Here’s hoping that a rich and famous person in the entertainment industry may someday go to jail, not on a healing journey, but jail jail. “We have an actual case going forward,” Chief Boyce, NYPD chief of detectives, told reporters on Friday of Harvey Weinstein–who’s allegedly been blowing off his outpatient program at The Meadows addiction rehab center, using his cell phone during sessions and staying at a hotel.
They are investigating a rape allegation made by actress Paz de la Huerta, who claims that seven years ago Weinstein raped her twice in her Manhattan apartment. de la Huerta says that she met Weinstein at the age of 14 while filming the Miramax movie Cider House Rules. They met again in 2010 at the Standard hotel bar, after which point he offered to drive her home. Sadly, we know where this story goes; de la Huerta told Vanity Fair:
Immediately when we got inside the house, he started to kiss me and I kind of brushed [him] away...Then he pushed me onto the bed and his pants were down and he lifted up my skirt. I felt afraid. . . . It wasn’t consensual . . . It happened very quickly. . . . He stuck himself inside me. . . . When he was done he said he’d be calling me. I kind of just laid on the bed in shock.
She reports that an almost-identical incident happened later that year, except he showed up at her house unannounced.
The NYPD claims that de la Huerta has given them credible details about her movements which have been confirmed by other sources.
“If this person was still in New York and it was recent we would go right away and make the arrest, no doubt,” Boyce told reporters. “But we’re talking about a seven-year-old case. And we have to move forward gathering evidence.”
In his New Yorker exposé, Ronan Farrow reported that the NYPD had attempted, then dropped, a sting operation in 2015 which yielded audio of Weinstein admitting that he’d touched model Ambra Battilana Gutierrez and begging her to sit with him on the bed. The New York Times reports that the case was dropped largely because the Manhattan DA’s office is reluctant to go forward with a sex crimes case unless it has very clear evidence, so as not to humiliate the victim and deter others from speaking out.
HuffPost has reported that the NYPD is also looking into another case from 2004, actress Lucia Evans’s claim that he forced her to give him oral sex in his office. The LAPD and London Police are also investigating claims. Over 80 allegations should suffice.