Movie producer Weinstein to surrender on sex assault charges: media reports




  • In US
  • 2018-05-24 21:03:09Z
  • By By Karen Freifeld and Jonathan Allen

By Karen Freifeld and Jonathan Allen

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Film producer Harvey Weinstein was expected to surrender to New York police on Friday, months after he was toppled from Hollywood's most powerful ranks by scores of women accusing him of sexual assault, a person familiar with the case said.

Weinstein's spokesman Juda Engelmayer and Weinstein's lawyer Benjamin Brafman both declined to comment. The charging of Weinstein, which was first reported by the New York Daily News, follows a months-long investigation, including by the Manhattan district attorney's office.

A person familiar with the case confirmed the report to Reuters on condition of anonymity. The New York Times and other news outlets also reported Weinstein was expected to surrender.

More than 70 women have accused the co-founder of the Miramax studio and The Weinstein Co of sexual misconduct, including rape. The allegations, first reported by the New York Times and the New Yorker last year, gave rise to the #MeToo movement in which hundreds of women have publicly accused powerful men in business, government and entertainment.

Weinstein has denied having non-consensual sex with anyone.

Weinstein will be charged over an allegation by at least one accuser, Lucia Evans, a former aspiring actress who told the New Yorker that Weinstein forced her to give him oral sex in 2004, the Times and Daily News reported. The exact nature of the charges being brought by the Manhattan District Attorney's office was unclear on Thursday afternoon.

The New York Police Department and the district attorney's office declined to comment on the case.

Entertainment industry heavyweights have distanced themselves from Weinstein, once one of Hollywood's most powerful men, since the accusations became public. The board of the Weinstein Co fired him, the company itself filed for bankruptcy in March. In 2017, he was expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which presents the Oscars.

A former fixture in the most elite entertainment circles of Manhattan and Los Angeles, Weinstein has since been seen spending time in Scottsdale, Arizona, where the New York Times said he had been seeking treatment for sex addiction.

Actor Ashley Judd last month sued Weinstein, saying that he cost her a part in 1998 for the film "The Lord of the Rings" after she rejected his sexual advances, charges that Weinstein has denied.

Other prominent actors who have publicly accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct include Uma Thurman and Salma Hayek.

Brafman, Weinstein's lawyer, is known for representing high-profile criminal defendants, including pop star Michael Jackson and Martin Shkreli, the former drug company executive.

In 2011, Brafman represented Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former head of the International Monetary Fund, over charges, which were eventually dropped, that he sexually assaulted a New York City hotel maid.


(Reporting by Jonathan Allen, Dan Trotta, Karen Freifeld and Peter Szekely in New York and Jill Serjeant in Los Angeles; editing by Grant McCool)

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