The New Yorker reported on Tuesday that 13 women have claimed that movie producer Harvey Weinstein sexually harassed or assaulted them, including three who told the magazine they had been raped.
One case noted in the report was that of Asia Argento, an Italian actress and director, who described how Weinstein allegedly forced oral sex on her, despite being told to stop numerous times.
The New Yorker also reported that Italian actress Ambra Battilana Gutierrez went to police in 2015 claiming that Weinstein had sexually assaulted her. She was asked by police to agree to another meeting with Weinstein during which she would wear a recording device, the New Yorker reported.
In the recording, after she refuses to enter his hotel room, Weinstein is reportedly heard saying: “I’m used to that. Come on. Please.”
Manhattan Chief Assistant District Attorney Karen Friedman-Agnifilo said on Tuesday, referring to the wire, "While the recording is horrifying to listen to, what emerged from the audio was insufficient to prove a crime under New York law." Gutierrez could not be reached for comment.
Weinstein's spokeswoman Sallie Hofmeister was quoted in the article saying that "any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein."
Weinstein and the women for whom contact information was available did not reply to Reuters requests for comment. Reuters was unable to independently confirm any of the claims.
"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," Hofmeister was quoted as saying.
Weinstein's wife of 10 years, Marchesa label fashion designer Georgina Chapman, said late on Tuesday that she was leaving him, according to a report in People magazine.
"My heart breaks for all the women who have suffered tremendous pain because of these unforgivable actions. I have chosen to leave my husband," Chapman was quoted as saying.
Her representatives did not respond to a request for comment.
The New York City Police Department and Manhattan District Attorney's office said in separate statements on Tuesday that Weinstein was investigated in 2015 over an allegation that he sexually abused one of the women, who was named in the article. The district attorney's office said there was insufficient evidence to charge him.
Separately, the New York Times reported on Tuesday that actress Gwyneth Paltrow said she was sexually harassed by Weinstein more than 20 years ago and that Angelina Jolie said she "had a bad experience with Harvey Weinstein in my youth and as a result chose never to work with him again."
Jolie and Paltrow did not reply to requests for comment.
The New York Times published an article last week in which it was alleged that Weinstein had sexually harassed several women over 30 years. After a statement in which Weinstein apologized for his behavior, his attorney
Charles J. Harder said the newspaper's story was defamatory because it relied on "mostly hearsay accounts and a faulty report."
Weinstein, one of the most powerful men in Hollywood who produced and distributed movies like "Shakespeare in Love" and "Chicago," was fired over the weekend from his job as co-chairman of The Weinstein Company.
Earlier in the week, the Simon Wiesenthal Center said it has not considered withdrawing an award given to Weinstein He received the 2015 Humanitarian Award from the group, which promotes tolerance, and was honored at its annual gala dinner.
Weinstein received the award due in part to his contributions to the group, which have totaled nearly $100,000. That year’s dinner brought in $1.75 million.
“We honored Harvey Weinstein because he and his company, like many other leaders in the entertainment world, have been longtime supporters of the Wiesenthal Center and its work,” Simon Wiesenthal Center spokesman Marcial Lavina wrote in an email to JTA.
Asked whether the group would withdraw the award, Lavina wrote, “That hasn’t been up for discussion.”
The dean of the Wiesenthal Center, Rabbi Marvin Hier, told JTA that the group never would have given Weinstein the award had it known of the allegations against him.
“If we would know then that this is who he is and that he did this to women, we would have never honored him, period,” Hier told JTA. “It’s not even a question. It’s against everything the Museum of Tolerance and the Wiesenthal Center stands for.”
In 2015, along with the Simon Wiesenthal award, Weinstein received the Truth to Power Award from the Survivor Mitzvah Project, which aids elderly Holocaust survivors. The group did not respond to JTA calls for comment.
Weinstein had Jewish-themed movie projects in the works. He had announced plans to direct a film adaptation of “Mila 18,” the Leon Uris novel about the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, and just days ago his company acquired the rights to “Prosecuting Evil: The Extraordinary World of Ben Ferencz,” about a U.S. prosecutor in the Nuremberg Trials following World War II.
The company said net profits from the documentary would be donated to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial and Museum in Washington, D.C.
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