The Manhattan district attorney's office says it is strongly encouraging women who may have been abused by Harvey Weinstein to come forward—but it is too late to prosecute him in a 2015 groping case. Manhattan Chief Assistant DA Karen Friedman-Agnifilo says they would have prosecuted Weinstein for forcibly touching model Ambra Battilana Gutierrez if it was possible, but there wasn't enough proof, even though cops carried out a sting operation that recorded the producer apologizing for his conduct. Charges over other allegations in a bombshell story released Tuesday are still possible, but the DA's office didn't comment on whether it would investigate Lucia Evans' allegation that Weinstein forced her to perform oral sex on him in 2004, the AP reports. In other developments:
- Separation. Weinstein's wife of 10 years, fashion designer Georgina Chapman, says she is leaving him, People reports. "My heart breaks for all the women who have suffered tremendous pain because of these unforgivable actions," she said in a statement. "I have chosen to leave my husband." She said her first priority is caring for their two children, 7-year-old India Pearl and 4-year-old Dashiell Max Robert.
- Rehab. Weinstein flew to Europe Tuesday night and will spend time at a residential rehab center for sex addiction treatment, according to TMZ. A source tells the New York Daily News that Weinstein is seeking counseling, not rehab. "He lost his company and his wife. What more can you lose?" the source says. "He’s got to go find peace."
- Sting recording. The New Yorker has audio recorded by Gutierrez during the 2015 sting operation. Weinstein admits groping her the previous day and adopts a threatening tone as she repeatedly refuses to go to his hotel room. The Huffington Post calls the recording a "masterclass in emotional abuse."
- The Obamas. Barack and Michelle Obama, whose daughter Malia interned at the Weinstein Company last year, said they were "disgusted" by reports of Weinstein's behavior, Politico reports. "Any man who demeans and degrades women in such fashion needs to be condemned and held accountable, regardless of wealth or status," they said in a joint statement.
- A "very sick man." Weinstein's brother, Bob, who is now the head of the Weinstein Company said in a statement Tuesday that Harvey is "obviously a very sick man" and a "world class liar," reports Vulture. He said his brother's remorse is "hollow" and now, "rather than seeking help he is looking to blame others."
- "Utterly disgusting." Benedict Cumberbatch, who stars in upcoming Weinstein Company movie The Current War, has joined the chorus of stars speaking out against Weinstein's "utterly disgusting" behavior. "We need to collectively stand up and support victims of abuse such as the brave and inspiring women who have spoken out against him and say we hear you and believe you," he said Tuesday, per the Hollywood Reporter.
- A "powerful and frightening man." Colin Firth, who starred in Oscar-winning Weinstein movie The King's Speech, tells the Guardian that the producer was "a powerful and frightening man to stand up to." He says he applauds the courage of the women who have stepped up and called him out.
- Lindsay Lohan. Lindsay Lohan defended Weinstein in Instagram posts Tuesday night that were later deleted, Variety reports. "I feel very bad for Harvey Weinstein right now," she wrote. "I don't think it's right what’s going on." She said Chapman should "take a stand and be there for her husband."
- Legal fallout. The legal fallout for Weinstein and the company he co-founded could be immense, experts tell the Los Angeles Times. Building a criminal case against Weinstein could be tough, especially after victims have reached settlements, but Weinstein and the company could still face a flood of lawsuits.
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