An Italian actress and model reported to the Los Angeles Police an “extremely serious sexual assault and rape” by Harvey Weinstein, who her lawyer says “bullied his way” into her hotel room.
The LAPD had said on Thursday that it is investigating a 2013 sexual assault allegation against the producer, who faces numerous allegations of sexual misconduct by other women, and had interviewed a potential sexual assault victim. The Italian star, who is 38, told the Los Angeles Times that she had reported to the police that Weinstein raped her that year in a Beverly Hills hotel room.
The actress’ lawyer David M. Ring told reporters outside an L.A. courthouse on Friday that his client described to the LAPD “extremely serious sexual assault and rape,” NBC Los Angeles reported.
She is the sixth woman to accuse Weinstein of rape, following the likes of Rose McGowan and Italian star and xXx cast member Asia Argento, and one of at least 50 who have in recent weeks accused him of sexual misconduct. Many of the women have said that the alleged incidents took place in hotel rooms. Weinstein has apologized for his treatment of colleagues but denies allegations of non-consensual sex and has not been charged with a crime. The scandal has cost his him job, his marriage and many of his honors.
“My client is grateful to all the courageous women who have already come forward to finally expose Weinstein,” the Italian actress’ lawyer 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.”
Ring said the alleged incident happened to the woman, a mother of three, when she was 34 years old.
“What happened to her was really horrible. It’s had a humongous, a huge impact on her life. In a sense, she is relieved to have come forward now, to be able to share what happened with the LAPD, but she’s also extremely scared, and…rightfully so,” he said.
Argento has faced a public outcry in their native Italy over her public comments about Weinstein’s alleged rape of her and has said that she is leaving the country for Germany to escape the “climate of tension” and “victim blaming,” the New York Times reported.
The unnamed Italian actress had talked about her encounter with Weinstein in an interview with the Los Angeles Times that was published on Thursday, hours after she reported the alleged rape to the LAPD. She asked not to be named because she is fearful of retaliation and concerned about protecting her children’s privacy.
She told the newspaper that the producer raped her hours after she attended the Los Angeles, Italia Film, Fashion and Art Fest. She said she declined his invitation to go to his hotel room and that he later showed up in the lobby of her hotel after midnight and asked to come up to her room. She said she told him no but that he later knocked on her door.
“He…bullied his way into my hotel room, saying, ‘I’m not going to [have sex with] you, I just want to talk,'” she said. “Once inside, he asked me questions about myself, but soon became very aggressive and demanding and kept asking to see me naked,” she said.
Her attorney repeated her comments, saying Weinstein “bullied his way into her room.”
“She has told me that obviously her greatest regret is opening that door,” Ring said. “She had no idea what was coming.”
The actress also said Weinstein repeatedly bragged about his power and influence and told her not to fight him. She said she tried to show him pictures of her children and her mother, who was undergoing chemotherapy, and cried and begged him to go away, to no avail.
“He grabbed me by the hair and forced me to do something I did not want to do,” she said. “He then dragged me to the bathroom and forcibly raped me.”
The unnamed Italian actress’ allegation against Weinstein falls within California’s 10-year statute of limitations for rape cases.
Ring said the actress did not consider reporting the incident to police in 2013, partially because she did not live in the U.S. at the time.
New York and London police are also carrying out their own investigations of the producer over sexual assault allegations.