Weinstein accused of raping 3 women in New Yorker story

NEW YORK (AP) — The New Yorker reported Tuesday that Harvey Weinstein has previously raped three women, significantly intensifying the scandal surrounding the disgraced movie mogul. A representative for the mogul vehemently denied the allegations in a statement to the magazine.

The expose, published online Tuesday, detailed allegations not just of sexual harassment but of three incidents involving rape. Actress Asia Argento and a former aspiring actress named Lucia Evans went on the record to allege Weinstein forced himself on them sexually. A third woman spoke anonymously.

Evans, then a senior at Middlebury College, said Weinstein forced her to perform oral sex on him in 2004 at the Miramax offices in Tribeca. She had been brought in for a casting meeting with Weinstein. Argento, an Italian film actress and director, said Weinstein forcibly performed oral sex on her at the Cannes Film Festival in 1999.

“I know he has crushed a lot of people before,” Argento told the magazine. “That’s why this story — in my case, it’s twenty years old, some of them are older — has never come out.”

Attorneys for Weinstein did not immediately return messages Tuesday. The New Yorker quoted Weinstein representative Sallie Hofmeister responding that “any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein.”

“Mr. Weinstein has further confirmed that there were never any acts of retaliation against any women for refusing his advances. Mr. Weinstein obviously can’t speak to anonymous allegations, but with respect to any women who have made allegations on the record, Mr. Weinstein believes that all of these relationships were consensual,” said Hofmeister. “Mr. Weinstein has begun counseling, has listened to the community and is pursuing a better path. Mr. Weinstein is hoping that, if he makes enough progress, he will be given a second chance.”

In this March 2, 2014 file photo, Harvey Weinstein arrives at the Oscars in Los Angeles. Weinstein has been fired from The Weinstein Co., effective immediately, following new information about his conduct, the company’s board of directors announced Sunday, Oct. 8, 2017. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)

The story, written by Ronan Farrow, claimed that thirteen women have said Weinstein sexually harassed or assaulted them between 1990 and 2015. The incidents described range from unwanted groping to forced sex. Some of those incidents overlap with the eight allegations of sexual harassment previously reported by The New York Times, all of which resulted in financial settlements.

The New Yorker also reported that 16 former and current executives and assistants at The Weinstein Co. and Miramax either witnessed or knew of Weinstein’s unwanted sexual advances. “All sixteen said the behavior was widely known within both Miramax and the Weinstein Company.”

Representatives for The Weinstein Co. didn’t immediately respond to messages.

The New Yorker also revealed an audio recording made by the New York Police Department in 2015 in which Weinstein says he groped a model named Ambra Battilana Guitierrez.

Weinstein was fired Sunday by the Weinstein Co., the studio he co-founded, three days after a bombshell New York Times expose alleged decades of crude sexual behavior on his part toward female employees and actresses, including Ashley Judd.

Weinstein responded to the report in a lengthy, rambling statement in which he pleaded for a second chance and apologized for the pain he had caused.

Weinstein has not publicly commented since Thursday.