Harvey Weinstein faces 2 new criminal investigations
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Authorities in Los Angeles and New York said Thursday they had opened new investigations into Harvey Weinstein, the latest in a series of criminal probes into conduct by the disgraced film mogul which has sparked a sexual harassment scandal roiling Hollywood and other industries.
The Manhattan district attorney’s office said a senior prosecutor has been assigned to investigate allegations by “Boardwalk Empire” actress Paz de la Huerta, who told CBS News that Weinstein raped her twice in her apartment in 2010. Spokeswoman Joan Vollero said New York police were also involved, but further details could not be provided.
De la Huerta spoke to CBS News by phone and said the first rape occurred in October 2010 after Weinstein gave her a ride home from a party, insisted on having a drink in her apartment and forced himself on her. She said the second rape occurred in December 2010 after Weinstein came to her apartment; she had been drinking and was not in a condition to give consent, CBS reported the actress said.
Los Angeles police are investigating allegations about Weinstein that occurred in 2015, but spokesman Josh Rubenstein said he could not provide any additional details. The department is also investigating a report by an Italian actress and model who said she was raped by Weinstein in 2013.
Weinstein representative Sallie Hofmeister reiterated a statement that Weinstein, 65, denies all allegations of non-consensual sex.
Authorities in Beverly Hills and London are also investigating Weinstein for possible criminal cases.
The investigations came four weeks after The New York Times published an expose of sexual harassment allegations against Weinstein, leading to his firing from the company he co-founded and his expulsion from the producers guild and the organization that bestows the Academy Awards.
The accusations against Weinstein have prompted numerous allegations of sexual harassment and abuse against powerful men in Hollywood and other industries.
CNN reported on Thursday that eight current or former “House of Cards” workers claim that Kevin Spacey made the production a “toxic” workplace and one ex-employee alleges the actor sexually assaulted him.
The workers’ identities were withheld from Thursday’s report because they fear professional fallout, the cable news channel said.
Among them is a former production assistant who alleged that Spacey assaulted him during one of the Netflix show’s early seasons, and CNN reported that all of the people described Spacey’s behavior as predatory.
The report accuses Spacey of allegedly targeting staffers who were typically young and male with nonconsensual touching and crude comments.
Netflix has suspended production on the series, which was slated to end after its sixth season. The streaming service and “House of Cards” producers said Thursday that one allegation against Spacey involved a remark and gesture made during production of the show’s first season in 2012. After, Spacey willingly participated in training and producer Media Rights Capital said it was not aware of any additional complaints against the actor since then.
The production company said it has instituted a hotline for complaints and will investigate them thoroughly. There was no word on the fate of “House of Cards” in Thursday’s statements.
A person with knowledge of the decision said late Thursday that Spacey’s publicist and talent agency CAA have parted ways with the actor. His representatives on Wednesday said the two-time Oscar winner was in treatment for an unspecified condition.
Also on Thursday, actor Corey Feldman appeared on “The Dr. Oz Show” and named the man who he said molested him when he was a young teen.
Feldman made his comments in an interview with series host Mehmet Oz and in an on-air call that Oz identified as being to the Los Angeles Police Department.
Los Angeles Police Department Officer Drake Madison says the department is aware of the show, but no report has yet been filed.
The Associated Press is withholding his name because the man could not be located to comment on Feldman’s allegations.
Feldman, 46, gained fame in the 1980s with films including “Gremlins,” ″The Goonies” and “Stand by Me.”
While the outcome of criminal investigations into allegations against Weinstein remains unclear, the producer may have to give sworn testimony in a lawsuit he filed against his former company.
Attorneys for The Weinstein Co. told a Delaware judge on Thursday that they want to take sworn testimony from the producer, who is suing to gain access to his personnel file and emails.
Weinstein’s seeking the records to defend himself in potential civil and criminal cases, and to help the company respond to a civil rights investigation by New York’s attorney general.
The judge said Weinstein could be deposed, even though his attorney said a deposition would be “tricky” and “fraught with problems,” given the ongoing criminal investigations. The attorney said Weinstein’s ability to testify would be limited without waiving his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination.
AP Television Writer Lynn Elber and Entertainment Writer Anthony McCartney in Los Angeles, AP writer Randall Chase in Dover, Delaware, contributed to this report.