Disgraced Hollywood movie mogul Harvey Weinstein today surrendered to the police on charges of raping a woman, months after he was accused by scores of women of misconduct triggering the global #MeToo movement.
More than 70 women have accused Weinstein, once the most powerful man in the American film industry of sexual misconduct, including rape, with some allegations dating back to decades.
Manhattan prosecutors will charge Weinstein, 66, with first- and third-degree rape in one case and a first-degree sex act in a second case, CNN reported. He’s expected to appear in court later in the day.
As part of a bail package negotiated in advance, Weinstein will put up $1 million in cash and agree to wearing a monitoring device. His travel will be restricted and he will have to surrender his passport, the New York Times reported.
His arrest and charges follow innumerable accusations levelled against him by several women from the movie industry.
As women opened up about Weinstein’s history of sexually abusing and assaulting them, women from across the world come forward with their own accounts of being sexually harassed and assaulted by powerful men, triggering the global #MeToo movement.
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“Weinstein had until recently seemed untouchable, harnessing his wealth and his influence in the movie industry to intimidate women out of speaking publicly and, only three years ago, withstand an investigation into groping allegations,” the NYT report said.
The criminal sex act charge against Weinstein stems from an encounter with Lucia Evans, who told The New Yorker and then investigators from the Manhattan district attorney’s office that the Hollywood producer forced her to perform oral sex on him during what she thought would be a casting meeting.
The victim in the rape case has not been publicly identified.
Weinstein has been accused of sexually harassing and assaulting movie stars and employees of his former namesake company over the course of decades and then paying them or coercing them to stay silent.
Weinstein’s lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, declined to comment, the report said.
In the past, Brafman had said that Weinstein denies any allegations of “nonconsensual sex.”
Authorities opened investigation into Weinstein’s conduct. Prosecutors in the office of the Manhattan district attorney Cyrus Vance conducted dozens of interviews in New York and elsewhere and issued hundreds of subpoenas, and their inquiry is not over.