Entertainment

Ex-Hollywood executive Weinstein to surrender on sex assault charges: media reports

FILE PHOTO: Harvey Weinstein, Co-Chairman of the Weinstein Company, attends the inaugural Middle East International Film Festival in Abu Dhabi

FILE PHOTO: Harvey Weinstein, co-chairman of the Weinstein Company, kicks off the Film Finance Circle conference with an informal discussion at the inaugural Middle East International Film Festival in Abu Dhabi, October 15, 2007. REUTERS/Steve Crisp/File Photo

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Former Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein is expected to surrender to New York City police on charges of sexual misconduct on Friday morning, the New York Times reported, citing two unidentified law enforcement officials.

Benjamin Brafman, a lawyer for Weinstein, declined to comment on the report. The New York Daily News and NBC News also reported Weinstein was expected to be arrested following a months-long investigation, including by the Manhattan district attorney’s office.

More than 70 women have accused the co-founder of the Miramax studio and The Weinstein Co with sexual misconduct including rape, allegations that 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 New York Daily News reported.

The New York Police Department and the Manhattan district attorney’s office declined to confirm the news reports.

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 and he was expelled in 2017 from the Academy of Motion Pictures.

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.

(Reporting by Jonathan Allen, Dan Trotta and Peter Szekely in New York ; editing by Grant McCool)

 

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