Another actress has accused U.S. movie producer Harvey Weinstein of sexually assaulting her, the latest of some 40 women who have alleged sexual harassment and assault spanning decades.
Former actress Heather Kerr told a news conference Friday that Weinstein attacked her during a private meeting in 1989 when she was in her 20s.
"He said that if he was going to introduce me around town to directors and producers, he needed to know if I was any good. He kept repeating that word," Kerr said.
Kerr, who is now 56, said Weinstein then unzipped his pants and forced her hand onto his genitals. She said that Weinstein told her that "this is how things work in Hollywood," and that all actresses who had made it did it this way.
"I was frozen with fear," said a tearful Kerr, who appeared on the 1980s sitcom The Facts of Life.
Also Friday, the Los Angeles lawyer for an Italian actress who has accused Weinstein of rape say it has had a "humongous impact on her life’’ and she is extremely scared.
Attorney David Ring said his client, who has not been named, has given Los Angeles police detectives a description of sexual assault and rape, which the actress said took place at the Los Angeles Italia film festival in 2013.
On Thursday, the Los Angeles Police department said it had opened a criminal investigation into Weinstein, who is also under criminal investigation in New York and London because of similar allegations.
Weinstein’s attorneys have released a statement saying, "We deny any allegations of nonconsensual sex, though obviously can’t respond to anonymous allegations."
This was the second statement from Weinstein attorneys saying their client has not participated in nonconsensual sex.
Emmys disciplinary process
In another development Friday, the Television Academy, which bestows the Emmy awards, said it has voted to begin disciplinary proceedings against Weinstein. The academy’s board of governors said a hearing has been set for November, in which the group could terminate the producer’s membership.
News about Weinstein broke two weeks ago, when The New York Times and New Yorker magazine both published exposes of the legendary producer, citing allegations that go back as far as the 1980s.
Since then, Weinstein has been fired from his production company, and has been thrown out of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and stripped of various other honors.