Harvey Weinstein, the disgraced movie mogul, is facing sexual assault charges in Manhattan in connection with the accusations of two women. He began facing official inquiries about his history of sexually assaulting women in New York, Los Angeles and London after reports detailing the allegations were published in The New York Times and The New Yorker.
One of the women related to the charges is Lucia Evans, who claims that Mr. Weinstein forced her to perform oral sex on him during a business meeting in 2004. The other woman is an actress, Paz de la Huerta, who says Mr. Weinstein raped her in her home in New York City in 2010. She reported the incident to cops in late October.
The Manhattan district attorney’s office is also investigating allegations by three to five additional victims whose accounts investigators found credible. More than 50 women have come forward with accusations of sexual harassment, assault or rape by Mr. Weinstein. Some of the women accusing him of sexual misconduct are famous, including A-list actresses Gwyneth Paltrow, Ashley Judd, and Angelina Jolie.
Mr. Weinstein, 66, has been accused of sexually abusing and assaulting movie stars and employees of his former namesake company. He benefited from a code of silence around his predatory behavior for decades. There were rumors about his behavior in media and entertainment circles for years, but few of the women who made claims against him were taken seriously. Reports have emerged of Mr. Weinstein paying or putting pressure on them not to speak out.
New York Police Department officials said as early as November that detectives were gathering evidence with an eye toward preparing a warrant to arrest Mr. Weinstein. The probe was handled by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office and NYPD. The grand jury hearing evidence about Mr. Weinstein was convened weeks ago.
t was not immediately clear if Mr. Weinstein will be hit with additional charges related to other victims. Federal prosecutors have also been investigating whether Mr. Weinstein’s abusive conduct violated federal stalking laws. Mr. Weinstein’s lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, would not comment on the charges, but has said in the past that Mr. Weinstein denies any allegations of “nonconsensual sex.”