New York police department confirms it is investigating allegation by actor, who says Weinstein raped her twice, and is gathering evidence to seek arrest warrant

New York City police believe a 2010 rape allegation made against Harvey Weinstein by the actor Paz de la Huerta is “credible”, and are gathering evidence to seek an arrest warrant.

Chief of detectives Robert Boyce said on Friday that investigators have interviewed de la Huerta, who publicly accused Weinstein of raping her twice in her apartment.

Boyce said detectives found the Boardwalk Empire actress’s story believable and corroborated portions of her account.

Speaking at a police briefing, Boyce also said that if Weinstein were in New Yorknow and the assault allegation were recent, “we’d go right away and make the arrest. No doubt.”

But he said that since Weinstein was in another state and the allegations were years old, investigators have to gather evidence first.

De la Huerta, who has appeared in several movies as well as in the HBO series Boardwalk Empire, told Vanity Fair that both incidents occurred in New York in late 2010. She claims the first took place in November at the actor’s apartment, after Weinstein had offered her a ride home and demanded to come inside and have a drink.

“Immediately when we got inside the house, he started to kiss me and I kind of brushed [him] away,” de la Huerta said. “Then he pushed me on to the bed and his pants were down and he lifted up my skirt. I felt afraid … It wasn’t consensual … It happened very quickly. He stuck himself inside me. When he was done he said he’d be calling me. I kind of just laid on the bed in shock.”

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She claims the second assault occurred a month later after Weinstein had appeared unannounced in the lobby of De la Huerta’s apartment building. De la Huerta claims that Weinstein had repeatedly called her since their first encounter and she said that she was afraid of him. She also said that she had been drinking, and was in “no state” to deal with Weinstein.

“I was so terrified of him. I did say no, and when he was on top of me I said, ‘I don’t want to do this.’ He kept humping me and it was disgusting. He’s like a pig. He raped me,” she told the magazine.

De la Huerta said that after the second incident Weinstein offered to cast her in a play. “He left and I never heard from him again. He knew he had done a bad thing,” she added.

Speaking to Vanity Fair, Nicholas DiGuardio, the New York police department (NYPD) detective who is leading an investigation into Weinstein, confirmed that he had spoken to De la Huerta and said that her claims against Weinstein could see charges brought against the producer. “I believe, based on my interviews with Paz, that from the NYPD standpoint we have enough to make an arrest,” he said.

Police in London and Los Angeles are also investigating allegations against Weinstein, who has been accused of sexual assault or harassment by more than 90 women. Weinstein was fired by the board of his own company, and expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Producers Guild of America and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.

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A spokesperson for the producer has said that he “unequivocally denies” all accusations of non-consensual sex made against him.

Agencies contributed reporting

Source: The Guardian

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