TV Academy could boot Weinstein; new allegation revealed
Los Angeles — Another influential entertainment organization said Friday it would consider booting disgraced film mogul Harvey Weinstein as another woman accused the Oscar winner of sexual abuse.
The Television Academy, which bestows Emmy awards, said a disciplinary hearing set for November could lead to termination of his membership.
Weinstein, accused of sexually harassing and abusing numerous women over decades, has been fired from The Weinstein Co., a TV and movie film production company he co-founded with his brother Bob. He has been expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Producers Guild and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.
He now faces criminal inquiries in three cities after an Italian actress told Los Angeles detectives that Weinstein raped her in a hotel room in 2013.
Attorney David Ring, who represents the 38-year-old actress, said Friday that she provided graphic details to police about the incident that occurred while she was in the city for the Los Angeles, Italia Film, Fashion and Art Fest.
The actress, who has not been named, met Weinstein in Rome previously and spoke with him briefly at the film festival before he arrived uninvited at her hotel room.
Weinstein bullied his way in and raped her, Ring said.
“Her greatest regret is opening that door,” Ring said. “She had no idea what was coming.”
Police confirmed Thursday they are looking into the woman’s allegations.
Ring said the rape has had a “humongous impact on her life.” While she’s relieved to have reported it to police, she is also “extremely scared,” he said.
The actress has had no interaction with Weinstein since the night in 2013, Ring said.
He said his client never received a settlement and wasn’t sure yet if she would sue Weinstein.
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.
On Friday, a former actress said Weinstein ruined her career ambition after he exposed himself to her during a 1989 business meeting in his office. Heather Kerr said he told her to sit on the couch and repeated saying she needed to be “good” if she wanted to succeed.
He then pulled down his zipper, exposed himself and forced her to touch his genitals, she said.
Kerr said she backed away, left the room and hurried out of the building. After some theater work, she quit acting.
“I felt so powerless,” she tearfully recalled. “I didn’t think anyone would believe me. I was nobody. Why would they?”
Kerr, whose acting credits in the 1980s include the TV shows “The Facts of Life” and “Mama’s Family,” spoke at a news conference with attorney Gloria Allred.
More than 40 women have accused Weinstein, 65, of harassment or abuse. Actresses Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie and Lupita Nyong’o have all accused Weinstein of harassment, while actresses Asia Argento and Rose McGowan said he raped them.
Nyong’o accused Weinstein of several incidents of harassment in an op-ed piece published by The New York Times on Thursday, including a 2011 incident in which she said the mogul tried to give her a massage at his Connecticut home.
She refused, instead giving the mogul a massage and leaving when he said he wanted to take off his pants, Nyong’o wrote.
Also on Thursday, a group of about 30 staffers for The Weinstein Company stated in a letter published online by The New Yorker that they didn’t know they were “working for a serial sexual predator.”
The employees say they knew of Weinstein’s “infamous temper” and that he could be “manipulative,” but didn’t know “that he used his power to systematically assault and silence women.”
Representatives for Weinstein and The Weinstein Company didn’t immediately return a request for comment on the letter Friday.
The stories of harassment and abuse dating back decades has led to the downfall of a producer who once ruled Hollywood’s awards season with a string of contenders including “Shakespeare in Love,” for which he shared an Oscar, and films such as “The King’s Speech” and “Silver Linings Playbook.”
Since The New York Times published its initial expose on Oct. 5, honors conferred on Weinstein by Harvard University and the British Film Institute have been rescinded, and several Democratic lawmakers have donated political contributions they received from Weinstein to charity.