Harvey Weinstein will be charged with a sex crime — the first criminal charge since his sexual-harassment scandal broke in October 2017.
Law enforcement officials tell the Associated Press that the disgraced movie mogul will surrender on Friday in New York for allegedly assaulting Lucia Evans, who has claimed that he forced her to perform oral sex on him in 2004. Weinstein has been accused of sexual assault, harassment, and/or misconduct by more than 80 women. He has denied any accusations of nonconsensual sex.
Evans was one of the many women to tell her story to the New Yorker last year. An aspiring actress at the time, Evans met Weinstein at his Miramax office in Tribeca, where she believed they would discuss acting opportunities. After she went into his office alone, she told Ronan Farrow, Weinstein pulled out his penis and allegedly forced her to perform oral sex on him. “I said, over and over, ‘I don’t want to do this, stop, don’t,’” she claimed.
A grand jury has been hearing evidence in the case for weeks following a months-long inquiry by New York police into allegations of assaults by Weinstein. The exact charges that Weinstein is expected to face weren’t immediately clear. The Oscar-winning producer was most recently photographed in Malibu on Wednesday by TMZ.
The news comes one day after the Wall Street Journal reported that Weinstein was under federal investigation. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York is purportedly looking at whether Weinstein “lured or induced any women to travel across state lines for the purpose of committing a sex crime.” He is also facing separate criminal investigations in Los Angeles and London.
Tarana Burke, the founder of the #MeToo movement, tells Variety this move “is super cathartic for a bunch of the survivors, or even survivors who are not necessarily victimized by him.”
Rose McGowan, who alleged Weinstein raped her in 1997, says: “I, and so many of Harvey Weinstein’s survivors, had given up hope that our rapist would be held accountable by law. Twenty years ago, I swore that I would right this wrong. Today we are one step closer to justice. We were young women who were assaulted by Weinstein and later terrorised by his vast network of complicity. I stand with my fellow survivors. May this give hope to all victims and survivors everywhere that are telling their truths.”
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