Shamed mogul cor­nered me at 17, says Kate

Amid new wave of claims, woman says movie boss as­saulted her in Lon­don in 1980s

Scottish Daily Mail - - Front Page - Mail For­eign Ser­vice

BRI­TISH po­lice are in­ves­ti­gat­ing Har­vey We­in­stein over an al­leged sex­ual as­sault in the UK in the 1980s, Scot­land Yard re­vealed yes­ter­day.

The al­leged vic­tim, who has not been iden­ti­fied, told of­fi­cers this week that she had been abused by the Hollywood mogul in Lon­don.

It comes after po­lice in New York said they were in­ves­ti­gat­ing the pro­ducer branded a ‘su­per preda­tor’ by one of­fi­cial.

The dis­clo­sures raised the like­li­hood of We­in­stein fac­ing jus­tice for sex­ual as­saults and rapes he is al­leged to have car­ried out on young ac­tresses.

US of­fi­cers want to speak Lu­cia Evans – one of at least 33 women to make ac­cu­sa­tions against We­in­stein – over claims he raped her at a Man­hat­tan cast­ing meet­ing in 2004, when she was an aspir­ing actress.

The 65-year-old could also be hit with civil law­suits against both him­self and pro­duc­tion firm The We­in­stein Com­pany, which fired him this week.

Of the dozens of women who have ac­cused We­in­stein of in­ap­pro­pri­ate be­hav­iour, at least three say they were raped or sex­u­ally as­saulted.

Scot­land Yard con­firmed it would as­sess an al­le­ga­tion of sex­ual abuse passed to it by Mersey­side Po­lice, where the accuser now lives.

Lieu­tenant John Grimpel, of the New York Po­lice Depart­ment (NYPD), said the US force was ‘con­duct­ing a review to de­ter­mine if there are any ad­di­tional com­plaints re­lat­ing to the Har­vey We­in­stein mat­ter’. A New York po­lice of­fi­cial said: ‘He’s a su­per preda­tor. His con­duct shows he’s been at this a long time, and he’s a pro­fes­sional at it.

‘He’s been at this so long, there’s no way there are not other vic­tims out there.

‘Imag­ine how many prom­ises he’s made to these young women who were try­ing to make it into the in­dus­try.’

Miss Evans said she told We­in­stein ‘over and over’ she did not want to per­form oral sex on him and he ‘over­pow­ered’ her. She told The New Yorker: ‘He’s a big guy. I just sort of gave up. That’s the most hor­ri­ble part of it, and that’s why he’s been able to do this for so long to so many women: Peo­ple give up, and then they feel like it’s their fault.’

Tak­ing We­in­stein to court will present a chal­lenge as some of his al­leged be­hav­iour, such as ask­ing women to watch him shower, may not meet the stan­dard for a crim­i­nal prose­cu­tion. In 2014 We­in­stein al­legedly co­erced tem­po­rary em­ployee Emily Nestor to give him a mas­sage, leav­ing her ‘cry­ing and very dis­traught’. Other al­le­ga­tions date from so long ago that they may not be within the statute of lim­i­ta­tions.

An­gela Red­dock-Wright, of Los An­ge­les law group Red­dock, said prose­cu­tors’ ac­tions could de­pend on whether they wanted to make We­in­stein a ‘poster child’ for these kinds of crimes. She said that, were he to be pros­e­cuted for a lower level charge, it was likely ‘he would plead to some type of ac­tion that would pos­si­bly keep him out of jail’.

We­in­stein has hired high-pro­file lawyers whose clients have in­cluded Mel Gib­son and Leonardo Di­Caprio. Crim­i­nal lawyer Stu­art Slot­nick said there was ‘no ques­tion’ We­in­stein would face civil law­suits.

The pro­ducer was in­ves­ti­gated by the NYPD in 2015 for grop­ing Ital­ian actress Am­bra Bat­ti­lana Gu­tier­rez, but prose­cu­tors de­cided against bring­ing the case to court. They said there were ques­tions over Miss Gu­tier­rez’s cred­i­bil­ity, even though she recorded We­in­stein ad­mit­ting grop­ing her.

Man­hat­tan chief district at­tor­ney Karen Fried­man Ag­nifilo said that if they could have pros­e­cuted We­in­stein they would have, adding: ‘Mr We­in­stein’s pat­tern of mis­treat­ing women, as re­counted in re­cent re­ports, is dis­grace­ful and shocks the con­science.’

A We­in­stein spokesman has pre­vi­ously said the pro­ducer ‘un­equiv­o­cally de­nied’ forc­ing him­self on any­one.

‘He’s been at this so long’

Crass: Har­vey We­in­stein and, in­set, talk­ing to pho­tog­ra­phers

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