3rd city announces probe of Harvey Weinstein for possible sex assaults

Last Updated Oct 20, 2017 3:21 AM EDT

LOS ANGELES -- Harvey Weinstein is now facing criminal inquiries in three cities after an Italian actress told Los Angeles detectives the disgraced film mogul raped her in a hotel room in 2013. 

Police confirmed Thursday they are looking into the woman's allegations, and her attorney said he would give additional details about them at a news conference outside a downtown Los Angeles courthouse on Friday afternoon. 

The unidentified woman is an Italian model and actress, according to an announcement of attorney David M. Ring's press conference. In addition to talking to detectives, the woman and Ring spoke to the Los Angeles Times on Thursday, telling them Weinstein bullied his way into her hotel room, refused to leave and raped her.

Sallie Hofmeister, a representative for Weinstein, said in a statement that Weinstein "unequivocally denies allegations of non-consensual sex."

The Los Angeles investigation comes after announcements last week by police in New York and London that they are taking a new look at allegations involving the Oscar-winner. New York police are taking a fresh look for complaints involving Weinstein, and the department has encouraged anyone who may have information about abuses by the producer to contact the department. London police are investigating allegations of sexual assault against him made by two women.

Ring said in a statement Thursday that the breadth of accusations against Weinstein compelled his client to speak to police.

"My client is grateful to all the courageous women who have already come forward to finally expose Weinstein," Ring said. "These women may not have realized it, but they gave my client the support and encouragement to hold Weinstein accountable for this horrible act." 

Allegations of sexual assault and harassment began to publicly mount against Weinstein earlier this month after the New York Times released an extensive article chronicling allegations from actress Ashley Judd and former employees at both The Weinstein Company and Weinstein's former company, Miramax.

Within their exposé, the Times reported Weinstein reached at least eight legal settlements with women over alleged harassment. The settlements span over several decades — from about $80,000 and $150,000 — with accusers ranging from a young assistant in New York in 1990 to an Italian model in 2015. 

Several days later, The New Yorker echoed the Times' sentiments, reporting three additional accounts of rape involving the disgraced movie mogul. Within the report, actress Asia Argento and former aspiring actress Lucia Evans detailed their encounters. The third woman chose to remain anonymous. 

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. In a statement to the magazine, Weinstein's representative vehemently denied the allegations. 

The reports have prompted more women to come forward to share their accounts of Weinstein's alleged sexual misconduct.

Hollywood celebrities and A-listers — including actresses Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow — have spoken out against Weinstein. 

On Wednesday, filmmaker Quentin Tarantino told the Times he knew about Weinstein's alleged misconduct toward for decades. Tarantino says he now feels ashamed that he kept working with him. 

"I knew enough to more than I did," he told the Times. "I wish I had taken responsibility for what I heard. If I had done the work I should have done then, I would have had to not work with him." 

Tarantino told the Times his former girlfriend, Mira Sorvino, told him about "unwelcome advances and unwanted touching" by Weinstein. He also recalled hearing several alarming stories over the years. 

He was initially placed on indefinite leave from the company he co-founded with his brother, Bob, while authorities completed an internal investigation. Weinstein was ultimately fired from the company. He offered his resignation about a week later.