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New York Knicks owner James Dolan and Harvey Weinstein accused of sexual assault in new complaint

Massage therapist Kellye Croft accuses MSG owner James Dolan of sexual assault
Massage therapist Kellye Croft accuses MSG owner James Dolan of sexual assault 01:42

James Dolan, Madison Square Garden Entertainment CEO and owner of the New York Knicks and New York Rangers, was accused of sexual assault and trafficking in a new lawsuit filed in Los Angeles on Tuesday. The suit also accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault.

The federal complaint alleged that Dolan and Weinstein separately sexually assaulted massage therapist Kellye Croft in 2013 and 2014 while Croft was working as a massage therapist for the band the Eagles. 

Representatives for Dolan and Weinstein issued statements denying the allegations.

Dolan's own band was opening for the Eagles on their "History of the Eagles – Live in Concert" tour, and Croft was hired by the band in 2013 to travel with them. 

Croft alleged in the complaint that Dolan first made an appointment with her in November 2013 and that he forced himself on her during their second appointment.

Dolan was "extremely assertive, and pressured Ms. Croft into unwanted sexual intercourse with him" during a massage, Croft claimed in the lawsuit.

"Ms. Croft tried to bring the massage to an end, but Dolan proceeded to come on even stronger, treating Ms. Croft's resistance as part of a challenge or a game. Dolan then grabbed Ms. Croft's hands, dragging her to a couch in the same room and forcing her hands between his knees as he sat down," the lawsuit alleged.

After the alleged incident, the lawsuit contended that Dolan, who is more than 30 years older than Croft, continued to make sexual advances towards Croft.

"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 lawsuit alleged.

A Celebration For Bryan Cranston
 Harvey Weinstein (L) and James Dolan attend a celebration for Bryan Cranston at House of Elyx on December 13, 2015, in New York City. Andrew Toth / Getty Images

At the end of 2013, Croft was invited to join the Eagles on the Los Angeles leg of their tour, the complaint alleged, adding when Croft accepted she did not realize Dolan and his band would still be the opening act.

According to the complaint, Croft was under the impression that she had been hired to continue her work as a licensed masseuse for the Eagles, but Dolan had "unlawfully trafficked her for his own sexual gratification."

"Indeed, Dolan expected Ms. Croft to have sexual interactions with him during the tour, and she spent her time either isolated by herself or waiting for instructions from Dolan," the complaint alleged.

On January 21, after returning to the hotel where she was staying during her time in California, Croft claimed she was approached by Weinstein, who allegedly proposed hiring her to work on set for his film productions. Croft said she joined Weinstein in his hotel suite to continue the discussion and was then sexually assaulted by Weinstein, the complaint stated.

"Ms. Croft fought back the best she could, although she recalls that Weinstein felt like a giant compared to her. She struggled to sit up, push him away," the complaint said. The alleged assault was interrupted by a phone call from Dolan, after which Weinstein allegedly told Croft, "Well, you know Jim and I are best friends. He's going to be very disappointed that you led me on, this won't look good for you."

In her statement, Croft said, "James Dolan manipulated me, brought me to California to abuse me, and then set me up for a vicious attack by Weinstein." 

Dolan's legal representative E. Dayna Perry told CBS News, "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. These claims reflect an act of retaliation by an attorney who has brought multiple cases against Mr. Dolan and has not, and cannot, win a judgement against him."

"Mr. Dolan always believed Ms. Croft to be a good person and is surprised she would agree to these claims," Perry added. "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."

Weinstein's lawyer, Jennifer Bonjean, said in a statement, "Mr. Weinstein vehemently denies the meritless allegations in the recently filed lawsuit. We look forward to litigating this case in a court of law where the truth will be revealed."

Croft said that she has "suffered so profoundly" because of the alleged incidents, adding that "it was not an easy decision to come forward and seek justice."

"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 said in her statement.

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