Famed Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein has been accused of molesting an Italian model during a “business interview” in his Tribeca office in Manhattan. Following the allegations, the NYPD set up a sting operation, where it was noted that Weinstein “did not deny” groping the model.
The New York Daily News reports that 22-year-old Italian model Ambra Battilana has accused 63-year-old Harvey Weinstein of groping her while being interviewed in his Tribeca office in Manhattan. In response to the allegations by Battilana, the NYPD set up a “controlled call” between the model and Weinstein. It was noted that during the call, when given the chance, Weinstein did not deny the groping. In fact, it was noted that “there’s no question about what he did.”
“He didn’t deny doing what she said he did to her. The content of the phone call, there’s no question about what he did.”
The model claims that the incident took place on Friday night. Battilana immediately reported the incident to the police. Weinstein allegedly spoke with police on Saturday morning but requested a lawyer. The phone sting operations apparently took place sometime between the time Battilana reported the incident Friday evening and when Weinstein met with police Saturday morning.
According to Battilana’s account of the incident in Weinstein’s office, the producer groped her breasts while asking her if they were real. The model says she told Weinstein to stop, but he proceeded to put his hand up her skirt and ask her for a kiss. She says she immediately told him no and fled the office. After leaving the scene, she went to the local NYPD precinct to file a report.
Weinstein is not only a Hollywood producer but also a married father-of-five. Despite the allegations, those close to Weinstein said he did nothing wrong and that the young model is an opportunist with a sketchy past.
“I couldn’t be more confident that nothing untoward happened with Harvey and that this is a setup like we’ve never seen. And I think it’s pretty clear that it’s part of a pattern.”
The pattern discussed is that of Battilana’s past with accusing men of sexual offenses. Page Six reports that Battilana is one of two models who accused Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi of having inappropriate “bunga-bunga” orgies and offered to testify against the political figure in court. The Daily Mail reports that in addition to claims against the Italian Prime Minister, Battilana also claimed to have been forced into a sexual relationship with a prominent car dealership owner when she was a minor. However, charges against the dealer were dropped when Battilana gained fame in Italian beauty pageants and did not provide a follow-up report to Italian police.
What do you think about the latest claims against Weinstein? Is “not denying” the allegations by the model the same as admitting to the allegations? Should Ambra Battilana’s past allegations against other men be brought into consideration for the case?
[Image Credit: Getty Images/ Alberto E. Rodriguez]