Jamaica Observer / NEW YORK, United States (AFP) — Fallen Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein turned himself in to New York police on Friday to face sex crime charges, nearly eight months after his career imploded in a blaze of assault accusations and triggered the global #MeToo movement. The former powerbroker — once the toast of Hollywood, whose films won scores of Oscars — is likely to be charged with raping one woman and forcing another into performing oral sex, US media have reported.
The 66-year-old former studio boss walked into the downtown Manhattan police station shortly before 7:30 am (1130 GMT) wearing a pale button-down shirt, a blue sweater and a dark blazer before a mob of television cameras.
Inside he was expected to have his mugshot and fingerprints taken, before being taken to a Manhattan court, where The New York Times reports that he will put up US$1 million in cash and agree to wear a monitoring device.
His travel will be restricted and he will surrender his passport.
The Manhattan district attorney’s office and New York police have investigated Weinstein for months, coming under growing pressure from the Time’s Up movement to bring the disgraced producer to justice.
A Friday court appearance would mark the first criminal charges filed against the twice-married, shamed former titan.
Lucia Evans, who said he forced her into oral sex in 2004, is thought to be at least one of the women whose cases he will be charged over, according to US media.
Ben Brafman, Weinstein’s powerful defence attorney, has declined to comment. Neither the district attorney’s office nor the police department has also spoken publicly about his surrender.
Police have, however, previously confirmed an active Weinstein investigation regarding Evans, who was an aspiring actress at the time.
New York police have also confirmed a credible rape allegation against Weinstein after “Boardwalk Empire” actress Paz de la Huerta accused him of raping her twice at her New York apartment in late 2010.
The mogul’s career went down in flames last October over sexual assault allegations following bombshell articles in The New York Times and New Yorker, which sparked a sexual harassment watershed across the United States and won both outlets a Pulitzer.
Women around the world came forward with similar cases of sexual mistreatment by men.
More than 100 women have since accused the 66-year-old of crimes ranging from sexual harassment to assault and rape going back 40 years.
More than two dozen actresses including Salma Hayek, Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie say they were sexually harassed by the producer. A few, including Asia Argento and Rose McGowan, said they were raped.
“We are one step closer to justice,” McGowan was quoted as saying by Variety. “May this give hope to all victims and survivors everywhere.”
Evans, now a marketing consultant, told The New Yorker that Weinstein approached her in a club in 2004 and that an assistant subsequently set up a daytime meeting at the Miramax office in Tribeca.
“He forced me to perform oral sex on him,” she said. “I said, over and over, ‘I don’t want to do this, stop, don’t,'” she added.
Weinstein has denied any non-consensual sex and has reportedly been in treatment for sex addiction.