The Los Angeles Police Department has opened an investigation into Harvey Weinstein after a sixth woman accused the mogul of sexual assault. This case falls within the 10-year statute of limitations.
Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) spokesman Tony Im told reporters on Thursday that the force has interviewed a potential sexual assault victim in a case involving 65-year-old Weinstein.
Weinsten has not been seen in public since the first revelations of serial sexual harrasment were made in early October.
The Los Angeles Times newspaper reported on Thursday that a woman who had asked not to be named is a 38-year-old Italian actress.
She said the rape happened after she had attended an Italian-themed film, fashion and art festival in Los Angeles in February 2013
She alleges that Weinstein "bullied" his way into her hotel room, dragged her into the bathroom and raped her.
The woman's attorney, David M. Ring, is expected to release further details on Friday. "My client is grateful to all the courageous women who have already come forward to finally expose Weinstein," Ring said in a statement.
"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.
On Thursday, Oscar-winner Lupita Nyong'o added her account of misconduct by Weinstein. Several of the incidents allegedly took place at hotels in Beverly Hills, which does not have an open investigation into Weinstein.
Weinstein's spokeswoman said he denied the allegation, as he has done for the six earlier accusations.
"Mr. Weinstein obviously can't speak to anonymous allegations, but he unequivocally denies allegations of non-consensual sex," Sallie Hofmeister said in a statement.
Weinstein is accused of decades of sexual abuse and harassment by around 40 actresses, including stars Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, Mira Sorvino - director Quentin Tarantino's ex-girlfriend - and Rose McGowan.
The initial allegations were made against Weinstein in a New York Times article two weeks ago which revealed he had paid off at least eight women who claimed he had sexually assaulted them.
Additional allegations were included in a subsequent article by The New Yorker. Two of the women, including Italian actress Asia Argento, were named while the third accuser wasn't identified.
The New York Police Department (NYPD) said last week it would reopen a case against Weinstein dating back to 2004, while British police said they were examining "an alleged sexual assault in the London area in the 1980s."
The New York Times reported on Thursday that director Quentin Tarantino had said he had known about Weinstein's alleged behavior for decades. Tarantino has worked closely with Weinstein on projects including "Django Unchained" and "Inglourious Basterds."
"I knew enough to do more than I did," he told the paper. "I wish I had taken responsibility for what I heard," he added.
Tarantino said he had heard from Sorvino about Weinstein and had known about a settlement reached with McGowan.
"I chalked it up to a '50s-'60s era image of a boss chasing a secretary around the desk," Tarantino said. "As if that's OK. That's the egg on my face right now."
Earlier on Thursday, the British Film Institute (BFI) withdrew a fellowship it had awarded to Weinstein, who resigned from the board of his movie studio the Weinstein Company on Tuesday, which had fired him from his role as co-chairman last week.
jbh/jm (dpa, AP, AFP)