LAPD Officially Investigating Harvey Weinstein for Rape Allegations (Vanity Fair)

LAPD Officially Investigating Harvey Weinstein for Rape Allegations

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By Stephen Lovekin/Variety/REX/Shutterstock.

Following two explosive pieces in The New York Times and The New Yorker as well as growing accounts from some of the biggest names in Hollywood detailing years of sexual misconduct and assault from disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein, the LAPD confirmed Thursday that it was officially investigating allegations of a 2013 rape. The alleged incident falls well within California’s 10-year statute of limitations and could mean Weinstein would potentially face up to eight-years behind bars under state law.

“Mr. Weinstein obviously can’t speak to anonymous allegations, but he unequivocally denies allegations of non-consensual sex,” Weinstein’s representatives said Thursday in response to the LAPD’s announcement. The Los Angeles Times spoke with Weinstein’s alleged victim, a 38 year-old Italian actress and model who sat down with the LAPD for two hours Thursday morning to review the 2013 incident. Though she remains anonymous out of fear of retaliation and in order to protect her children, the Times notes that the latest woman to accuse Weinstein “is well-known in Italy, where she appeared on the cover of Italian Vogue and as an actress in Italian films.”

She told the Times that her encounter with Weinstein took place at Mr. C Beverly Hills hotel in February 2013 following the 8th annual Los Angeles, Italia Film, Fashion and Art Fest. Though she declined to follow Weinstein up to his hotel room after the event, she recalls that the producer later appeared “without warning” in the lobby of her hotel after midnight, “bullied” his way into her room despite her refusal, and then “grabbed me by the hair and forced me to do something I did not want to do. He then dragged me to the bathroom and forcibly raped me.”

Weinstein’s accuser told the Times that later he “acted like nothing happened,” told her they might work together in the future, and even invited her to parties at his house. She declined his invitations. “My client is grateful to all the courageous women who have already come forward to finally expose Weinstein,” Deadline reports the woman’s attorney, David Ring, saying on Thursday. “These women may not have realized it, but they gave my client the support and encouragement to hold Weinstein accountable for this horrible act.”

The woman told the Times she was also inspired by her three children. “I feel responsible that I didn’t talk for years, I feel responsible that I didn’t react that night and I didn’t call the police, I feel responsible that I wasn’t brave enough,” she said. “All these years I’ve been thinking why I didn’t call the police immediately. I regret that I opened the [hotel] door.”

The LAPD’s investigation comes three days after the NYPD and London authorities announced they were pursuing at least five other accusations of rape and sexual assault against Weinstein. The dates on these cases range from the 1980s to 2015 including the one brought by model Ambra Battilana-Gutierrez who obtained damning audio of Weinstein released by The New Yorker. There is no statute of limitations in New York for first-degree criminal sex act.

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October 19, 2017 at 08:19PM