As rumors have swirled around New York City over the past 24 hours of a forthcoming indictment against Harvey Weinstein on allegations of sexual assault, the much-accused producer’s lawyers today are gearing up for his defense.
“We do not believe an indictment of Mr. Weinstein is imminent,” a spokesperson for Weinstein said Wednesday. “A formal presentation will be made on Mr. Weinstein’s behalf in the appropriate course of the investigation, and we strongly believe we will demonstrate that no criminal charges are warranted. Blair Berk and Ben Brafman will be defending Mr. Weinstein in any matters in New York.”
Following claims last week by Boardwalk Empire alum Paz de la Huerta that the former TWC mogul raped her twice in late 2010, the NYPD said November 3 that it is gathering evidence to see there is enough for an arrest warrant. At a press conference, NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said that they have “an actual case here.”
A well-placed NYPD source confirmed to Deadline that the department has been in communication with Weinstein’s lawyers. Weinstein retained powerhouse L.A.-based criminal attorney Berk on October 11 to represent him in any potential matters such as this.
“We are not commenting on the investigation or any timeline,” Joan Vollero of the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office told Deadline on rumors of an indictment. Sources close to the situation cite NYC law enforcement politics playing a role in the rumor mill with the sometimes-frayed relationship over Weinstein between the department and the office of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr.
Despite the media spotlight on police investigations and bellowing headlines earlier this week to the contrary, reports of a Weinstein case being presented to a grand jury in the next week or so by the D.A. were and remain false, law enforcement insiders assert.
More than 70 women have gone public with accusations of sexual harassment or sexual assault by Weinstein since The New York Times published its detailed exposé on the producer October 5.
Currently, UK police, the Beverly Hills Police Department and the LAPD as well as the NYPD are formally looking into allegations against Weinstein. The New York Attorney General’s office also issued subpoenas October 23 against The Weinstein Company seeking documentation of their former co-chair.