Harvey Weinstein: police in New York and London investigating allegations

Londons Metropolitan police have opened an inquiry into the Hollywood producers alleged actions and the NYPD is reviewing for additional complaints

Police on both sides of the Atlantic are investigating Harvey Weinstein as the scandal surrounding the disgraced producer deepens.

In London, the Metropolitan police are assessing a sexual abuse allegation made against Weinstein, while in his home town of New York police are carrying out a review looking for new complaints.

Scotland Yard told the Guardian on Thursday: The Met has been passed an allegation of sexual abuse by Merseyside police on Wednesday 11 October. The allegation will be assessed by officers from the child abuse and sexual offences command. There is no indication the complaint relates to child abuse.

Lt John Grimpel of the NYPD said in a statement: 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.

Underworld star Kate Beckinsale joined the large group of women accusing Weinstein producer of Oscar winners Shakespeare in Love, The Artist and The English Patient, and patron to Quentin Tarantino and Steven Soderbergh of inappropriate conduct on Thursday in a deeply personal Instagram post.

The British actor, who starred in several Weinstein Company films, recalled her first meeting with the producer when she was 17.

Like more than a dozen of the women who have now come forward to speak on Weinsteins pattern of inappropriate behavior, she recalls being sent to his hotel room for a business meeting where he greeted her in a bathrobe.

A few years later he asked me if he had tried anything with me in that first meeting. I realized he couldnt remember if he had assaulted me or not, Beckinsale wrote in the post.

Beckinsale concluded her post with a plea to the industry: Lets stop allowing our young women to be sexual cannon fodder, and lets remember that Harvey is an emblem of a system that is sick, and that we have work to do.

Beckinsale follows a string of other high-profile actors, including Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, La Seydoux and Cara Delevingne, who have accused the producer of sexual harassment or assault. Three women have accused Weinstein of rape.

Weinstein has said many of the details of those public accounts are inaccurate, and has denied accusations of criminal sexual harassment, rape and sexual assault.

Sallie Hofmeister, a spokeswoman for Weinstein, said on Tuesday: Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr Weinstein With respect to any women who have made allegations on the record, Mr Weinstein believes that all of these relationships were consensual.

In a statement issued on Wednesday in response to his wifes decision to leave him following the allegations, Weinstein said: I support her decision, I am in counselling and perhaps, when I am better, we can rebuild. Over the last week, there has been a lot of pain for my family that I take responsibility for.

He was reported to be heading for treatment in Arizona. Before he left, Weinstein told photographers in LA: Guys, Im not doing OK but Im trying. I gotta get help You know, we all make mistakes second chance I hope.

But he added: And you know what? Ive always been loyal to you guys, he told the paparazzi photographers who captured his remarks, adding not like those fucking pricks who treat you like shit. Ive been the good guy.

As pressure grew on Hollywood celebrities to explain what they had known about Weinsteins alleged conduct over a period of decades, Jane Fonda said she had been told about accusations against him last year, and regretted not speaking out about them.

I wish I had spoken out, the Oscar winner told the BBC. I will admit I should have been braver, I think from now on I will be when I hear such stories.

I think its because if I had I would have had to out someone that wasnt prepared to speak out. She subsequently has. If it had happened to me I would now.

The NYPDs reference to additional complaints may relate to the March 2015 case in which Filipina-Italian model Ambra Battilana Gutierrez accused Weinstein of groping her breasts and putting his hand up her skirt during a meeting at his office.

She filed a complaint with the NYPD, and the next night met with Weinstein again, supported by an NYPD undercover operation and while wearing a wire, according to the New Yorker, recording the producer appearing to confess to groping her.

The NYPD said it investigated a misdemeanor sexual abuse complaint against Weinstein and the case was referred to the Manhattan district attorneys office. The office decided not to file charges.

Questioned about that decision at a public appearance in New York on Wednesday, the Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus Vance Jr, said: Its obviously sickening. But at the end of the day we operate in a courtroom of law, not the court of public opinion, and our sex crime prosecutors made a determination that this was not going to be a provable case.

The International Business Times has reported that David Boies, a prominent defense attorney who has represented Weinsteins company, though was not doing so at the time of the alleged groping incident, donated $10,000 to Vance an elected official in 2015, after the alleged incident.

NYPD officials denied published reports that they were investigating a specific 2004 incident involving Weinstein, calling that claim inaccurate.

Meanwhile the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said it would hold a special meeting on Saturday to discuss allegations against Weinstein, as speculation grew that it would follow the lead of its British equivalent, Bafta, in suspending his membership.

The Academy finds the conduct described in the allegations against Harvey Weinstein to be repugnant, abhorrent, and antithetical to the high standards of the Academy and the creative community it represents, it said in a statement.

Weinstein could face five to 25 years in prison on sexual assault charges if the latest abuse allegations are tried in criminal court, legal experts told the Guardian. Specifically, the claims described by Lucia Evans, a former aspiring actor, rise to the level of a felony rape under New York laws.

Because a criminal conviction could be difficult to achieve, however, prosecutors may be reluctant to file criminal charges.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/film/2017/oct/12/harvey-weinstein-nypd-and-london-police-investigating-allegations