On July 23, Amanda White, one of the producers of “I’m Still Here: The Lost Year Of Joaquin Phoenix”, sued Casey Affleck for sexual harassment and unpaid services, after she refused to spend one night with him in a hotel room.
However, Magdalena Gorka, who was also part of the team film, sued the actor on Friday, accusing him of harassment, failing to paid her work or credit her when the abuse forced her to leave the project. The requested damages rise to $2.25 million.
Affleck’s spokesman said that a declaration on new charges is to be released.
In White’s action case, Casey Affleck dismissed the accusations, threatening that he will also sue White demanding that this case be resolved through private arbitration (by an independent person who decides what are the rights and obligations incumbent upon each party. Arbitration is also faster and less expensive). Affleck’s lawyer, Marty Singer, said that Amanda White “continuously used different threats and outrageous demands in order to request compensation she was not legally entitled to receive.”.
On the other hand, according to information from the process intended by Magdalena Gorka, when they started production of the documentary “I’m Still Here: The Lost Year of Joaquin Phoenix” in mid-December in New York, she was the only woman on set. Joaquin Phoenix and Casey Affleck, who is married with Phoenix’s sister, Summer, decided that team should stay in Joaquin’s apartment, instead of going to a hotel. Gorka claims that Phoenix said she can sleep in his room and he will sleep on the couch.
“During the middle of the night, (Gorka) awoke to find Affleck lying in the bed next to her,” the lawsuit alleges.
“Unbeknownst to (Gorka), Affleck had entered the bedroom while she was asleep and crawled into the bed. When she woke up, Affleck was curled up next to her in the bed wearing only his underwear and a t-shirt. He had his arm around her, was caressing her back, his face was within inches of hers and his breath reeked of alcohol.”
Gorka said she was shocked because she didn’t know how long Affleck had been there or where she had been touched. She says she immediately told him to get out of bed. “Affleck responded by asking ‘Why?,'” according to the lawsuit. “(Gorka) said, ‘Because you are married and because you are my boss.’ Affleck, undeterred, asked if (Gorka) ‘was sure.’ (Gorka) said she was sure and insisted that he leave the room. He left and slammed the door in anger.”
The woman also claims that she spoked with Affleck about the incident the next day and then took a plane to Los Angeles to consult with her agent before leaving the project. But not finding work, she returned several weeks later after Amanda White, meanwhile, engaged in the project as the producer, assurring her that she’ll be present at the shooting.
The indictment says the abuse continued, Gorka being insulted and verbally attacked by Affleck, after she refused his sexual advances in New York. She abandoned the project again, after which Affleck refused to honor their verbal understanding that she’ll be paid a $300 per-day fee and a deferred $700-a-day fee when the film sold to a distributor (Magnolia Pictures bought the film in July and plans to launch in autumn). Gorka says she also has been stripped of her “director of photography” credit.
Her lawyer, Brian Procel, said his client’s decision to sue him was not easy for her. “In her 16 years of working in the entertainment industry she has never accused anyone of sexual harassment,” Procel says. “Ms. Gorka knows there will be repercussions, and that she will be exposed to attacks mounted by Affleck’s high-paid publicists and ‘bulldog’ attorneys. She ultimately decided that the truth needs to come out. We look forward to our day in court.”
The Gorka complaint alleges causes of action for intentional infliction of emotional distress, constructive discharge in violation of public policy, breach of oral contract, negligent infliction of emotional distress, unjust enrichment and negligence.
Gorka is represented by Procel, Skip Miller and Mira Hashmall at Los Angeles firm Miller Barondess, which also represents White. Defendants are Affleck and Flemmy Prods.