After scores of women accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault, police in New York are finally ready to arrest the media mogul.
Weinstein, 65, has been accused of sexual harassment, assault and rape by around 100 women, including from global stars Rose McGowan, Asia Argento, Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow, since October 2017 when revelations first broke. Some allegations date back to the 1980s. Weinstein denies all allegations of non-consensual sex.
There are police inquiries ongoing in LA, New York and London as regards the sexual assault allegations. Officers in New York have been investigating allegations against Weinstein for months and have handed their case files to Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, the Daily Beast reports. The movie mogul will finally be put in handcuffs and see the inside of a jail cell once Mr Vance gives approval for charges.
“We’re ready to go with an arrest,” Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce told The Daily Beast. “We are still accumulating evidence.”
He added: “It’s going very, very well. We have a lot of information. We have a lot of information that we handed over to the grand jury. I would ask you to talk to (New York County District Attorney) Cy Vance.”
According to police sources, the NYPD has been investigating five separate sexual assault allegations against Weinstein. The case authorities reportedly feel is particularly strong is of college student and aspiring actress Lucia Evans, who said she was forced to perform oral sex on Weinstein in 2004 in his Tribeca office in London even though she repeatedly told him “no.”
Evans first revealed her story to The New Yorker, during which she said she told Weinstein “over and over” “I don’t want to do this, stop, don’t.”
The reports come after the attorney general who filed a lawsuit against Weinstein claimed the case is one of the most despicable he has ever worked on. Eric Schneiderman filed the suit against the Hollywood producer and the Weinstein Co last month following an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct.
In a BBC Panorama show on Thursday, the New York attorney general claimed there was “not one formal investigation” by the Weinstein Co into the producer’s behaviour despite “lots of complaints”. The 60-minute BBC film, produced with PBS Frontline, builds a picture of Weinstein through interviews with alleged victims, former colleagues and Hollywood figures.
Paul Webster, former head of production of Miramax, said he “didn’t have the guts” to confront Weinstein.
He said: “I think looking back that I did know and I chose to suppress it. I chose to hide from that fact. I think the deal I made with the devil was to my advantage.”
Among the alleged victims interviewed are actors Katherine Kendall and Sean Young, while Paula Wachowiak, a former intern at Miramax, recalled Weinstein laughing when she said he “disgust(ed)” her.
Model Zoe Brock told documentary makers: “I just remember feeling so small and so inconsequential and so powerless. I came out of the bathroom and he was apologising … and he started to cry. And he said something that I have never forgotten and I never will for the rest of my days, in between his tears ‘you don’t like me because I’m fat’.”
A spokeswoman for Weinstein told the film makers: “Mr Weinstein categorically denies ever engaging in any non-consensual sexual conduct with anyone and any suggestion that he acted improperly to defend himself against such claims is simply wrong.
“Nevertheless, to those offended by Mr Weinstein’s behaviour, he remains deeply apologetic. At no time has Mr Weinstein been charged with any crime and it is wrong and irresponsible to conflate clams of impolitic behaviour or consensual sexual contact later regretted, with an untrue claim of criminal conduct.
“Mr Weinstein categorically denies these claims and his lawyers will respond in the appropriate legal forum with evidence proving they are untrue.”
Source: Linda Ikeji’s blog