The Los Angeles Police Department have launched an investigation after an Italian actress-model accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault – the sixth woman to accuse the former movie executive of rape or forcible sex acts.
According to the Los Angeles Times, police captain Billy Hayes confirmed that an investigation has been launched into the matter. This is the first investigation launched in Los Angeles, though there are police probes currently underway in both New York and London.
If this particular case falls within the ten-year statute of limitations of a crime that existed at the time of the alleged offence, then it could open Weinstein up for prosecution. Most of Weinstein’s other alleged offences took place more than a decade ago, which makes prosecution difficult.
The LA Times does not identify the actress in question, but says that she is “well-known in Italy, where she appeared on the cover of Italian Vogue and as an actress in Italian films”.
The 38-year-old woman says she was assaulted by Weinstein after the 8th annual Los Angeles, Italia Film, Fashion and Art Fest in February 2013. She says that Weinstein “bullied [his] way” into her hotel room around midnight, before attempting to pressure her into stripping for him. She says he sexually assaulted her in the bathroom of her hotel suite.
“He acted like nothing happened,” the woman told the Times. “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.”
Since the original article dropped in the New York Times, more than 40 women have come forward with allegations of sexual misconduct against Harvey Weinstein – including, most recently, actress Lupita Nyong’o, who penned an account of her encounter with Weinstein today in the NYT.