Harvey Weinstein Under LAPD Investigation for Rape After New Accuser Comes Forward
Harvey Weinstein is under investigation for rape after an Italian model-actress reportedly gave a detailed account of an alleged sexual assault to the Los Angeles Police Department.
“Robbery Homicide Div has interviewed a potential sexual assault victim involving Harvey Weinstein in 2013. Investigation ongoing,” the LAPD tweeted on Thursday.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the 38-year-old woman, who asked to remain anonymous, met with detectives for more than two hours Thursday morning, describing an alleged assault she says took place in a hotel in 2013.
“Mr. Weinstein obviously can’t speak to anonymous allegations, but he unequivocally denies allegations of non-consensual sex,” a representative for Weinstein told PEOPLE in a statement.
This is the first case against Weinstein to be made in California, and according to the L.A. Times, it falls within the state’s statute of limitations. New York police have already launched two active sex crime investigations into Weinstein, and London’s Metropolitan Police are looking into allegations made by three other women.
The producer’s latest accuser told the L.A. Times that the alleged assault occurred after she attended the 8th Annual Los Angeles, Italia Film, Fashion and Art Fest in February 2013.
She told the outlet she had briefly met Weinstein through an acquaintance in Rome in the past, and declined an invitation to his hotel room at the time. When they spoke again at the film festival in 2013, she told the paper he didn’t seem to remember her.
Weinstein allegedly appeared “without warning” in the lobby of her hotel later in the evening and asked to come up to her room. She reportedly declined, instead offering to meet him downstairs at another time, but before long he was knocking on her door.
“He … bullied his way into my hotel room, saying, ‘I’m not going to f— you, I just want to talk,'” she told the L.A. Times. ”Once inside, he asked me questions about myself but soon became very aggressive and demanding and kept asking to see me naked. He grabbed me by the hair and forced me to do something I did not want to do. He then dragged me to the bathroom and forcibly raped me.”
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She reportedly attempted to stop Weinstein by showing him pictures of her children, but he didn’t leave the room for another 45 minutes.
“When he left, he acted like nothing happened,” the woman told the outlet. “I barely knew this man. It was the most demeaning thing ever done to me by far. It sickens me still … He made me feel like an object, like nothing with all his power.”
While she was reportedly afraid to go to the police, the woman did tell a priest, a friend and a nanny about what happened at the time, according to the L.A. Times.
She told the paper she finally came forward at the urging of her children, who told her, “You just need to be strong, Mom.”
“All these years I’ve been thinking why I didn’t call the police immediately,” she said to the L.A. Times. “I regret that I opened the [hotel] door.”
The woman was 34 when the alleged incident occurred, according to the L.A. Times, which also reported that she is well-known in Italy, where she appeared on the cover of Italian Vogue and acted in Italian films.
She was reportedly living in Italy with her three children at the time of the alleged assault, and later moved to Southern California.
More than 40 women have come forward to accuse Weinstein of sexually inappropriate behavior since a New York Times report first revealed allegations of abuse spanning decades.
Actresses Asia Argento, Rose McGowan, Lysette Anthony and Lucia Evans have all claimed they were forced to perform a sex act by Weinstein. In a subsequent report by the New Yorker, another unnamed woman alleged the producer had raped her. According to the New York Times, Weinstein has reached civil settlements with eight different women relating to inappropriate sexual behavior.
Weinstein has since been removed from his company and his wife, Georgina Chapman, has separated from him.