Los Angeles police open Weinstein sex assault investigation
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles police said Thursday its detectives are investigating a possible sexual assault case against Harvey Weinstein over a 2013 incident that was recently reported to the department.
Police spokesman Sal Ramirez says the department has interviewed a possible sexual assault victim who reported she was sexually assaulted by the disgraced film mogul. Ramirez said the investigation is ongoing and he could not answer any questions about where the incident took place or when the woman was interviewed by detectives.
The Los Angeles Times reported the woman is a 38-year-old Italian actress who spoke to the newspaper on Thursday. The woman was not named in the story, but told the newspaper Weinstein raped her after bullying his way into her hotel room. The Times reported she is represented by attorney David M. Ring, who did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment.
“Mr. Weinstein obviously can’t speak to anonymous allegations, but he unequivocally denies allegations of non-consensual sex,” his representative Sallie Hofmeister wrote in a statement.
Police in New York and London are also investigating the fallen movie mogul over allegations of sex abuse in those cities.
Weinstein has been accused of sexual harassment or abuse by more than three dozen women, including several top actresses including Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie. Several of the incidents allegedly happened at hotels in Beverly Hills, which does not have an open investigation into Weinstein.
He was fired from The Weinstein Co., the film company he co-founded, earlier this month after several harassment incidents were detailed in The New York Times. Additional allegations, including from three women who said Weinstein sexually assaulted them, were included in a subsequent article by The New Yorker. Two of the women, including Italian actress Asia Argento, were named while the third accuser wasn’t identified.
Argento told the magazine that in 1997 Weinstein forcibly performed oral sex on her at a hotel in France when she was 21 years old.
Weinstein, 65, resigned from the board of directors of his former company earlier this week. He has not been seen in public since last week.
The Oscar winner was expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Saturday and the Producers Guild of America has started the process of expelling him. On Thursday, the British Film Institute rescinded an honor it conferred to Weinstein in 2002 for his contribution to British cinema.
Quentin Tarantino, who has partnered with Weinstein on most of his films from “Pulp Fiction” to “The Hateful Eight” over the past 20 years, told the New York Times Thursday that he “knew enough to do more than I did.”
Tarantino had heard first hand from his then-girlfriend Mira Sorvino about Weinstein’s alleged sexual harassment, and had known about the settlement reached with Rose McGowan, he told the paper. He’d also heard stories from another actress who he declined to name.
He said it was impossible that anyone who was close to Weinstein had not heard about at least one incident. He also said he continued to hear stories second and third hand.
“I chalked it up to a ’50s-’60s era image of a boss chasing a secretary around the desk,” Tarantino said. “As if that’s O.K. That’s the egg on my face right now.”
Tarantino went on to compare Hollywood’s treatment of women to a “Jim Crow-like system that us males have almost tolerated.”
He called on other men to “vow to do better by our sisters” and not just issue statements.
“What was previously accepted is now untenable to anyone of a certain consciousness,” Tarantino said.
AP Film Writer Lindsey Bahr contributed to this report.