Harvey Weinstein accused of raping 3 women in New Yorker exposé

Last Updated Oct 10, 2017 8:58 PM EDT

NEW YORK -- The New Yorker is reporting that Harvey Weinstein has previously raped three women, significantly intensifying the scandal surrounding the disgraced movie mogul.

A representative for Weinstein vehemently denied the allegations in a statement to the magazine.

The exposé, published 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.

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."

The article also cited a 2015 audio recording made by the New York Police Department wherein Weinstein admits to groping a model named Ambra Battilana Gutierrez.

 

But according to New York County chief assistant district attorney Karen Friedman Agnifilo, the audio recoring "was insufficient to prove a crime under New York law."

"If we could have prosecuted Harvey Weinstein for the conduct that occurred in 2015, we would have," Agnifilo said in a written statement. "Mr. Weinstein's pattern of mistreating women, as recounted in recent reports, is disgraceful and shocks the conscience."

Ronan Farrow, the contributor to the New Yorker who wrote the article, took part in a 10-month-long investigation where he spoke to 13 women who all claim that between the 1990s and 2015, Weinstein sexually harassed or assaulted them. Farrow spoke to CBS News' Jericka Duncan about the investigation.

According to Farrow, three women called it rape, including a claim from Italian actress Asia Argento.

Argento tweeted out a scene from a 1999 movie she wrote and directed that she says was loosely based on the alleged assault by Weinstein. 

The New Yorker report also included accounts from actresses Rosanna Arquette, Mira Sorvino and others of inappropriate behavior. Sorvino recalled that she "freaked out" when Weinstein once came to her home after midnight and only left when she said her boyfriend was on his way. She said she believes she was "iced out" of career opportunities as a result.

Arquette told the magazine that she, too, felt her career suffered after she refused Weinstein's advances when he grabbed her in his hotel room.

In another report from The New York Times on Tuesday, Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie also came forward with their own accounts of past sexual harassment by Weinstein. Paltrow described his attempt to lure her, as a then 22-year-old aspiring actress, into giving him a massage in a hotel room. The incident prompted her then-boyfriend Brad Pitt to confront Weinstein at a film premiere.

Angelina Jolie told the paper that she has "a bad experience with Harvey Weinstein in my youth." Since, she said, she has refused to work with him and "warn others when they did."

Weinstein made a last-ditch effort to save his career after allegations of harassment and misconduct were first reported last week by The New York TimesCBS News learned he sent a letter asking several movie industry executives for public support just hours before he was fired from the company he co-founded with his brother.

Weinstein wrote, "I am desperate for your help." The letter was first reported by the Hollywood Reporter's Janice Min and then confirmed by CBS News.

The flurry of allegations against Weinstein could prove to be a moment of reckoning for Hollywood, which is facing increased scrutiny over the fair treatment of women in the industry.

Condemnations of Weinstein continue to mount. Hillary Clinton, who counted Weinstein among her Hollywood campaign supporters, put out a statement saying she was "shocked and appalled by the revelations about Harvey Weinstein. The behavior described by women coming forward cannot be tolerated."

In 2016, Weinstein hosted a fundraiser for Clinton at his home and produced a sold-out Broadway concert to benefit her campaign.

The growing chorus of A-list actors condemning the movie mogul includes Jennifer Lawrence, who praised the women who first came forward in an exposé published last week by The New York Times that detailed Weinstein's alleged harassment of actresses and employees. Lawrence, who won an Oscar for the Weinstein-produced "Silver Linings Playbook," says she was never harassed by the mogul.

Also among those weighing in after the allegations came to light were some of Weinstein's professional allies and beneficiaries Meryl Streep, Kate Winslet, Kevin Smith and Judi Dench. They spoke up with a combination of disgust over his alleged behavior and remorse or defensiveness over their own business entanglements with him.

Ben Affleck added his voice, writing on Facebook: "I am saddened and angry that a man who I worked with used his position of power to intimidate, sexually harass and manipulate many women over decades. ... We must support those who come forward, condemn this type of behavior when we see it and help ensure there are more women in positions of power."

Fashion designer Donna Karan apologized after her initial statement of support for Weinstein caused an uproar. The Daily Mail reported that in a red carpet interview she put some of the blame on women asking for "trouble" by dressing seductively and "presenting themselves the way they do."

In a statement to CBS News, Karan said: "Last night I made a statement that unfortunately is not representative of how I feel or what I believe. I have spent my life championing women. My life has been dedicated to dressing and addressing the needs of women, empowering them and promoting equal rights. I am very sorry for what I have said. It was misinterpreted and does not represent how I feel. What I was trying to say is that sexual harassment is a pandemic and a much bigger issue than Harvey Weinstein. Sexual harassment is unacceptable. I am truly sorry to anyone that I offended and everyone that has ever been a victim.

The actors' labor union SAG-AFTRA joined those in condemning the disgraced movie mogul, calling reports of his alleged conduct "abhorrent and unacceptable."

"Fired (the) Weinsteins because they were irresponsible, and Harvey was an incorrigible bully," said former Disney chief executive Michael Eisner on Twitter on Tuesday. "Had no idea he was capable of these horrible actions."

"Harvey Weinstein's reported behavior is abhorrent and unacceptable, and it has no place in our society," said Disney chief Bob Iger.

Disney, which owns Miramax, also didn't respond Tuesday. Disney purchased Miramax in 1993; the Weinsteins departed in 2005 to found The Weinstein Co.

Meanwhile, People magazine is reporting Tuesday night that Weinstein's wife, Georgina Chapman, is leaving her husband.

"My heart breaks for all the women who have suffered tremendous pain because of these unforgivable actions. I have chosen to leave my husband," she said. "Caring for my young children is my first priority and I ask the media for privacy at this time."