US, Bri­tish po­lice launch probe against We­in­stein

Scan­dal del­ug­ing Hol­ly­wood pro­ducer deep­ens af­ter McGowan ac­cuses him of rap­ing her

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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.

AP

Rose McGowan

Pho­tos by AP, AFP and Getty

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