Cinematographer Magdalena Gorka filed a $2.25 million (£1.5 million) lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court on Friday (30Jul10), alleging Ben Affleck’s brother harassed her during work on his documentary I’m Still Here, which follows Joaquin Phoenix’s attempts to launch a rap career.
Gorka claims she was forced to leave the project without proper pay or a production credit after Affleck “crawled” into her bed at Phoenix’s New York apartment, where they were staying during the shoot in December (09).
The legal papers, obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, state, “During the middle of the night, (Gorka) awoke to find Affleck lying in the bed next to her. 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 alleges she ordered the film star out of her bed and confronted him the morning after the incident before flying to Los Angeles and subsequently leaving the documentary.
She later rejoined the project after another female worker was employed – but she claims the shoot with Affleck was still problematic.
The documents state, “(Gorka) was berated and verbally attacked by Affleck after she refused his sexual advances in New York, and was criticised constantly for refusing to be submissive in response to his rants and derisive comments.”
Gorka then left the shoot altogether but claims she has been left out of pocket and been stripped of her Director of Photography credit.
Commenting on the lawsuit, Gorka’s lawyer Brian Procel says, “In her 16 years of working in the entertainment industry she has never accused anyone of sexual harassment. 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 lawsuit comes a week after Affleck was sued for $2 million (£1.3 million) by producer Amanda White, who claims he sexually harassed her during the filming of the same documentary.