New York po­lice launch in­ves­ti­ga­tion into Har­vey We­in­stein

The National - News - - WORLD NEWS - ROB CRILLY New York

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

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