Actress Kate Beckinsale Thursday became the latest actress to come forward with a lurid story about film producer Harvey Weinstein, who is believed to be at an out-of-state rehabilitation center in response to mounting sexual harassment and assault allegations.
Meanwhile, the New York Police Department confirmed it is “conducting a review to determine if there are any additional complaints relating to the Harvey Weinstein matter.” The NYPD fell short of saying it was conducting a criminal investigation into the producer, stating, “No filed complaints have been identified as of this time.”
A New Yorker article this week included harassment and assault allegations from more than a dozen women, including actress Lucia Evans, who said Weinstein forced her to perform oral sex on him in a New York office of Weinstein-founded film company Miramax in 2004.
Evans was one of three women in the article who claimed Weinstein sexually assaulted them.
In London, Scotland Yard confirmed it is investigating a report of possible sexual assault by Weinstein that allegedly occurred in the 1980s.
“We can confirm the Metropolitan Police Service was passed an allegation of sexual assault by Merseyside Police on Wednesday, 11 October,” according to a statement released to London media outlets. “The allegation will be assessed by officers from the Child Abuse and Sexual Offences Command.”
Officials with police in Merseyside, a British county that includes Liverpool, told reporters the agency “can confirm a report was received at 8:40 a.m. on Wednesday of an alleged sexual assault in the London area in the 1980s. The report has been referred to the Metropolitan police.”
Asked if any criminal probe was being conducted against Weinstein in Los Angeles, LAPD Officer Drake Madison said, “We have no information on whether there is a criminal investigation of Mr. Weinstein.”
Beckinsale, the 44-year-old British actress known for films including “The Aviator,” “Pearl Harbor” and “Underworld,” wrote on her Instagram page that she went to the Savoy Hotel to meet Weinstein when she was 17 years old, and he greeted her in a bathrobe and offered her alcohol. She said she turned down the offer, told him she had school in the morning and left, “uneasy but unscathed.”
“A few years later he asked me if he had tried anything with me in that first meeting,” she wrote. “I realized he couldn’t remember if he had assaulted me or not. I had what I thought were boundaries — I said no to him professionally many times over the years — some of which ended up with him screaming at me calling me a (expletive) and making threats, some of which made him laughingly tell people, `Oh Kate lives to say no to me.’
She said the experience demonstrates a status quo” in show business, in which standing up for herself “undoubtedly harmed my career.”
“I would like to applaud the women who have come forward, and to pledge that we can from this create a new paradigm where producers, managers, executives and assistants and everyone who has in the past shrugged and said, `Well, that’s just Harvey/Mr X/insert name here’ will realize that we in numbers can affect real change.
For every moment like this there have been thousands where a vulnerable person has confided outrageous unprofessional behavior and found they have no recourse, due to an atmosphere of fear that it seems almost everyone has been living in,” Beckinsale wrote. “I had a male friend who, based on my experience, warned a young actress who said she was going to dinner with Harvey to be careful. He received a phone call the next day saying he would never work in another Miramax film; the girl was already sleeping with Harvey and had told him that my friend had warned her off.
Let’s stop allowing our young women to be sexual cannon fodder, and let’s remember that Harvey is an emblem of a system that is sick, and that we have work to do.”
In the past week, actresses including Angelina Jolie, Mira Sorvino, Rosanna Arquette, Cara Delevingne and Gwyneth Paltrow have all come forward with allegations of inappropriate behavior by Weinstein.
Media reports have indicated that Weinstein flew to Arizona Wednesday night en route to an undisclosed treatment center. Weinstein told paparazzi who spotted him Wednesday, “I’m not doing OK but I’m trying.”
“I gotta get help. You know we all make mistakes. … A second chance, I hope,” he said.
Weinstein spokeswoman Sallie Hofmeister issued a statement to the New Yorker earlier this week denying that the producer sexually assaulted anyone.
“Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein,” she said. “Mr. Weinstein has further confirmed that there were never any acts of retaliation against any women for refusing his advances. Mr. Weinstein obviously can’t speak to anonymous allegations, but with respect to any women who have made allegations on the record, Mr. Weinstein believes that all of these relationships were consensual. Mr. Weinstein has begun counseling, has listened to the community and is pursuing a better path. Mr. Weinstein is hoping that, if he makes enough progress, he will be given a second chance.”
Weinstein was originally placed on indefinite leave by The Weinstein Company in response to a New York Times report last week that included allegations of sexual harassment against him. But the company’s board announced Sunday it was firing him outright in response to “new information” that came out in the days since.
Weinstein’s wife of 10 years, fashion designer Georgina Chapman, announced Tuesday she was leaving him.
Chapman, 41, and Weinstein, 65, were married in 2007 and have two children — India Pearl, 7, and Dashiell, 4. Weinstein has three other children from a previous marriage.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Wednesday its Board of Governors will hold an emergency meeting Saturday to discuss the Weinstein allegations. It was unclear if the board might suspend or revoke Weinstein’s membership. The Academy also counts among its more than 8,000 members Bill Cosby and Roman Polanksi.
The British Academy of Film and Television Arts announced Wednesday it has suspended Weinstein’s membership.
–City News Service