The NYPD Will Investigate Harvey Weinstein Amid Sexual Assault Accounts

Harvey Weinstein. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

UPDATE | The New York Police Department says it has started a new investigation into sexual assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein after a week of dramatic accusations of against the moviemaker.

The NYPD had pursued a case against Weinstein in 2015, including wiring one of his alleged victims to record his confession of abuse, but that case was dropped by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, who was initially criticized, but now says he'll join the NYPD investigation.

"The Manhattan DA's Office intends to jointly participate with our partners in the NYPD in the investigation into any potential victims of this individual," Vance's office told Newsweek.

After The New Yorker and The New York Times reported that Weinstein had committed sex abuse and possibly rape over many decades, the NYPD called for all victims to come forward so a broader case could be pursued.

"It was brought to our attention that there was an alleged victim who spoke in The New Yorker," Lieutenant John Grimpel told Newsweek. "When that was brought to our attention, we started the investigation. If anyone is a victim of sexual assault, come forward to the NYPD and it will be investigated by the Special Victims Unit."

Until now, "the only complaint report that came forward was the girl from 2015," he added, referring to the audio recording that featured Weinstein admitting touching the breast of model Ambra Battilana Gutierrez against her will.

But Grimpel added that the agency is now "looking into allegations from a 2004 incident," a reference to the horrifying tale of Lucia Evans, who told The New Yorker that Weinstein forced her into oral sex against her will inside his offices at Miramax, the company he then ran.

The reexamination of the case against Weinstein comes after criticism of Vance for not following through on the initial NYPD investigation in 2015, despite audio evidence at the time.

The criticism grew so heated in the aftermath of the Times and New Yorker reports that the Manhattan DA's office had to issue a statement saying that it had taken the case "seriously from the outset" but "after analyzing the available evidence, including multiple interviews with both parties, a criminal charge (was) not supported."

Yet an NYPD official told The New Yorker, "We had the evidence. It's a case that made me angrier than I thought possible, and I have been on the force a long time." Comments like these led the legal website Above the Law to slam Vance as "Manhattan's Dumb Hamlet."

Taken together, the Times and New Yorker stories—plus the many additional actresses, such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Cara Delevingne, who have come forward since the accounts' publication—mark a downfall for the movie mogul so colossal that recovery appears to be impossible. In the wake of the stories, half of the Weinstein Company board resigned and the remaining members ended up firing the co-founder on Sunday.

Weinstein has reportedly left for Europe to undergo "sex addition" therapy in hopes of rehabilitating his career.

In a related story, the Los Angeles Police Department said Thursday that it had responded to a call at the Weinstein home.

Officers arrived at around 10:30 a.m. Wednesday and "conducted an investigation" about someone "feeling suicidal and depressed."

The LAPD declined to identify the subject of the investigation, as officers concluded "there was no actual suicidal remark made by the subject."

The LAPD labeled the incident as "only a family dispute."

It is unclear who called the cops or with whom officers spoke, but the Los Angeles Times identified the person as "Harvey Weinstein's daughter."

Four of Weinstein's five known children are female.

Story was updated to include a statement from the Manhattan District Attorney and a report from the LAPD.