Seven months after The New York Times and The New Yorker published damning exposés about Harvey Weinsteins alleged serial-predatory behavior in Hollywood—unleashing a deluge of sexual assault allegations from over 60 women—investigators in Manhattan are preparing to arrest the disgraced mogul on Friday following a months-long inquiry. Weinstein is expected to surrender on Friday, according to several outlets, including the Times, TMZ, and the New York Daily News.
Law enforcement sources told the Times that the charges from the Manhattan district attorneys office are in connection to claims made by Lucia Evans—who claims that, in 2004, Weinstein forced her to perform oral sex on him during a business meeting at his Miramax office in Tribeca. Evans described her memory of the events to Ronan Farrow for a New Yorker report that ran in October.
In the meeting, Evans recalled, “he immediately was simultaneously flattering me and demeaning me and making me feel bad about myself.” Weinstein told her that shed “be great in Project Runway”—the show, which Weinstein helped produce, premièred later that year—but only if she lost weight. He also told her about two scripts, a horror movie and a teen love story, and said one of his associates would discuss them with her.
“At that point, after that, is when he assaulted me,” Evans said. “He forced me to perform oral sex on him.” As she objected, Weinstein took his penis out of his pants and pulled her head down onto it. “I said, over and over, I dont want to do this, stop, dont, ” she recalled. “I tried to get away, but maybe I didnt try hard enough. I didnt want to kick him or fight him.” In the end, she said, “hes a big guy. He overpowered me.” She added, “I just sort of gave up. Thats the most horrible part of it, and thats why hes been able to do this for so long to so many women: people give up, and then they feel like its their fault.”
It is unclear whether charges will be filed in connection to Weinsteins other alleged victims.
The charges come less than a week after another Weinstein accuser, actress Asia Argento, took the stage at the Cannes Film Festival closing ceremony to deliver a powerful speech condemning Weinsteins alleged actions and accusing the festival of helping to cover up his misconduct.
“I have a few words to say,” Argento said, while standing next to Cannes jury member Ava DuVernay. “In 1997, I was raped by Harvey Weinstein here at Cannes. I was 21 years old. The festival was his hunting ground.”
Earlier in the festival, jury president Cate Blanchett conceded that she too had been made to feel uncomfortable by Weinstein, but declined to elaborate, only saying that she “wouldnt do what he was asking me to do.”
This past March, a representative for Weinstein told Vanity Fair that the producer had completed a 45-day sex-rehabilitation program “early” and that he was seeking additional therapy for “anger management, nutrition, and several addiction-related behaviors.”
As recently as last month, Weinstein filed papers in court in attempt “to exonerate himself” from the myriad allegations, which he has issued a blanket denial of. He is also under investigation for alleged sex crimes in Los Angeles and London.
Get Vanity Fairs HWD NewsletterSign up for essential industry and award news from Hollywood.Julie MillerJulie Miller is a Senior Hollywood writer for Vanity Fairs website.