Kaja Sokola is a former model and actress, and the latest woman to accuse Harvey Weinstein of sexually assaulting her when she was 16 years old, in 2002.
Sokola’s full name is Kaja Funez Sokola. Her lawyers filed a civil complaint on Thursday, December 19. In a statement sent to Heavy by her attorneys, Sokola said,
When I was 16 years old, I came to New York from Poland to work as a model and to try to become an actor, which had been my childhood dream. Not long after I arrived in New York, I was sexually abused by Harvey Weinstein. I have been living with the trauma of that day ever since.
I originally filed my case under a pseudonym as part of a class action against Harvey Weinstein, his companies, and associates. But I cannot accept the proposed “global settlement” as fair or just. There is no accountability for the perpetrators, insufficient compensation for all of the victims, and millions of dollars going to people that I believe enabled Weinstein.
Therefore, today I am filing my own case, in my own name, under New York’s Child Victims Act, against Harvey Weinstein and some of his enablers, including Robert Weinstein, Miramax, and Disney, each of whom could have — and should have — stopped Harvey Weinstein before he made me another of his victims.
Neither Weinstein nor his lawyers have yet responded to Sokola’s claims.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Sokola Met Weinstein at a Modeling Event in 2002, She Says
According to her civil complaint, Sokola says she met Weinstein when she was 16 years old at a modeling event in 2002. Weinstein learned she was interested in acting, she said, and asked her to lunch. But instead of going to lunch, Sokola says Weinstein brought her back to his apartment in New York and forced her to massage his penis, as reported by The New York Times.
Now 33, Sokola said that she is no longer interested in a career in modeling or acting.
In the statement sent to Heavy by her lawyers, Sokola explained,
I have long since moved on from modeling and, because of Harvey Weinstein, gave up on my dreams of acting. I am grateful to do important work as a clinical psychologist and psychotherapist. As part of my professional education and experience, I have learned that some wounds never fully heal. Memories of sexual abuse are like a scar after a burn, but because the injury is to the psyche, it is invisible to everyone except the victim. By revealing my own scar, I hope to encourage others to speak up about their own experiences.
I know that this lawsuit cannot erase the pain that I have been living with for 17 years. But I do hope to achieve at least some measure of justice that has still been denied to Harvey Weinstein’s many victims.
2. Sokola Decided to Go Public After Rejecting a $25 Million Class-Action Lawsuit Reached Between Weinstein & Many of His Accusers
Sokola’s allegations first appeared as an anonymous part in a class-action lawsuit brought against Weinstein last year. She was known only then as “Jane Doe.” Per The New York Times, Sokola filed her own claim after rejecting a $25 million settlement agreement reached last week between Weinstein and dozens of his accusers.
Now, Sokola’s lawsuit, which is seeking an unspecified amount in damages, alleges that Weinstein was aided and enabled by those around him, including his brother, Bob Weinstein, as well as Miramax and Disney.
The suit reads in part,
Chief among Harvey Weinstein’s enablers was his brother, Robert Weinstein, his longtime collaborator, business partner, and co-head of Miramax… Robert Weinstein was not alone. Indeed, numerous employees and executives of Miramax and Disney were aware of Harvey Weinstein’s pattern of misconduct, but the companies that employed him utterly failed to supervise him, and they continued to empower him with their prestige and resources and allowed him to find more victims, including Kaja Sokola.
3. Sokola’s Lawyers Shared a Picture of Sokola When She Was 17, a Year Older Than the Year Weinstein Allegedly Assaulted Her
The photo above shows Sokola at 17 years old. Her lawyers included this photo in her lawsuit to illustrate how young she was during the time that Weinstein allegedly assaulted her.
The lawsuit reads in part, “It never occurred to [Sokola] that his intentions towards her were anything other than professional and honorable.”
Weinstein’s relationship with Sokola left a long-term impact on her, the lawsuit alleges, including creating struggles with “depression, anorexia, and difficulty in maintaining healthy relationships with men.”
4. Sokola Is Now a Psychologist, Psychotherapist, & Mother, According to Her Instagram
Sokola’s Instagram bio reads, “Psychologist psychotherapist ?writer?ex model?? mom??”
Her website, though all written in Polish, shows her various professional and personal aspirations. On her Facebook, she shows support for PETA and has a cover photo revealing a Sylvia Plath quote: “and so it seems I must always write you letters that I can never send.” Her Facebook bio reads, “Started as model , now I am a writer/ psychologist/ psychotherapist wife and mother:)”
On her website, Sokola offers a bio of her life, explaining how she became interested in psychology to begin with. Though she now lives in Warsaw, Poland, she explains that she “lived on suitcases for a long time, and finally settled in the USA for several years.”
“I lived in New York and Los Angeles where I worked as a model and attended acting classes. After some time, I decided that to be happy, I had to change the direction of my life. I moved to Poland to graduate in psychology. When I became a clinical psychologist, I felt my path begin to harmonize with me.”
Sokola now specializes in addiction and co-addiction psychotherapy. “The current in which I work and I approach it
with passion are Gestalt and Existential psychotherapy,” she writes on her site. “I am constantly developing, because what I do is not only my job but also my passion. I try to get the best of every day, remembering to appreciate what I have. I believe
in the uniqueness of every living being, in the power of goodness and beauty that lies within us.”
5. Sokola Often Shares Strategies for Coping With Anxiety & Trauma
On her website, Sokola frequently offers advice for those who are struggling with anxiety or trauma, or who otherwise can’t live in the present moment.
In one post, she wrote,
…as an addiction therapist from the philosophy of AA, I took the decision [which] means “I will worry about what [happens] today, and tomorrow I will worry about what [happens] tomorrow.” etc. In this way, with everything that surpasses me, I try to cope on a regular basis, facing the “dragons” right away. Focusing all your attention on one specific problem, separating frustrating days and hours into individual worries, trying to clarify what really disturbs me and distracts me most…Stand firmly on the ground and be light on the soul – these are my values, these are the goals.