Harvey Weinstein accused of groping Italian model, 22, in his office at Tribeca Film Center: sources

Movie mogul Harvey Weinstein is accused of groping a 22-year-old Italian model he met at the red-carpet premiere of his Radio City “New York Spring Spectacular.” The model told cops that the Oscar-winning Hollywood producer sexually abused her after coaxing her to his Manhattan office on the pretext of talking business, sources told the Daily News. The woman informed cops that Weinstein, a married 63-year-old father of five, groped her breasts and reached up her skirt around 6 p.m. Friday in his third-floor office at the Tribeca Film Center on Greenwich St., sources said. “He asked if her breasts were real before touching them,” a police source said. “She asked him to stop, and he put his hand up her skirt. He asked for a kiss; she responded ‘No.’” Once the model left Weinstein’s office, she called a friend and described what happened, another police source said. The friend took her to the 9th Precinct stationhouse in the East Village, and officers there drove her to the 1st Precinct station in Tribeca to report the incident. “She really was very upset,” said a third police source. Weinstein has been questioned by police. Sex-crime detectives for Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. were expected to meet with the woman Monday to determine whether to file charges. The accuser initially met Weinstein on Thursday at the red-carpet premiere of the Rockettes’ “Spectacular” that he co-produced at Radio City. “He initiated the contact,” a police source said of Weinstein. “He saw her and spoke to her. She didn’t know who he was until he approached her.” He asked if her breasts were real before touching them. She asked him to stop, and he put his hand up her skirt. Weinstein’s accuser told cops the film big shot gave her his card at Radio City and they exchanged emails on Friday to set up the Continue Reading

Ambra Battilana, bombshell Italian model claiming Harvey Weinstein groped her, hires new lawyer

The model has a new mouthpiece. Ambra Battilana, the 22-year-old beauty accusing renowned movie mogul Harvey Weinstein of groping her, hired a new lawyer Wednesday, the Daily News learned. Attorney David Godosky is in and lawyer Mark Heller is out as the investigation of the alleged incident in Weinstein’s office continued. Ambra Battilana appears outside Milan court in July 2013 after testifying as a witness to sex orgies involving Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. There was no immediate explanation for the switch in representation. The high-profile Heller’s colorful clientele has included Lindsay Lohan and her mom Dina, self-proclaimed “King of All Pimps” Jason Itzler and “Manhattan Madam” Kristin Davis. AMBRA BATTILANA 'NOT AFRAID OF' HARVEY WEINSTEIN, SOURCE SAYS Godosky was not at his Manhattan office Wednesday morning. He is a former Bronx prosecutor who was also appointed as a Criminal Court judge by Mayor Bloomberg before returning to work as a trial lawyer. Model Battilana, who was a witness in the sex scandal trial of Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, accused Weinstein of sexually assaulting her inside his Tribeca office last Friday. No charges were immediately brought against Weinstein, 63, the married father of five, although the case remains active. HARVEY WEINSTEIN ACCUSER'S EX-BOYFRIEND: 'SHE'S A VICTIM OF HER BEAUTY' Heller, before his dismissal, said the one-time Miss Italy contestant was creeped out by Weinstein’s groping at what was pitched as a business meeting in his Greenwich St. office. Weinstein, through a spokesman, said he expected full vindication when the investigation is complete. Continue Reading

Harvey Weinstein will not be charged following allegations of groping Italian model

Lights, camera — no legal action. The Manhattan district attorney’s office, after an intense two-week probe, announced Friday that movie mogul Harvey Weinstein will face no charges for allegedly groping a young Italian model. A source said the DA felt the case involving Ambra Battilana could not be proven beyond a reasonable doubt — in part because of her credibility issues. The 22-year-old brunette claimed she was assaulted while in Weinstein’s office to discuss a lingerie shoot audition, a law enforcement source said. “We are pleased this episode is behind us,” said Risa Heller, a spokeswoman for Weinstein, before declining to comment any further on the case. RELATED: Harvey Weinstein’s wife is furious, humiliated by claim he groped model Ambra Battilana Weinstein arrived at the Tribeca office where he met with Battilana on March 27 about two hours after the decision was made public. He offered a smirk and a half-wave, but said nothing. Battilana, spotted outside her apartment after leaving her attorney’s office, also had little to say. “Call my lawyer,” she told a Daily News reporter. Battilana’s attorney, David Godosky, declined comment “at this time,” leaving the window open for a possible civil suit. There were credibility issues with Battilana, 22, because she lied to investigators about her sexual relationship with a 70-year-old man in her native Italy, a law enforcement source said. The man, identified only as Mr. G., admitted to having a relationship with Battilana, but claimed it was consensual. He said paid her with jewelry, expensive tanning cream and a car. Another problem with building a case against Weinstein was that they were alone during the meeting, creating a “he said/she said” scenario. “This case was taken seriously from the outset, with a thorough Continue Reading

Harvey Weinstein hosts party of New York inflentials for Russian-born media magnate Evgeny Lebedev

Harvey Weinstein and Georgina Chapman hosted a private cocktail party for Moscow-born 35-year-old Evgeny Lebedev at the Lotos Club before the weekend got underway. Weinstein and his gorgeous designer wife greeted a handful of guests inside the book-lined second-floor library of the exclusive Upper East Side mansion, which operates a members-only club. The drinks do was at the request of businessman Lebedev, who owns The Evening Standard and The Independent in the U.K. We hear he emailed Weinstein directly asking to meet some New York influentials. He’s also a theater lover who throws the Evening Standard Theatre Awards show in London annually, and is hoping to make a splash in New York society circles, particularly around the Tony Awards weekend. After a brief introduction by Weinstein, Lebedev took the microphone to tell the group he was happy to be meeting everyone and how intoxicating he finds the city. “He’s hoping to get in with the right circles here, meet the right people,” one guest tells [email protected] Among the notable names at the intimate event, [email protected] spotted Anna Wintour, clad in a red lace number. The Vogue editrix discussed Weinstein’s pet project, “Finding Neverland,” with him at a table for two, and shook hands with Lebedev before we spotted her quietly slipping away and down the staircase to her waiting car after just 15 minutes. Harper’s Bazaar editor Glenda Bailey arrived to chat with Chapman and her Marchesa partner Keren Craig, who was also seen chatting up Michael Bloomberg and his girlfriend Diana Taylor. Lincoln Center head Jill Lloyd was there with Jed Bernstein, Tina Brown arrived on the later side, as Bloomberg was leaving. Scattered throughout the hour, we spotted Annette de la Renta, opera singer Renee Fleming, Marie Claire Editor-in-Chief Anne Fulenwider, Newsweek editor James Impoco, Princess Firyal of Jordan, Continue Reading

EXCLUSIVE: Harvey Weinstein didn’t deny groping Ambra Battilana in telephone call set up by NYPD, source says

Cops set up a controlled phone call with Harvey Weinstein and his 22-year-old accuser and — given the chance — he didn’t deny touching the Italian model, a source familiar with the recorded conversation told the Daily News. Ambra Battilana then convinced Weinstein to meet him at a restaurant at the Tribeca Grand Hotel, a rendezvous under the watchful eyes of the NYPD, the source added. “He didn’t deny doing what she said he did to her,” the source told The News, referring to the call. “The content of the phone call, there’s no question about what he did.” The source added that it was clear from the conversation that he touched Battilana. “If he denies it, if he says he didn’t touch her breasts and privates, he’s toast,” the source said. The overheard call and restaurant meeting happened sometime between her notifying police on Friday and when Weinstein voluntarily spoke to cops on Saturday. It wasn’t clear if the movie mogul was made aware of the controlled call. He spoke to cops briefly and asked for a lawyer. Weinstein has not been charged with a crime. A source close to the married 63-year-old father of five denied he did anything wrong. “I couldn’t be more confident that nothing untoward happened with Harvey and that this is a setup like we’ve never seen,” that source said. “And I think it’s pretty clear that it’s part of a pattern.” Battilana told authorities she was invited to stop by Weinstein’s Tribeca office for a meeting after they crossed paths Thursday night on the red carpet at Radio City Music Hall. But once she arrived at his third-floor office on Greenwich St. on Friday, she claims Weinstein asked if her breasts were real before groping Battilana’s chest and slipping a hand under her skirt, sources told The News. The filmmaker backed off Continue Reading

‘Neverland’ comes with happy ending for Harvey Weinstein; Bunny Ranch staff backs Hillary Clinton

What scandal? Harvey Weinstein was in celebratory spirits Wednesday night at the after-party for his debut Broadway show, “Finding Neverland.” All the same, the mogul, who recently fought off allegations that he groped a model, seemed keen to keep prying eyes away from him and his family. There were two security guards posted outside their private dining room for the evening. But a [email protected] spy inside said Weinstein was having a “grand old time” with wife Georgina Chapman and daughters Lily and Ruthie by his side. It seems the latest storm hasn’t dented his legendary ego. “He wanted to have the Hollywood A-listers come through and come to him, like the Godfather,” said our source. “He was holding court in there throughout the night and he was definitely in very good spirits.” Helen Mirren, Olivia Wilde and Michael Bloomberg were at the bash, where guests did toasts with Moët & Chandon Champagne. “When Kelsey Grammer (one of the musical’s stars) arrived, Harvey personally made sure a table was set up for him and his wife,” added the gossip. Last month, model Ambra Battilana claimed Weinstein stuck his hand under her skirt in a meeting at his office, but last Friday the Manhattan district attorney’s office said there was not enough evidence to support a criminal charge. GOING ALL THE WAY WITH HILLARY Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton wants to be a champion for the working class, and the working girls at Nevada’s Moonlite Bunny Ranch like what they see. Sex workers at the infamous Carson City, Nev., brothel have formally endorsed Clinton’s candidacy with their “Hookers for Hillary” initiative. They like her positions on health care, foreign policy and the prevention of supply-side economics. Other positions are important as well, no doubt. DENNIS NO MENACE Dennis Quaid stunned fellow diners Wednesday Continue Reading

Harvey Weinstein’s wife Georgina Chapman shares photo of flower bouquet from husband in wake of groping scandal

Nothing says I'm sorry like a bouquet of flowers. Harvey Weinstein's fashion designer-wife Georgina Chapman took to Instagram Tuesday to share a birthday surprise from her Hollywood producer hubby following the allegations he groped Italian model Ambra Battilana. "Thank you for my beautiful flowers!!!#wonderfulhusband #birthday," Chapman wrote. "Any suggestion that these flowers were for anything but Georgina's birthday is a complete fabrication," a rep for Weinstein told the Daily News in a statement. A socialite source told The News that Chapman was "furious" following the scandal surrounding her family but was doing her best to move past it, especially for the sake of the couple's children. "She doesn't want this to interrupt her business or embarrass the kids any more than it already has," the insider said last week. Chapman, who is the co-founder of the Marchesa fashion line, is continuing on with business as usual as she currently gears up for Bridal Fashion Week. "The countdown begins... 5 days until the reveal!! Excited!! #marchesa #ss16 #bridal," she captioned a photo teasing her new designs. Battilana, 22, filed a complaint against Chapman's 63-year-old husband accusing him of inappropriate behavior, including grabbing her breasts and putting his hand under her skirt, during a meeting inside his Tribeca office on March 27. The Manhattan district attorney’s office announced Friday that Weinstein will not be charged for the alleged incident. Continue Reading

Italian model Ambra Battilana meets with prosecutors to discuss allegations she was groped by Harvey Weinstein

The 22-year-old Italian model who accused Hollywood powerhouse Harvey Weinstein of groping her in his Tribeca office briefly met with prosecutors Tuesday, as the criminal probe continued. Ambra Battilana met with investigators for a short followup session, a source said. She was spotted leaving her lawyer’s office in Lower Manhattan late Tuesday morning. The Manhattan district attorney’s office is investigating claims stemming from a March 27 encounter between the model and the 63-year-old married father. Continue Reading

Harvey Weinstein gabs at ‘Tribeca Talks’ chat, but not about alleged groping of model Ambra Battilana

If any audience member was expecting Harvey Weinstein to discuss the recent groping scandal at his “Tribeca Talks” chat at the SVA Theatre on Saturday, he was sorely disappointed. No mention was made. Instead, the appreciative soldout crowd was regaled with softball tales of how films like “Good Will Hunting” and “The Artist” came to be made by Weinstein.  The 63-year-old told the crowd that “Good Will Hunting” originally had Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio attached and the only reason Ben Affleck and Matt Damon decided to go with Weinstein was because he questioned a scene in the script where the two male professors perform oral sex on each other. They confessed, “That’s the red herring. We know you’re the first guy from a studio to have read the script. . . . We’re making it with you because you read it.” Weinstein also admitted he’s not crazy about the recent expansion of the Oscars’ Best Picture category from five to up to 10. “I love the tradition of the Academy,” he said. “Put in a Best Comedy if you want to delineate something. The Golden Globes do it, I don’t think it’s heresy to do that and it’s probably commercial. Maybe we should have action to make the Academy a little more commercial and wider. I still think Best Picture should be the five best.”  Weinstein also conceded that the first time he ran into Steven Spielberg after Miramax’s “Shakespeare in Love” won Best Picture over “Saving Private Ryan” was a tad frosty. “I don’t think it was a lovefest,” he noted. “That was a tough one.”  And as for that coveted Oscar?  Weinstein said that his daughters, Lily and Emma — who had skipped the ceremony to watch “Annie” — kidnapped the statue and posed it adjacent to Ken, dressed in Barbie Continue Reading

Giuliana Rancic says editing marred Oscar remarks on Zendaya; dancers are on their toes around Harvey Weinstein

No problem, mon. As [email protected] first reported, Giuliana Rancic went on Monday’s “Today” show to clear the air about her recent remark that singer Zendaya, who was wearing dreadlocks, smelled like marijuana at the Oscars. “I made a reference to the hippie culture” on the "Fashion Police" red-carpet show, Rancic said on the NBC morning show, indicating the remark wasn’t racial in nature. “I talked about patchouli oil, which is a hippie perfume. And in the editing process, some of the gestures I made, some of the things I said, were taken out for time.” An E! insider said that people who worked on the show were surprised by the controversy since the editor involved is black and did not think it would cause a problem. But Rancic understands why things unfolded as they did. “I see why people took offense,” she lamented on “Today.” Rancic also attempted to debunk rumors that she has an eating disorder. “I do not have an eating disorder,” she said. “I have never had an eating disorder. I wanted to be very clear about that. In fact, I eat a lot.” One thing the outspoken host wouldn’t tackle is whether “Fashion Police” will return to TV. “We’ll see,” she said. DANCERS ON THEIR TOES AROUND HARVEY Dancers on the world’s most famous kick line are “creeped out” by Harvey Weinstein. “There’s definitely talk about how creepy it’s been having him in the back of the theater taking notes in the dark,” a production insider at Weinstein’s “New York Spring Spectacular” tells us. Weinstein is accused of sexual assault by a 22-year-old model he met on opening night of the family-friendly show at Radio City Music Hall. He’s maintained he’ll be vindicated. “He has not been backstage or inappropriate,” we’re assured. Continue Reading