Film producer Harvey Weinstein surrendered on Friday to authorities at a New York City police station on sex crime charges, months after he was toppled from Hollywood’s most powerful ranks by scores of women accusing him of misconduct.
More than 70 women have accused the co-founder of the Miramax film studio and Weinstein Co of sexual misconduct, including rape, with some allegations dating back decades.
The accusations, 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 of misconduct. Weinstein has denied having non-consensual sex with anyone.
Weinstein will be charged with committing a criminal sex act in a 2004 encounter with a former aspiring actress, Lucia Evans, who told the New Yorker he forced her to perform oral sex, as well as a rape charge, related to a woman who has not spoken publicly or been identified, according to a law enforcement official. The official wasn’t authorized to discuss the case and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.
Weinstein, 66, arrived at the station house at about 7:25 a.m. ET wearing a dark jacket over a blue sweater and white open-collared shirt and dark jeans. He carried thick books under his right arm, including what appeared to be biographies of the Broadway musical duo of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, and film director Elia Kazan.
Police officers escorted him inside as scores of journalists pushed up against barricades for pictures and video while three helicopters hovered overhead.
He is due to appear later Friday morning for arraignment at a Manhattan courthouse, where a judge is expected to release him on bail, according to media reports.
Weinstein’s spokesperson, Juda Engelmayer, and his lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, declined to comment to Reuters on Thursday on the imminent charges.
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 Company fired him and the company 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 spent time in Scottsdale, Ariz., where the New York Times said he sought treatment for sex addiction.
London’s Metropolitan Police have said they are also investigating an allegation of sexual assault against Weinstein, while prosecutors in Los Angeles said in February they were reviewing three accusations of sexual assault against him.
Brafman said in a May court filing that federal prosecutors in New York had opened a separate criminal investigation into the allegations.
Actress Ashley Judd last month sued Weinstein, saying he cost her a part in 1998 in the film The Lord of the Rings after she rejected his sexual advances, charges that Weinstein has denied.
Actress Rose McGowan, among the first in Hollywood to accuse Weinstein of sexual assault, said in a statement on Thursday that his alleged victims were now “one step closer to justice.”