Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein has been expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the body which awards the Oscars, as allegations of rape and harassment mount against him.
It is only the second time the board of the Academy has voted to expel a member - and the decision was announced with a strongly worded rebuke for Weinstein.
Meanwhile, Hollyoaks actor Lysette Anthony has joined the more than 30 women claiming to have been the victim of sexual assault and harassment by the movie producer over the course of 30 years.
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Speaking to The Sunday Times, Anthony said she had reported Weinstein to the Metropolitan Police after he allegedly raped her at her London home in the 1980s.
Yesterday, the Met announced it was investigating three further sexual assault allegations involving Weinstein between 2010 and 2015.
The 54-member Oscars board - which includes Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks, Whoopi Goldberg and Kathleen Kennedy - held an emergency meeting over the weekend and voted to dismiss Weinstein from their organisation, after the accusations first published by The New York Times over a week ago.
In its statement, the board said: “We do so not simply to separate ourselves from someone who does not merit the respect of his colleagues but also to send a message that the era of wilful ignorance and shameful complicity in sexually predatory behaviour and workplace harassment in our industry is over.”
The Sunday Telegraph has said this is the first time in its history anyone has been expelled from the Academy for personal misconduct, adding that Bill Cosby, Roman Polanski and Mel Gibson are all still members. The only other person expelled had violated copyright.
However, despite the growing chorus calling for Weinstein to be expelled, “there remained some resistance to setting such a precedent [as] the Academy has up until now always insisted that private conduct was irrelevant when it came to the professional body’s views”, says the newspaper.
Could Harvey Weinstein go to prison?
Actresses Cara Delevingne and Lea Seydoux yesterday joined the growing list of women accusing Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment, as legal experts said the producer could face five to 25 years in prison if charged and found guilty of an alleged 2004 assault.
Writing on Instagram, Delevingne claims that having been left alone with Weinstein in a hotel lobby following a meeting about an upcoming film, the executive began discussing “inappropriate things of a sexual nature” and then invited her to his room.
Weinstein then directed her to kiss another woman present before trying to kiss Delevingne himself, she says.
“I felt guilty as if I did something wrong,” Delevingne wrote. “I was also terrified that this sort of thing had happened to so many women I know but no one had said anything because of fear.”
Karan’s statement came as other Hollywood stars, including Meryl Streep and Dame Judi Dench, condemned Weinstein’s alleged behaviour. Speaking to website The Daily Beast, George Clooney, who has known the disgraced producer for 20 years, called the accusations “indefensible”.
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