Alleged sexual predator and former movie executive Harvey Weinstein has been caught on tape pressuring a woman he had previously groped to go to his hotel room.
Ambra Battilana Gutierrez, an Italian-born model who was 22 at the time, claims that after she met the movie mogul in 2015, he contacted her agents to set up a meeting the following day.
She dutifully went to his New York City office with her portfolio, but as they sat on a couch to review it, he began commenting on her breasts and groping her. Her protests eventually caused him to stop, and he promised to meet her at a Broadway show that night.
But instead of meeting up with Weinstein, she went straight to the NYPD to report the assault — and was still at the precinct when he called to berate her for standing him up.
At the request of Special Victims Division officers, Gutierrez agreed to meet him the following day, when she would be discreetly wearing a wire.
When she met him at the bar in the Tribeca Grand Hotel, he began reeling off a list of actresses whose careers he had promoted before asking her to come up to his room.
Although she refused several times, she eventually agreed to accompany him — but stopped when they got to his door. As their exchange grew increasingly tense, she demanded to know why he grabbed her breasts the day before.
“Oh, please, I’m sorry, just come on in. I’m used to that. Come on. Please,” he wheedled, adding that he “won’t do it again.”
“Don’t ruin your friendship with me for five minutes,” he threatened, complaining that she was embarrassing him and causing a “big scene.”
When she flatly refused to go inside, he warned her to “never call me again.”
Shortly afterward, the young woman began being smeared in the press, with reports that she had attended Italian businessman-turned-politician Silvio Berlusconi’s “bunga bunga” parties and previously declined to cooperate with investigators after making claims of sexual assault against another Italian businessman.
Although she admits going to a Berlusconi party, she denies knowing what she was getting herself into and has since become a witness against him in a long-running corruption case.
One source close to the investigation told The New Yorker that Gutierrez had recorded enough evidence to prosecute Weinstein on a charge of third-degree sexual assault, although a similar source acknowledged that the questions raised about the victim’s past would hamper a successful prosecution — despite the police having no reason to question her testimony against the Hollywood boss.
Two weeks later, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office declined to file charges even though “we had the evidence,” a police source told the magazine.
“It’s a case that made me angrier than I thought possible, and I have been on the force a long time,” the source added.
Gutierrez, apparently like many other young women allegedly molested by the former Miramax executive, was soon railroaded by Weinstein’s legal team into receiving a payout in return for signing a non-disclosure agreement and swearing in an affidavit that the incidents admitted to in the recording never actually happened.
The Weinstein Co. co-founder has been given an indefinite leave of absence by the company, with his brother Bob saying that any possibility of re-employment would depend on “Harvey’s therapeutic progress, the outcome of the Board’s independent investigation and Harvey’s own personal decisions.”
He is now thought to have taken a private jet to a European treatment facility, while his fashionista wife has announced she is leaving him after Tuesday’s expanded reports of what she labeled “unforgivable actions.”
Weinstein himself has issued a statement saying vaguely that he “cannot be more remorseful” about the people he has hurt while still denying some of the allegations. His lawyers have threatened to sue The New York Times, which published the original exposé of his alleged sexual misconduct last Thursday.
- Read the report and listen to the audio from The New Yorker
If you have a suggestion for this page, please let us know. Also, if you think this is worth sharing, you can do so using the links below.