Journal De Bruxelles - UK authorises assault charges against Harvey Weinstein

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UK authorises assault charges against Harvey Weinstein
UK authorises assault charges against Harvey Weinstein / Photo: Johannes EISELE - AFP/File

UK authorises assault charges against Harvey Weinstein

British prosecutors on Wednesday said they had authorised London's Metropolitan Police to charge Hollywood movie mogul Harvey Weinstein with sexual assault.

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Weinstein,70, was convicted of rape and sexual assault and jailed for 23 years in the United States in February 2020, in a landmark verdict for the #MeToo movement.

Last week, he lost a bid to get the conviction overturned in a New York appeals court.

Britain's Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said the 70-year-old film producer was facing two counts of indecent assault against one woman in the British capital.

The Met said separately the alleged victim was now in her 50s. The offences are alleged to have taken place between July 31 and August 31, 1996.

Weinstein is currently incarcerated in a prison in California, where he is awaiting another trial for alleged sexual assault against five women.

Widespread sexual abuse and harassment allegations against Weinstein exploded in 2017.

In total, nearly 90 women including Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow and Salma Hayek have accused Weinstein of harassment or assault.

The "Pulp Fiction" producer has maintained that all his sexual encounters were consensual.

As allegations poured in, the Met said it was investigating a string of sexual assault claims against Weinstein.

The CPS brings criminal cases in England and Wales and authorises the police to bring charges after assessing the case against a suspect.

The head of the CPS special crime division, Rosemary Ainslie, said the charges against Weinstein followed "a review of the evidence" in a Met police investigation.

Before the allegations against Weinstein emerged, he and his brother Bob were Hollywood's ultimate power players.

They co-founded Miramax Films, a distribution company named after his mother Miriam and father Max, in 1979. It was sold to Disney in 1993.

Their hits included 1998's "Shakespeare in Love," for which Weinstein shared a best picture Oscar. Over the years, Weinstein's films received more than 300 Oscar nominations and 81 statuettes.

The British charges against Weinstein came two weeks after UK police and prosecutors announced that Hollywood actor Kevin Spacey faces four sexual assault charges and one charge of "causing a person to engage in penetrative sexual activity without consent."

Spacey, a two-time Oscar winner, has said he will voluntarily appear in a British court to face the charges.

Spacey, considered one of the finest actors of his generation, lives in New York. He has previously denied similar charges in the United States.