LAPD Opens Rape Investigation Into Harvey Weinstein
Disgraced former Hollywood studio head Harvey Weinstein is hiding out at a $2,000 a night rehab center in Arizona since the New York Times published an expose about the mogul’s history of sexual assault and harassment – a history that has been littered with settlements and NDAs – two weeks ago.
Since then, more than 30 women have come forward to accuse Weinstein of misconduct ranging from harassment to groping to rape, prompting law enforcement agencies on two continents to open sex crime investigations.
And on Thursday, the number of open investigations climbed to four when the Los Angeles Times reported that the LAPD has opened an investigation into Weinstein over an alleged sexual assault that reportedly took place in 2013. The investigation was launched after a two-hour meeting with his accuser earlier Thursday.
An Italian model-actress met with Los Angeles police detectives for more than two hours Thursday morning, providing a detailed account of new allegations that movie mogul Harvey Weinstein sexually assaulted her at a hotel in 2013.
She is the sixth woman to accuse Weinstein of rape or forcible sex acts. Los Angeles police Capt. Billy Hayes confirmed that the department has launched an investigation into the matter.
It is the first case related to Weinstein to be reported in Southern California. New York police already have two active sex crime probes and London’s Metropolitan Police is investigating allegations made by three women.
The new allegation could be legally troubling for Weinstein because it falls within the 10-year statute of limitations for the crime that existed at the time of the alleged incident, legal experts say.
The woman, who has not been named, provided a detailed account of the incident to the LA Times.
In the latest case, the 38-year-old woman, who has asked not to be named because she is fearful of retaliation and concerned about protecting her children’s privacy, first contacted police on Tuesday, through her attorney, David Ring. Two detectives from the Los Angeles Police Department’s Robbery-Homicide Division’s rape special section took her statement on Thursday, describing how Weinstein pushed his way into her hotel room, dragged her into the bathroom and allegedly forcibly raped her.
She told the Los Angeles Times that the incident occurred at Mr. C Beverly Hills hotel after she attended the 8th annual Los Angeles, Italia Film, Fashion and Art Fest in February 2013. She had previously met Weinstein once, briefly, in Rome after being introduced by an acquaintance.
At that time, he invited her up to his hotel room, but she said she declined. She said they spoke briefly at the film festival, but he didn’t appear to recall meeting her.
Later, he showed up “without warning” in the lobby of her hotel. He asked to come up to her room. She said she told him no and offered to meet him downstairs, but soon, he was knocking on her door.
“He … bullied his way into my hotel room, saying, ‘I’m not going to [have sex with] you, I just want to talk,’” the woman told The Times. “Once inside, he asked me questions about myself, but soon became very aggressive and demanding and kept asking to see me naked. He 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.”
She told her attorney she tried to dissuade Weinstein by showing him pictures of her children.
After about 45 minutes, Weinstein departed.
“When he left, he acted like nothing happened,” the woman said. “I barely knew this man. It was the most demeaning thing ever done to me by far. It sickens me still. … He made me feel like an object, like nothing with all his power.”
The unnamed woman’s story echoes accounts given by many other women, including actress Asia Argento, who was shared her own account of being assaulted by Weinstein with the New Yorker.
IN addition to the NYPD, LAPD and Scotland Yard, it has also been reported that the FBI is investigating Weinstein and fears he could pull a “Roman Polanski” by fleeing the country to “seek treatment” in Europe.