On a day that saw Harvey Weinstein resign from the board of directors at The Weinstein Company amid an ever-growing sexual harassment scandal, the Los Angeles City Attorney is asking victims to contact his office with their stories.
“Please come forward so your cases — and justice — can be pursued,” said Mike Feuer on Tuesday as the LAPD requested victims of the Oscar-winning producer to go public. “We take allegations like these very seriously, and where the facts support conviction, we will prosecute,” he added.
As more and more claims of harassment or assault by Weinstein emerge, the New York Police Department and the London Metropolitan Police are already investigating potential complaints. The LAPD has not officially started its own probe, but, as Deadline reported last week, it is seriously considering doing so.
Although denying any non-consentual encounters, Weinstein retained noted criminal attorney Blair Berk last week in a clear indication he expects to face inquiries at the least. Presently, there has not been a report filed with either the LAPD or the L.A. City Attorney’s office alleging criminal acts on the part of Weinstein.
Here is Feuer’s full statement:
“The Weinstein allegations have placed a bright spotlight on sexual harassment and sexual abuse, especially in the workplace. As brave victims come forward, others have been encouraged to do the same. And our nation must now confront these significant issues in a profound way.
From our prosecutions in this area, I know it takes tremendous courage for women and men to share often intimate details of sexual harassment or abuse. We know this is not just a Hollywood thing—it’s a workplace thing, arising all too often in virtually every industry.
Indeed, while most people don’t work in the entertainment industry, victims of sexual harassment and abuse share many of the very same concerns we’ve heard about in recent days: Will my job be on the line if I say something? Will I be publicly humiliated? Will anyone believe me—and will anyone stand up for me?
I am here to say we will. We take allegations like these very seriously, and where the facts support conviction, we will prosecute. I’m very pleased that LAPD recently issued a call for alleged victims to come forward so LAPD can investigate. Please come forward so that your cases—and justice—can be pursued.”
Though no one has come forward there yet, according to local law enforcement, Park City may also be added to NYC, London and LA as a jurisdiction of potential investigation. In Utah, where Rose McGowan claims Weinstein raped her in 1997 at the Sundance Film Festival, and several other states there is a provision in the statute of limitations that essentially stops the clock when a potential defendant is out of the state. That clause could see Weinstein hauled into court if formal complaints are made.