The NYPD is now launching an investigation into Harvey Weinstein regarding a sexual assault allegation made 13 years years ago, according to People.
Officials declined the release of any additional information regarding the alleged assault or the investigation. However, one of the victims, Lucia Stoller, now Lucia Evans, recounted to the The New Yorker how Weinstein had forced her to perform oral sex on him back in 2004.
She told the magazine, “I tried to get away, but maybe I didn’t try hard enough. I didn’t want to kick him or fight him. He’s a big guy. He overpowered me.”
Evans told The New Yorker that she was first approached by Weinstein at a club, when she was still just a college student. After their encounter, Evans says that Weinstein would repeatedly call her, even tasking his assistant with calling her until she agreed to meet with him at his Manhattan Miramax office.
Evans says she was led to the office room, and left alone with only Weinstein as company. He at first began talking to the teen about movie scripts, before forcing her to perform oral sex on him.
“At that point, after that, is when he assaulted me,” Evans said. “He forced me to perform oral sex on him.”
She continued, “I just sort of gave up. That’s the most horrible part of it, and that’s why he’s been able to do this for so long to so many women: people give up, and then they feel like it’s their fault.”
Evans recounts how in the years to follow she was unable to discuss what had happened to her. “I was disgusted with myself … It was always my fault for not stopping him.”
She told the publication that she developed “an eating problem,” and how her friends pleaded with her to seek help “because they thought I was going to kill myself.”
A spokesperson for Weinstein has told The New Yorker, “Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein, ” including Evans’.
A police official informed People that the NYPD is also “conducting a review to determine if there are any additional complaints relating to the Harvey Weinstein matter.” He adds, “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.”
This isn’t the first time the NYPD has attempted to investigate Weinstein, as the Manhattan District Attorney’s office previously launched an investigation in 2015. They even went as far as to have an accuser wear a wire, but DA Cyrus Vance had declined to press charges. Vance defended his decision on Wednesday, claiming that prosecutors didn’t have a chance at winning the case.
But apparently the real reason for Vance’s decision, which has gotten him a lot of backlash, was a $10,000 donation he received from one of Weinstein’s lawyers. Vance, though, claims that he had no prior contact with the lawyer and that the money donated to him did not influence his decision … yeah, ok.
News of the investigation has come about,as the 65-year old Weinstein has found himself in a shit storm, after allegations have been made against him regarding years of sexual assault and abuse. And now with some Hollywood heavy hitters such as Cara Delevingne, Ashley Judd, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Angelina Jolie speaking out against Weinstein’s alleged behavior, things are looking grim for the producer.
The New York Times reported last week that eight women have accused him of sexual misconduct. They also reported how he has reached private settlements with eight women, including actress Rose McGowan.
With accounts from The New Yorker, the Times, and other sources, over 20 allegations have been made against him. The allegations include rape, forced oral sex, groping and harassment.
New York criminal defense attorney Stuart Slotnick told People, “If a woman comes forward and says this happened on this date and it’s within the statute of limitations, there is a likelihood that a prosecutor will look at it and take the case. In prosecution for a Class A felony, and rape in the first degree or aggravated sexual abuse, there’s no statute of limitations. For any other felonies it’s five years.”
Statement by Chief ADA Karen Friedman Agnifilo on allegations against Harvey Weinstein — pic.twitter.com/4kLfEk60re
— Cyrus Vance, Jr. (@ManhattanDA) October 10, 2017
Back in 2015, Italian model Ambra Battilana filed a complaint of sexual assault against Weinstein, which was fielded by New York City’s Chief Assistant District Attorney Karen Friedman-Agnifilo’s office. But no charges were brought, after Battilana reportedly settled out of court with Weinstein.
“If we could have prosecuted Harvey Weinstein for the conduct that occurred in 2015, we would have. Mr. Weinstein’s pattern of mistreating women, as recounted in recent reports, is disgraceful and shocks the conscience,” Friedman-Agnifilo said in a statement.
On Wednesday, The Weinstein Company announced that Harvey has been fired from the company which he cofounded. His attorney Lisa Bloom has resigned from her position as his advisor, and his wife, Marchesa designer Georgina Chapman, has announced that she is leaving him.
A source told People that Weinstein has checked into a residential treatment facility. He flew from the Van Nuys airport in California on Wednesday and landed in Arizona later that night.