A representative for Harvey Weinstein cast doubt Wednesday on media reports that the disgraced film producer is on the verge of being indicted in New York.
“We do not believe an indictment of Mr. Weinstein is imminent,” according to a statement issued by Weinstein’s Los Angeles publicist. “A formal presentation will be made on Mr. Weinstein’s behalf in the appropriate course of the investigation, and we strongly believe we will demonstrate that no criminal charges are warranted.”
Police in New York have said they are conducting a criminal investigation into sexual assault allegations against Weinstein. Details haven’t been released, but the probe is believed to involve “Boardwalk Empire” actress Paz de la Huerta, who recently told Vanity Fair she was raped twice by Weinstein in New York in 2010. She said Weinstein gave her a ride home then insisted they have drinks, then he forced himself on her.
Weinstein has denied having any non-consensual sex with anyone.
“Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein,” spokeswoman Sallie Hofmeister said previously. “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.”
Recent media reports out of New York have suggested that prosecutors are preparing to present a case against Weinstein to a grand jury, possibly within the next week, meaning he could potentially be arrested. There has been no confirmation from prosecutors.
Weinstein has hired noted Southland defense attorney Blair Berk — who has represented Mel Gibson, Britney Spears and Cee Lo Green — and high-profile New York attorney Ben Brafman, whose past clients include Sean “P. Diddy” Combs and mob boss “Sammy the Bull” Gravano.
Los Angeles police have confirmed they are investigating two cases of alleged criminal sexual misconduct by Weinstein. Beverly Hills police have said they are looking into “multiple” complaints filed against him. A criminal investigation is also under way in London.
Weinstein, 65, has been fired from The Weinstein Co. production house he co-founded, and he’s been expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, The Television Academy, Producers Guild of America and other groups in response to sexual harassment and assault allegations made by dozens of women.
–City News Service
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