Weinstein's wife leaves him following rape allegations

Reports in the New Yorker claim three women accuse the Oscar-winning producer of rape

Weinstein's wife leaves him following rape allegations

Harvey Weinstein and Georgina Chapman arriving at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party in Beverly Hills, 11-10-2017. Image: PA/PA Wire/PA Images

Harvey Weinstein's wife has announced she is leaving him following a series of sexual misconduct claims against the Hollywood mogul.

Fashion designer Georgina Chapman described her husband's behaviour as "unforgivable" and said "my heart breaks for all the women who have suffered tremendous pain."

It comes as Hollywood actresses Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow released statements saying they were forced to reject advances made by the film producer.

Separately, three other women have accused him of raping them in an article published in an American magazine.

Weinstein continues to "unequivocally deny" allegations of non-consensual sex against him, and of illegal sexual harassment.

Marriage break-up

In a statement, Ms Chapman told People magazine: "I have chosen to leave my husband.”

"Caring for my young children is my first priority and I ask the media for privacy at this time," she said.

The couple married in 2007 and have two children together - India Pearl, 7, and Dashiell Max Robert, 4.

Held accountable

Former US president Barack Obama said he and his wife Michelle were left "disgusted" by the allegations against Weinstein, who has been a major donor for the Democratic Party since the early 1990s.

Mr Obama added: "Any man who demeans and degrades women in such fashion needs to be condemned and held accountable, regardless of wealth or status."

Unwanted advances

Gwyneth Paltrow claimed she was propositioned by Weinstein after he hired her to star in Emma when she was 22 years old.

The star told The New York Times that during a meeting in his hotel suite the film producer placed his hands on her and suggested they head to the bedroom for massages.

"I was a kid, I was signed up, I was petrified," she said.

Paltrow said she refused his advances and ended up telling her then-boyfriend Brad Pitt, who confronted him, which resulted in Weinstein warning her not to tell anyone else.

It left her believing "he was going to fire me," she said.

The actress went on to work with Weinstein again a few years later on Shakespeare In Love, for which she won a Best Actress Oscar and Golden Globe.

Angelina Jolie meanwhile, said she "had a bad experience" with Weinstein in her youth, causing her to never work with the producer again and warn others about his conduct.

Rape

The claims come as The New Yorker alleges Asia Argento, an Italian actress, told the magazine Weinstein forcibly performed a sex act on her.

The article claims that “former aspiring actress” Lucia Evans and one other unnamed woman also accuse him of rape.

Sexual harassment

Meanwhile, a police recording has emerged purporting to be of Weinstein trying to persuade an Italian model to enter his hotel room.

The recording, said to be made by the New York Police Department, apparently features a conversation between the film producer and Ambra Battilana Gutierrez at the entrance to his hotel room.

Gutierrez is heard telling Weinstein clearly she is "not comfortable" with the situation as he tells her repeatedly to come and sit next to him and to go to the bathroom after saying he is going to have a shower.

Towards the end of the recording, Gutierrez asks Weinstein: "Why yesterday you touch my breast?" to which he responds: "Oh, please, I'm sorry, just come on in. I'm used to that. Come on. Please."

Gutierrez responds: "You're used to that?" to which Weinstein says: "Yes, come in."

She then tells him: "No, but I'm not used to that," to which he replies: "I won't do it again, come on, sit here."

Earlier in the recording, Weinstein is heard saying: "I'm telling you right now, get in here.

"I'm going to take a shower. You sit there and have a drink."

When Gutierrez asks if she can stay by the bar, he tells her: "No, you must come here now."

Gutierrez tells him: "Yesterday was kind of aggressive for me. I need to know a person to be touched.

He says: "I won't do a thing. I swear I won't, just sit with me. Don't embarrass me in the hotel, I'm here all the time."

The producer then appears to use language that is increasingly more direct, telling Gutierrez: "If you do this now, you will embarrass me. Now go. Bye. Never call me again. Okay? I'm sorry, nice to have…I promise you I won't do anything."

He adds: "The guy is coming. I will never do another thing to you. Five minutes. Don't ruin your friendship with me for five minutes."

When she says it's "too much" for her, he tells her: "Please, you're making a big scene," before, when she still will not submit, saying: "Okay. Bye. Thank you."

Criminal intent

Manhattan District Attorney's office said the recording was arranged by the NYPD in 2015 without its input and as a result its prosecutors were not able to discuss with investigators what was necessary to capture to prove a sex crime.

Chief Assistant DA Karen Friedman-Agnifilo said: "If we could have prosecuted Harvey Weinstein for the conduct that occurred in 2015, we would have.

"While the recording is horrifying to listen to, what emerged from the audio was insufficient to prove a crime under New York law, which requires prosecutors to establish criminal intent.

"This, coupled with other proof issues, meant that there was no choice but to conclude the investigation without criminal charges."

Retaliation

In his latest statement, Weinstein denied "there were never any acts of retaliation against any women for refusing his advances."

The multiple Oscar winner had taken a voluntary leave of absence from the Weinstein Company after the harassment allegations were detailed in The New York Times last week.

The firm he founded with his brother Bob sacked him on Sunday evening after several women claimed he had harassed them.