Net closes in on Spacey, Weinstein as police investigate
Kevin Winter (Getty/AFP/File)
Hollywood's explosive sexual harassment scandal deepened Friday with British police reportedly investigating Kevin Spacey for assault and a New York senior sex crimes prosecutor assigned to the Harvey Weinstein case.
Weinstein, once one of the most powerful men in Hollywood, and double Oscar-winner Spacey are the most high-profile scalps in a month-long torrent of allegations bringing down like dominoes male power players from the world of politics to finance to entertainment and journalism.
At a press conference in New York on Friday, a police official said"we have an actual case here" in regard to Weinstein, after corroborating a "credible and detailed narrative" from one female complainant.
"We are happy where the investigation is right now. Mr Weinstein is out of state, we would need an arrest warrant to arrest him so right now we are gathering our evidence, we continue to do so, every day," the official added.
At the same time Spacey's once glittering career is now hanging by a thread, with the actor accused of attempting to rape a 15-year-old boy, making sexual advances on a 14-year-old and of orchestrating a "toxic" environment with a pattern of harassment on the set of "House of Cards."
British police confirmed that they had opened an investigation into an allegation from a man of sexual assault in 2008. Officers do not publicly identify the subject of an inquiry unless and until they are charged, but British media said it was Spacey.
"Officers from the Child Abuse and Sexual Offences Command are investigating," said a spokesman for London's Metropolitan Police, giving no further details.
His publicist and talent agency have dropped him, and Spacey has made no public comment other than declaring that he was "beyond horrified" by the first allegation from actor Anthony Rapp, which he claimed not to remember.
It was a stunning fall for an actor who chilled and thrilled audiences in equal measure in memorable roles such as corrupt US president Frank Underwood in "House of Cards," a midlife-crisis-ridden father in "American Beauty" and as a serial killer in "Seven."
Netflix and "House of Cards" production company, MRC, said they had been aware of only one complaint against Spacey, in 2012, but that it had been resolved.
The popular show, of which Netflix had already announced that the upcoming sixth season would be its last, now hangs in the balance.
MRC said it had implemented a complaint hotline and offered crisis counselors and legal advisers to the crew, and would "thoroughly investigate" all claims formally brought to its attention, adding it was "deeply troubled" by the latest allegations.
Rapp has said the actor tried to "seduce" him and lay on top of him when he was 14 years old at Spacey's New York apartment 31 years ago.
A 48-year-old artist on the East Coast told Vulture he began a sexual relationship with Spacey when he was 14 that ended when he was 15 after the actor, then 24, allegedly tried to rape him.
Mexican actor Roberto Cavazos is another in a string of men to emerge, claiming he fended off two "unpleasant" advances that "bordered on harassment" while at The Old Vic, the London theater where Spacey was artistic director from 2003-2015.
"It seems the only requirement was to be a male under the age of 30 for Mr Spacey to feel free to touch us," he wrote on Facebook. "It wouldn't surprise me if there were similar numbers to Weinstein's."
The Old Vic, accused of a cover-up, said this week it was "not currently in a position to comment on specifics."
Weinstein accused by 100 women
Around 100 women have come forward since early October to accuse Weinstein, a twice-married father of five, of sexual misconduct ranging from harassment to rape, sparking police investigations in London, Los Angeles and New York.
After 33-year-old "Boardwalk Empire" actress Paz de la Huerta became the latest to accuse the disgraced producer of rape, the Manhattan district attorney's office confirmed that a senior sex crimes prosecutor was now on the case.
"The office has been working with our partners in the NYPD since the new allegations came to light," communications director Joan Vollero told AFP.
De la Huerta, a 33-year-old actress who won acclaim for her role on the television series "Boardwalk Empire," alleges that Weinstein raped her twice at her New York apartment in 2010.
Police are investigating the claims, which unlike many others are recent enough to potentially prosecute. It is at least the third Weinstein case that New York police have examined.
"He pushed me onto the bed and his pants were down and he lifted up my skirt. I felt afraid... It wasn't consensual," de la Huerta told Vanity Fair.
The former producer, now dumped by the company he co-founded and ostracized by Hollywood, denies any non-consensual relations.
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