US, British police launch probe against Weinstein
Scandal deluging Hollywood producer deepens after McGowan accuses him of raping her
The US and British police have launched investigations into sexual assault allegations against film producer Harvey Weinstein.
The New York Police Department is looking into an allegation dating from 2004 and is reviewing whether there are any additional complaints, BBC reported on Thursday. London’s Met Police received an allegation of sexual assault in the London area in the 1980s.
The scandal deluging Weinstein has deepened after US actress Rose McGowan publicly accused him of raping her. In a series of tweets, McGowan also accused Amazon Studio chief Roy Price of having ignored her when she made the allegation earlier.
Amazon has put Price — himself accused on Thursday of sexually harassing a female producer — on leave of absence. After Twitter briefly suspended McGowan’s account, a group of celebrities, activists and regular concerned people banded together to boycott the socialmedia platform.
Weinstein has “unequivocally denied” any allegations of non-consensual sex.
The New York Police Department said it was “looking to speak” to an individual who had made an allegation dating from 2004.
The London Metropolitan Police, meanwhile, said it had been passed the allegation of sexual assault by Merseyside Police.
The investigations come as more women publicly accuse Weinstein of inappropriate behaviour, sexual harassment or assault.
After a suspension from Twitter, actress Rose McGowan forcefully re-emerged Thursday, stating more frankly what she has long suggested: “HW raped me.” “HW” was apparently in reference to Harvey Weinstein, the embattled former Weinstein Co. cochairman.
“Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein,” Weinstein’s representative Sallie Hofmeister said Thursday.
McGowan last year said that she had been raped by a “studio head.” The New
Yorker expose that ran Tuesday reported that Weinstein had allegedly sexually assaulted three women, though the third woman was unnamed. The
New York Times earlier reported that Weinstein paid a financial settlement of $100,000 (Dh367,300) to McGowan in 1997 over an incident in a hotel room at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah.
The Summit County Sheriff’s Office, which shares a records system with Park City Police, had no reports or calls involving Weinstein or McGowan in the past 30 years, sheriff’s spokesman Lt. Andrew Wright said. The Times reported Weinstein’s settlement with McGowan included provisions about speaking about the case in the future.
But McGowan appeared emboldened Thursday. “I told the head of your studio that HW raped me,” said McGowan in tweets directed to Amzon chief Jeff Bezos. “Over and Over I said it. He said it hadn’t been proven. I said I was the proof.”
The 44-year-old McGowan has emerged as one of the most vocal in Hollywood about sexual abuse and harassment in the industry.