Police in New York and London have reportedly launched investigations into sexual assault allegations made against disgraced movie producer Harvey Weinstein.
The Hollywood mogul has been accused of decades of inappropriate behavior with female colleagues and actresses, with allegations about his history as a serial sexual predator exposed in articles in The New York Times and The New Yorker magazine over the past week.
Now the New York Police Department’s Chief of Detectives, Robert Boyce, has ordered investigators in the Special Victims Unit to examine any alleged incidents detailed in the exposes which took place in the Big Apple.
According to the New York Daily News, one of the encounters under scrutiny involved actress Lucia Evans, who told The New Yorker Weinstein had forced her to perform oral sex on him at his Manhattan office in 2004.
Weinstein has denied all accusations of non-consensual sex.
The news emerges days after audio footage recorded as part of a police sting on Weinstein was made public. The tape features model Ambra Battilana, who wore a wire, catching the producer confessing to groping her breast the night before, and promising, “I won’t do it again.”
Her sexual assault case against Weinstein was dismissed by Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance, Jr., who declined to bring charges against the 65-year-old film boss. It has since emerged Vance, Jr. received a $10,000 donation from Weinstein’s lawyer, David Boies, to his election campaign after the case was dropped, although the District Attorney has denied the two actions were linked, insisting charges were not pursued because he didn’t think the case was strong enough for conviction.
Meanwhile, Weinstein could also face prosecution in the U.K. as London’s Metropolitan Police officials are looking into one allegation reported on Wednesday (11Oct17).
The complaint, made to Merseyside Police in northwest England, concerns “an alleged sexual assault in the London area in the 1980s”.
British authorities do not identify suspects before charges have been filed, but multiple news outlets have claimed the man at the centre of the investigation is Weinstein.
His representative has yet to comment on the speculation.