New York police launch investigation into Harvey Weinstein
New York police said yesterday they had opened an investigation into allegations of a 2004 sexual assault by Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.
It came as organisers of the Oscars said they will hold emergency talks tomorrow to consider their response to the matter after Weinstein was accused a string of sexual assaults.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said the allegations against the movie mogul were “repugnant”.
Weinstein apologised for his actions but denied the most serious allegations, which include rape.
A spokesman for the New York Police Department confirmed to Agence France-Presse it was investigating the 2004 case.
New York state has no statute of limitations on most serious crimes, including rape.
The New York Daily News reported that the case involved aspiring actor Lucia Evans.
The New Yorker magazine reported on Tuesday that Ms Evans said Weinstein had forced her to perform an act on him.
The magazine quoted two other women as accusing Weinstein of rape.
In 2015, New York police opened an investigation into a complaint by Italian model Ambra Gutierrez, who said Weinstein had assaulted her.
The accusations have sent Hollywood actors, studios and directors scrambling to condemn the 65-year-old producer after a string of exposes revealed how he forced himself on women, often young actresses trying to get a start in the film business. Weinstein has been sacked by the company he founded, politicians are turning his donations over to charity and his name is being removed from future productions.
At least one major British financier is reported to have demanded the return of a multimillion dollar investment from the Weinstein Company.
But the industry must still come to terms with how such a prominent figure was able to abuse women for so long.
The academy, which has awarded 81 Oscars to films produced by Weinstein’s Miramax studio and the Weinstein Company, said it would meet to discuss possible actions. “The academy finds the conduct described in the allegations against Harvey Weinstein to be repugnant, abhorrent, and antithetical to the high standards of the academy and the creative community it represents,” the organisation said.
For his part, Weinstein is believed to be at a rehabilitation centre in Arizona.“I gotta get help, guys,” he said in Los Angeles on Wednesday. “You know what, we all make mistakes. Second chance, I hope.” A string of A-list actors, including Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow, have come forward with allegations of sexual harassment or assault.
Cara Delevigne, who appeared in Anna Karenina in 2012 and more recently in Suicide Squad, became the latest to make a claim about Weinstein, saying he tried to kiss her as she left a hotel room.
Former US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who has always taken a tough stance on women’s rights and who condemned her then rival Donald Trump’s misogynistic behaviour last year, was one of the Democrat politicians who received campaign donations from Weinstein.
She said she would pass his donations – at least US$26,000 (Dh95,505) – to charity.
Cara Delevingne, the latest to accuse Weinstein of misconduct, claimed he tried to kiss her as she left a hotel room