UK and US police to investigate Weinstein sex assault claims

Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein is now the subject of police inquires on both sides of the Atlantic over sex assault claims. Picture: AFP/Getty Images
Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein is now the subject of police inquires on both sides of the Atlantic over sex assault claims. Picture: AFP/Getty Images
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British and US police have launched investigations into sexual assault allegations against Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein after some 30 women accused him of inappropriate conduct.

Officers in London are reportedly investigating an allegation of sexual assault involving Weinstein.

The Metropolitan police said they had received details of an allegation of sexual assault from the Merseyside force, who said the allegation was made on Wednesday and concerns “an alleged sexual assault in the London area in the 1980s”.

New York Police Department spokesman Peter Donald said yesterday that investigators were trying to determine whether there were any additional complaints involving Weinstein.

That includes reviewing police files to see if any women previously reported being assaulted or harassed by him.

So far, no filed complaints have been found, he said, other than one well-known case that prompted an investigation in 2015, but authorities are encouraging anyone with information on Weinstein to contact the department.

Some 30 women – including actresses Angelina Jolie, Ashley Judd and Gwyneth Paltrow – told The New York Times and The New Yorker magazine that Weinstein had sexually harassed or sexually assaulted them. Weinstein was fired on Sunday by the Weinstein Company, a studio he co-founded with his brother.

Detectives in the NYPD’s special victims unit were instructed to identify and speak to any potential victims, including the women who spoke about their encounters with Weinstein in a recent New Yorker article, according to a law enforcement official briefed on the matter who spoke on condition of anonymity.

In The New Yorker expose, a former actress, Lucia Evans, said Weinstein forced her to perform oral sex in 2004 when she was a college student.

At least one other unnamed woman said she was raped by Weinstein, but the article did not disclose when and where it happened.

A third woman, actress Asia Argento, told the magazine that Weinstein forcibly performed oral sex on her in 1997 at a hotel in France.

Under New York law, making someone engage in oral sex by physical force or the threat of it is a first-degree criminal sexual act. Weinstein has denied any non-consensual sexual conduct with any women.

The film mogul reappeared briefly on Wednesday outside a Los Angeles home, telling paparazzi that he was “not doing OK”.