Italian producer denies Argento Weinstein rape report (3)

Lombardo says 'ready to sue'

Italian producer denies Argento Weinstein rape report (3)

Rome, October 12 - Film producer Fabrizio Lombardo, former head of Miramax Italia, on Thursday denied actress and director Asia Argento's account of her alleged 1997 rape by Harvey Weinstein and said he was ready to sue Argento and anyone publishing "false and above all unverified news and statements". In a New Yorker report out Tuesday, Argento accused Hollywood producer Weinstein, fallen from grace amid a swirl of harassment and sex-attack reports he denies, of raping her at a Miramax party in France in 1997, when she was 21. Contacted over the phone by ANSA, Argento said: "It's all true, everything the New Yorker wrote. Now leave me in peace". Argento was among three women who told the New Yorker Weinstein raped them. Lucia Evans, a former aspiring actor, and one unnamed women also accused Weinstein of forcing them to engage in sex or sex acts, in the piece authored by Ronan Farrow. The son of actress Mia Farrow, Ronan Farrow previously helped reignite his sister Dylan's accusations that their father, Woody Allen, groomed and sexually assaulted her as a child, an allegation Allen denies. Four other women told the magazine that Weinstein touched them without their consent in a way "that could be classified as an assault". Others including actors Mira Sorvino and Rosanna Arquette alleged sexual harassment on the part of the Hollywood mogul. Farrow also revealed audio from 2015 New York Police Department sting operation in which Weinstein allegedly admits to groping Ambra Battilana Gutierrez, a model who reported his behavior, and said he was "used to" behaving that way. Weinstein, 65, was sacked by his Weinstein Company earlier this week after the New York Times reported a history of alleged sexual harassment over the decades. Nearly a dozen women told the NYT he had molested them. On Tuesday Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow told the NYT Weinstein molested them when they were young actresses. George Clooney on Tuesday called his alleged behaviour "indefensible". Weinstein's wife said she was leaving him.

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