Harvey Weinstein: British and US police launch investigations
British and US police are investigating sexual assault allegations involving the film producer Harvey Weinstein.
The movie mogul is facing a litany of accusations of sexual harassment and assault from some of film’s biggest stars following seven days which have rocked Hollywood.
Merseyside Police said it had received a report at 8.40am on Wednesday of an alleged sexual assault in the London area in the 1980s, and referred it to Scotland Yard.
A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said: “We can confirm the Met was passed an allegation of sexual assault by Merseyside Police on Wednesday 11 October.
“The allegation will be assessed by officers from Child Abuse and Sexual Offences Command.”
No more details have been released as to the nature of the allegation made against the film producer, which follows accusations of harassment and assault from stars including Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Beckinsale, Cara Delevingne.
Meanwhile, the New York Police Department has opened an investigation into the 65-year-old and will conduct a review to determine if there are additional complaints and has encouraged anyone with information to come forward.
Detective Sophia Mason, of the NYPD, told the Press Association: “Based on information referenced in published news reports, the NYPD is conducting a review to determine if there are any additional complaints relating to the Harvey Weinstein matter.
“No filed complaints have been identified as of this time and as always, the NYPD encourages anyone who may have information pertaining to this matter to call the CrimeStoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS.”
Weinstein also faces three allegations of rape by three women in an article in the New Yorker. The producer’s spokeswoman has said “any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr Weinstein.”
On Thursday, Beckinsale became the latest star to speak out, while actress Sophie Dix – who once starred alongside Colin Firth – claimed Weinstein had pinned her down in a hotel room when she was 22.
She told The Guardian: “Before I knew it, he started trying to pull my clothes off and pin me down and I just kept saying, ‘No, no, no’. But he was really forceful.”
The actress said the incident happened in the Savoy hotel in London in 1990 and called it “the single most damaging thing that’s happened in my life”.
Earlier, the producer told reporters “I’m not doing OK” but “we all make mistakes” as he was filmed on camera for the first time since the scandal broke.
Dressed in a black t-shirt and scruffy jeans, Weinstein was seen leaving his daughter’s house in Los Angeles. He told TMZ: “I’m not doing okay” but “we all make mistakes”.
Asked how he was, the producer told TMZ: “I’m trying my best… I’m not doing OK but I’m trying.”
He added: “I gotta get help. You know what, we all make mistakes … A second chance, I hope.”
And he added: “I’ve always been loyal to you guys. Not like those f****** pricks that treat you like shit. I’ve been a good guy.”
The producer, who is thought to be on his way to a rehab facility and whose wife, British designer Georgina Chapman, has announced she is leaving him, was then driven away.
The comments came after officers were called following a “family dispute” at the home of Weinstein’s daughter.
The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) confirmed they were called to reports of a “disturbance” at the house, but said no crime had been committed.
Weinstein was not there when officers arrived.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which hosts the Oscars, described the sexual abuse allegations against Weinstein as “repugnant” and “abhorrent”, and said it would meet on Saturday to discuss any action to be taken.
Bafta also announced it had suspended his membership.
Rose McGowan, one of the first actresses to be named as an alleged victim, called for the board of the Weinstein Company to be dissolved following the allegations against its co-founder.