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Chief Bakes

BBC: Harvey Weinstein: Oscars board votes to expel producer

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Chief Bakes

Harvey Weinstein: Oscars board votes to expel producer

Weinstein has already been suspended by BaftaImage copyright PA
Image caption Weinstein has already been suspended by Bafta

The organisation behind the Oscars has voted to expel Harvey Weinstein following numerous allegations of sexual assaults made against the film producer.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said its board "voted well in excess of the required two-thirds majority" to expel him.

Its members includes Hollywood figures such as Tom Hanks and Whoopi Goldberg.

Dozens of accusations have been made against Weinstein in recent days.

The emergency board meeting followed an avalanche of accusations against the producer by more than two dozen women, including actresses Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Rose McGowan, who alleges that he raped her in a hotel room.

Police forces in the US and the UK are investigating the allegations.

Weinstein has insisted through a spokeswoman that any sexual contacts he had were consensual, and he denies accusations of criminal sexual harassment, rape and sexual assault.

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Media captionOn some red carpets, Harvey Weinstein is not a welcome subject

As the co-founder of Miramax Pictures and the Weinstein Company, Weinstein produced some of cinema's most celebrated films, including Pulp Fiction, The English Patient, and Shakespeare in Love.

The British Academy Film Awards (Bafta) earlier suspended the disgraced mogul.

President Pierre Lescure, the president of the Cannes Film Festival, where Weinstein was a regular, said the organisation was "dismayed to learn of the accusations".

'Sick and depraved' brother

Speaking to the Hollywood Reporter, Bob Weinstein called his brother "sick and depraved" and said he had no idea of "the type of predator that he was".

He refused to comment on reports that he and the board of Weinstein Company were aware of Weinstein's settlements with women during recent contract negotiations, saying only that the board "did not know the extent of my brother's actions".

He went on to call his brother's apology statement "utter insanity" and a "lame excuse".

"I'll tell you what I did know," he said. "Harvey was a bully, Harvey was arrogant...that I knew".

Earlier, Bob Weinstein denied media reports that the Weinstein Company - which has placed Harvey Weinstein on indefinite leave - could now be closed or sold.

But several large film projects have been pulled from the company already, and reports in the Los Angeles Times and Wall Street Journal said that financers had begun to pressure the board to sell.

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Media captionIt was "an open secret" a producer tells the BBC

Weinstein has denied allegations of rape detailed in The New Yorker magazine, saying that there were no acts of non-consensual sex.

His wife Georgina Chapman said on Tuesday that she was leaving him.

On Wednesday, US prosecutors defended their decision not to take action against Weinstein in 2015 after Italian model Ambra Battilana Gutierrez, then 22, alleged that he had touched her inappropriately.

A subsequent sting operation recorded the producer repeatedly attempting to coerce Battilana Gutierrez, but the Manhattan district attorney's office said the audio was "insufficient to prove a crime".

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Harvey Weinstein: More women accuse Hollywood producer of rape

Composite imageImage copyright Getty Images
Image caption Lysette Anthony said she had reported the alleged rape to police

Two more women have accused Harvey Weinstein of raping them as the top Hollywood producer finds himself increasingly shunned by his peers.

British actress Lysette Anthony says he attacked her at her London home in the late 1980s while another, unidentified woman says she was raped in 1992.

The organisation behind the Oscars has voted to expel Weinstein and his own brother called him "sick and depraved".

Weinstein, 65, insists any sexual contacts he had were consensual.

Police in London are investigating an allegation against Weinstein who is also being investigated by police in New York.

More than two dozen women - among them actresses Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow and Rose McGowan - have made a number of accusations against him including rape and sexual assault.

Weinstein has been a huge figure in the film world, where his productions received more than 300 Oscar nominations and won 81.

'Pathetic, revolting'

Lysette Anthony told The Sunday Times she had told the London Metropolitan Police of an attack by Weinstein.

The actress, who plays in the TV soap Hollyoaks, said she had met the producer when she starred in 1982 sci-fi film Krull and the alleged assault had come a few years later.

It was a "pathetic, revolting" attack, she said, that had left her "disgusted and embarrassed".

The Metropolitan Police has confirmed it was passed an allegation of sexual assault without giving details.

Separately an unidentified woman told the Mail On Sunday newspaper she had been raped by Weinstein in 1992 when she was working at his film company offices in West London.

'End of an era'

On Saturday, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said its board had "voted well in excess of the required two-thirds majority" to expel Weinstein.

Board members include Hollywood figures such as Tom Hanks and Whoopi Goldberg.

The "era of wilful ignorance and shameful complicity in sexually predatory behaviour and workplace harassment in our industry is over", the Academy said.

p05jxmph.jpg
Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionOn some red carpets, Harvey Weinstein is not a welcome subject

Speaking to the Hollywood Reporter, Bob Weinstein said he had had no idea of "the type of predator" his brother was.

He refused to comment on reports that he and the board of Weinstein Company had been aware of Weinstein's settlements with women during recent contract negotiations, saying only that the board "did not know the extent of my brother's actions".

The New York Police Department is looking into an allegation against Weinstein dating from 2004 and is reviewing whether there are any additional complaints.

The last time Harvey Weinstein was seen in public, outside his daughter's home in Los Angeles on Wednesday, he told reporters: "Guys, I'm not doing OK but I'm trying. I got to get help. You know what, we all make mistakes."

Weinstein's spokeswoman Sallie Hofmeister said earlier this week: "Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr Weinstein."

"Mr Weinstein obviously can't speak to anonymous allegations, but with respect to any women who have made allegations on the record, Mr Weinstein believes that all of these relationships were consensual," her statement added.

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