Harvey Weinstein to be charged in UK over assault allegations

Prosecutors say charges authorised against former film producer over alleged assault in 1996 in London.

Harvey Weinstein
Film producer Harvey Weinstein is currently serving a 23-year prison sentence in the United States [File: Reuters]

British prosecutors have authorised charges to be brought against former Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein on two counts of indecent assault against a woman 26 years ago.

“Charges have been authorised against Harvey Weinstein, 70, following a review of the evidence gathered by the Metropolitan Police in its investigation,” said Rosemary Ainslie, head of the Special Crime Division of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

The offences are alleged to have taken place in London between July 31 and August 31, 1996.

London’s Metropolitan Police said the accusation involved a woman, now aged in her 50s.

Weinstein is currently serving a 23-year prison sentence in the United States after being convicted in 2020 of assaulting former production assistant Mimi Haleyi and raping former aspiring actress Jessica Mann.

That conviction was upheld by a New York appeals court last week.

Widespread allegations

Widespread sexual abuse and harassment allegations against Weinstein exploded in 2017.

In total, nearly 90 women including actresses Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow and Salma Hayek have accused Weinstein of harassment or assault.

The  Pulp Fiction producer has maintained that all his sexual encounters were consensual.

The verdict against the former Hollywood mogul was considered a landmark in the #MeToo movement where women came forward to accuse dozens of powerful men of sexual misconduct.

As allegations poured in, London’s Metropolitan Police said it was investigating a string of sexual assault claims against Weinstein.

“The Crown Prosecution Service reminds all concerned that criminal proceedings against the defendant are active and that he has the right to a fair trial,” CPS’s Ainslie said.

The CPS brings criminal cases in England and Wales and authorises the police to bring charges after assessing the case against a suspect.

Source: News Agencies