NYC, London Police Taking Fresh Look at Weinstein Claims

Police detectives in New York City and London are taking a fresh look into sexual assault allegations against Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein now that some 30 women have accused him of inappropriate conduct.

New York Police Department spokesman Peter Donald said Thursday that investigators are 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.

Also Thursday, British media reported London police are investigating an allegation of sexual assault involving Weinstein. London’s Metropolitan police force said it had received an allegation of sexual assault from the Merseyside force in northwest England.

Merseyside police said the allegation was made Wednesday and concerns “an alleged sexual assault in the London area in the 1980s.”

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

NEW YORK – APRIL 28: Head of The Weinstein Company Harvey Weinstein, actress Gwyneth Paltrow, and actress Liv Tyler attend the after-party for “Iron Man” hosted by The Cinema Society and Michael Kors at The Odeon on April 28, 2008 in New York City. (Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)

Detectives in the NYPD’s special victims unit were instructed to identify and speak with 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 to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

In The New Yorker expose, a former actress, Lucia Evans, said Weinstein sexually assaulted her 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 it where it happened. A third woman, actress Asia Argento, told the magazine that Weinstein sexually assaulted her in 1997 at a hotel in France.

Weinstein, through a spokeswoman, has denied any nonconsensual sexual conduct with any women.

The film mogul reappeared briefly on Wednesday outside a Los Angeles home, telling the paparazzi he’s “not doing OK,” but he’s hoping for a “second chance,” according to a video posted by celebrity website TMZ. He also told the photographers he needs to “get help” and “we all make mistakes.”

New York detectives already investigated Weinstein once, in 2015, when an Italian model said the studio executive sexually harassed her. Detectives set up a sting where they recorded a conversation between the woman and Weinstein while he tried to persuade her to come into his hotel room.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. said there wasn’t enough evidence to prosecute the case. Vance said his office’s “best lawyers” examined the evidence before deciding, less than two weeks after the woman first made her allegations, to drop the investigation.

Police investigated that allegation as a case of forcible touching, a misdemeanor with a two-year time limit for bringing charges. The statute of limitations has since expired.

Fallout from the numerous allegations against Weinstein continued Thursday, with the leaders of the Cannes film festival expressing dismay at the accusations.

“These actions point to a pattern of behavior that merits only the clearest and most unequivocal condemnation,” festival president Pierre Lescure and general delegate Thierry Fremaux wrote in a statement.

Hachette Book Group, one of the country’s top publishers, also announced Thursday that it has “terminated” Weinstein Books.

Associated Press

(L-R) Thierry Fremaux ,Kelly Preston, John Travolta, Uma Thurman, Quentin Tarantino, Lawrence Bender and Harvey Weinstein attend the ‘Clouds Of Sils Maria’ premiere during the 67th Annual Cannes Film Festival on May 23, 2014 in Cannes, France. (Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)
 
 
 
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