Harvey Weinstein ( pictured), Hollywood’s former producer facing multiple allegations of sexual misconduct, surrendered to New York police early on Friday, US media said.
He was arrested for raping one woman and forcing another to perform oral sex on him, a legal source said. He was then “charged with rape, criminal sex act, sex abuse and sexual misconduct for incidents involving two separate women,” New York police department (NYPD) said.
NYPD has been investigating Weinstein for months over allegations of sexual assault.
Weinstein, 66, twice married and father of five, is facing charges in the case of former aspiring actress Lucia Evans who accused him of forcing her into oral sex in 2004.
A grand jury had examined evidence linked to Evans’ allegations after she told New Yorker late last year how Weinstein abused her during a meeting ignoring her appeals to stop. Evans said she did not report the matter to the police then because she felt she was partly responsible for the incident and could have tried harder to stop him.
Another case relates to actress Paz de la Huerta who accused him of raping her twice at her home in late 2010.
Reports in The New York Times and New Yorker magazine in October last year prompted dozens of women to speak up against the disgraced producer.
The reports sparked international movements “#MeToo” and “#TimesUp” to inspire more survivors of sexual abuse to step forward and also help them financially in fighting court battles.
Over the past eight months, more than 80 women have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct ranging from harassment to assault and rape.
Weinstein has consistently denied having non-consensual sex with women. He is undergoing treatment for sex addiction and has not appeared much in public after the scandal broke out.
Faced with many legal suits related to the scandal, Weinstein Company sacked the man who co-founded the firm and has filed for bankruptcy. Weinstein’s wife left him shortly after the allegations surfaced.
The US authorities have been under intense pressure to bring Weinstein to justice and his surrender will be immense relief for them.