UK and US po­lice to in­ves­ti­gate We­in­stein sex as­sault claims

The Scotsman - - News Digest - By COLLEEN LONG

Bri­tish and US po­lice have launched in­ves­ti­ga­tions into sex­ual as­sault al­le­ga­tions against Hol­ly­wood film pro­ducer Har­vey We­in­stein af­ter some 30 women ac­cused him of in­ap­pro­pri­ate con­duct.

Of­fi­cers in Lon­don are re­port­edly in­ves­ti­gat­ing an al­le­ga­tion of sex­ual as­sault in­volv­ing We­in­stein.

The Metropoli­tan Po­lice said they had re­ceived de­tails of an al­le­ga­tion of sex­ual as­sault from the Mersey­side force, who said the al­le­ga­tion was made on Wed­nes­day and con­cerns “an al­leged sex­ual as­sault in the Lon­don area in the 1980s”.

New York Po­lice Depart­ment spokesman Peter Don­ald said yes­ter­day that in­ves­ti­ga­tors were try­ing to de­ter­mine whether there were any ad­di­tional com­plaints in­volv­ing We­in­stein.

That in­cludes re­view­ing po­lice files to see if any women pre­vi­ously re­ported be­ing as­saulted or ha­rassed by him.

So far, no filed com­plaints have been found, he said, other than one well-known case that prompted an in­ves­ti­ga­tion in 2015, but au­thor­i­ties are en­cour­ag­ing any­one with in­for­ma­tion on We­in­stein to con­tact the depart­ment.

Some 30 women – in­clud­ing ac­tresses An­gelina Jolie, Ash­ley Judd and Gwyneth Pal­trow – told the New York Times and the New Yorker magazine that We­in­stein had sex­u­ally ha­rassed or sex­u­ally as­saulted them. We­in­stein was fired on Sun­day by the We­in­stein Com­pany, a stu­dio he co-founded with his brother.

De­tec­tives in the NYPD’S spe­cial vic­tims unit were in­structed to iden­tify and speak to any po­ten­tial vic­tims, in­clud­ing the women who spoke about their en­coun­ters with We­in­stein in a re­cent New Yorker ar­ti­cle, ac­cord­ing to a law en­force­ment of­fi­cial briefed on the mat­ter who spoke on con­di­tion of anonymity.

In the New Yorker ex­posé, for­mer ac­tress Lu­cia Evans said We­in­stein forced her to per­form oral sex in 2004 when she was a col­lege stu­dent.

At least one other un­named wo­man said she was raped by We­in­stein, but the ar­ti­cle did not dis­close when and where it hap­pened.

A third wo­man, ac­tress Asia Ar­gento, told the magazine that We­in­stein forcibly per­formed oral sex on her in 1997 at a ho­tel in France.

Un­der New York law, mak­ing some­one en­gage in oral sex by phys­i­cal force or the threat of it is a first-de­gree crim­i­nal sex­ual act. We­in­stein has de­nied any non-con­sen­sual sex­ual con­duct with any women.

The film mogul reap­peared briefly on Wed­nes­day out­side a Los An­ge­les home, telling pa­parazzi that he was “not do­ing OK”. 0 Hol­ly­wood film pro­ducer Har­vey We­in­stein is now the sub­ject of po­lice in­quiries on both sides of the At­lantic over sex as­sault claims

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