan’s attorney had originally described the relationship as a “consensual romantic relationship — which it was not.” Wigdor also said it was “egregious” that the attorney denied the allegation involving Weinstein, given that, according to Croft, she told Dolan about it at the time.
“It seems as though Dolan still stands with Weinstein, a convicted felon,” Wigdor said.
Weinstein, who is serving sentences totaling 39 years for rape and sexual assault, also denied the allegations through his attorney, Jennifer Bonjean.
“Mr. Weinstein vehemently denies these meritless allegations and looks forward to litigating these claims in a court of law where the truth will be revealed,” Bonjean said.
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