As the probe into Harvey Weinstein’s actions spread overseas, NYPD investigators are looking into a number of possible leads involving allegations of sexual misconduct against the disgraced Hollywood producer, a law enforcement source said Thursday.
The source, who didn’t want to be identified, said the leads, including one coming from an attorney said to be representing a possible victim, were being vetted but it was unclear at this point whether they were credible.
The tips came after the department on Thursday invited anyone with information about possible misconduct by Weinstein, 65, to come forward.
So far, the only allegation against Weinstein pursued by the NYPD involved a 2015 report by Italian model Ambra Battilana Gutierrez, who said he touched her breasts in his Manhattan office. Gutierrez got Weinstein to admit on tape that he touched her. But Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. said his top prosecutors stated there wasn’t enough evidence to prove a crime, a view police and some legal experts have challenged.
“In all deference to DA Vance, after reviewing contents of the tape recording, this was a highly prosecutable case,” said James DiPietro, a defense attorney and former Nassau assistant district attorney.
Vance spokeswoman Joan Vollero said Thursday that the office intended to work with the NYPD on any new complaints against Weinstein.
Separately, the NYPD has acknowledged that it was trying to locate Lucia Stoller, a former aspiring actress. In a recent New Yorker article, Stoller alleged that Weinstein forced her to perform oral sex on him in summer 2004 in his Manhattan office. Detectives want to talk with Stoller, who may be out of the country, to assess the claims made in the magazine article, a police spokesman said.
Since stories broke last week in which Weinstein was accused by a number of women, including actresses Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow, of sexual harassment or sexual misconduct, the one-time Hollywood powerhouse was fired from The Weinstein Co., which he co-founded with brother Bob, and was ditched by his wife and condemned by numerous stars whose careers he molded. Former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton said she was appalled by Weinstein and was donating his campaign contributions to charity.
In an Instagram post Thursday, actress Kate Beckinsale said she was 17 when Weinstein greeted her in his bathrobe for a meeting in a room at the Savoy Hotel in London, according to The Associated Press. Beckinsale said she left the meeting uneasy but unscathed, the AP said. A few years later, Weinstein asked her if he had tried anything with her at the first meeting. She said she realized “he couldn’t remember if he had assaulted me or not,” the AP reported.
British media reported Thursday that London police were investigating a sexual assault allegation against Weinstein, according to AP.
The allegation, which came from the Merseyside force in northwest England, concerns “an alleged sexual assault in the London area in the 1980s,” the AP said. British police do not identify suspects who have not been charged, the AP said.
Sex crime cases are difficult to make, legal experts said. State statistics show that city prosecutors bring charges in about half the first-degree rape case arrests and that only half of those cases lead to convictions. They decline to prosecute about 5 percent to 15 percent of sex cases.
Manhattan defense attorney Jeffrey Lichtman says he defends about five sex crime cases a year, with most reduced to nonsexual charges.
“It is very rare that they get a conviction,” Lichtman said.
Weinstein, through his spokeswoman, has denied any allegations of nonconsensual sex.
With Matthew Chayes