Actress has accused movie producer in stream of tweets as London police take a fresh look at cases, writes Colleen Long.
Rose McGowan has stepped up the pressure on Harvey Weinstein as police detectives in New York and London take a fresh look into sexual assault allegations against the disgraced movie mogul.
Some 30 women have now accused the Hollywood film producer of inappropriate conduct.
New York Police Department spokesman Peter Donald said yesterday that investigators were reviewing police files to see if anyone else reported being assaulted or harassed by him.
So far, no filed complaints had been found, he said, other than one well-known case that prompted an investigation in 2015, but authorities are encouraging anyone with information on Weinstein to contact the department.
London police were also looking into a claim it had received from the Merseyside force in northwest England, British media reported yesterday. Merseyside police said the allegation was made a day earlier and concerned "an alleged sexual assault in the London area in the 1980s".
Some 30 women - including actresses Angelina Jolie, Ashley Judd and Gwyneth Paltrow - have spoken out recently to say Weinstein had sexually harassed or sexually assaulted them. McGowan, who has long suggested that Weinstein sexually assaulted her, tweeted yesterday that "HW raped me". The initials were an apparent reference to Weinstein, and the Hollywood Reporter said the actress confirmed to them that she was referring to the disgraced film mogul.
The New York Times earlier reported that Weinstein paid a financial settlement of US$100,000 ($140,142) to McGowan in 1997 over an incident in a hotel room at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah.
McGowan appeared emboldened yesterday to describe more outright her past experience with Weinstein. Shortly before a series a tweets addressed to Amazon chief Jeff Bezos, McGowan tweeted a woman warrior picture with a "Rosearmy" hashtag and stated "It's on."
"I told the head of your studio that HW raped me," McGowan said in tweets directed to Bezos. "Over and Over I said it. He said it hadn't been proven. I said I was the proof."
In subsequent tweets, McGowan appeared to suggest that Amazon Studios, which is overseen by Roy Price, previously dropped a project penned by McGowan after she insisted Weinstein not be involved.
Representatives for Amazon did not immediately comment yesterday.
Price has been put on an immediate leave of absence following allegations that he harassed a producer and ignored an actress' claim of a sexual assault by Weinstein.
The 44-year-old McGowan has emerged as one of the most vocal in Hollywood about sexual abuse and harassment in the industry. She has pushed for the remaining board members of The Weinstein Co to resign in the wake of the allegations against Weinstein. She also this week called Ben Affleck "a liar" on Twitter, suggesting the actor knew about Weinstein's conduct. She and Affleck co-starred in 1997 Going All the Way and 1998's Phantoms. Representatives for Affleck did not respond to messages regarding that allegation.
Weinstein's representative Sallie Hofmeister has said that Weinstein "unequivocally" denies "any allegations of non-consensual sex".
Weinstein was fired on Monday by The Weinstein Co, a studio he co-founded with his brother.
Some of the allegations involved conduct at hotels in Beverly Hills, but police there didn't return calls on whether they were investigating any possible crimes.
The Los Angeles Police Department has no open investigations.
The Summit County Sheriff's Office, which shares a records system with Park City Police, had no reports or calls involving Weinstein or McGowan in the past 30 years, sheriff's spokesman Lieutenant Andrew Wright said.
Detectives in the NYPD's special victims unit were instructed to identify and speak with any potential victims, including the women who spoke about their encounters with Weinstein in a recent New Yorker article, according to a law enforcement official briefed on the matter who spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity.
In the New Yorker expose, a former actress, Lucia Evans, said Weinstein forced her to perform oral sex in 2004 when she was a college student.
At least one other unnamed woman said she was raped by Weinstein, but the article did not disclose when or where it happened. A third woman, actress Asia Argento, told the magazine that Weinstein forcibly performed oral sex on her in 1997 at a hotel in France.
Under New York law, making someone engage in oral sex by physical force or the threat of it is a first-degree criminal sexual act. There's no legal time limit for bringing charges.
Weinstein reappeared briefly on Thursday outside a Los Angeles home, telling the paparazzi he's "not doing OK", but he's hoping for a "second chance", according to video posted by celebrity website TMZ.
McGowan reacted to network NBC running the story by tweeting: "This is a prime example of how you are being complicit in RAPE CULTURE. DO NOT GIVE RAPISTS A PLATFORM. Damn you."
New York detectives have already investigated Weinstein once, in 2015 when an Italian model said the studio executive grabbed her breasts and groped her. Detectives set up a sting where they recorded a conversation between the woman and Weinstein while he tried to persuade her to come into his hotel room.
"Why yesterday you touch my breast?" the 22-year-old asked on the recording, published by the New Yorker.
"Oh, please, I'm sorry, just come on in. I'm used to that. Come on. Please," Weinstein responded.
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance jnr said prosecutors decided there wasn't enough evidence to prosecute the case.
"I, like they, were very disturbed by the contents of the tape," Vance said. "But at the end of the day we operate in a courtroom of law, not the court of public opinion. And our sex crime prosecutors made a determination that this was not going to be a provable case." Police investigated that allegation as a case of forcible touching, a misdemeanour with a two-year time limit for bringing charges. The statute of limitations has since expired.
Yesterday, actress Kate Beckinsale recounted that she was 17 when Weinstein greeted her in his bathrobe. Years later, Beckinsale said, she met Weinstein again and he asked if he had tried anything at their first meeting. She said she realised "he couldn't remember if he had assaulted me or not". The actress said she rejected several offers over the years to work with Weinstein, and he would often respond with anger, profanity and threats. She called for industry changes to be made to "stop allowing our young women to be sexual cannon fodder".