Weinstein paid $1M to silence Italian model who accused him of groping: report

Weinstein paid $1M to silence Italian model who accused him of groping: report
From CBC - November 21, 2017

Harvey Weinstein paid $1 million US to silence an Italian model who accused him of groping her in 2015 after prosecutors decided not to charge him, and in the 1990s, his brother paid other accusers from his personal bank account, a magazine reported Tuesday.

Ambra Battilana Gutierrez told The New Yorker she signed a nondisclosure agreement before knowing the media mogul had a pattern of sexually harassing and abusing women. But she felt at the time pressured to sign the agreement.

"I did not even understand almost what I was doing with all those papers," she told The New Yorker. "I was really disoriented. My English was very bad. All of the words in that agreement were super difficult to understand. I guess even now I ca not really comprehend everything."

She recalled that, across the table, Weinstein's attorney was trembling visibly as she picked up the pen.

"I saw him shaking and I realized how big this was. But then I thought I needed to support my mom and brother and how my life was being destroyed, and I did it," she told me. "The moment I did it, I really felt it was wrong."

Weinstein attorneys Blair Berk and Ben Brafman said in a statement to the magazine that because of pending investigations it would be inappropriate to respond to details in the article.

"Suffice it to say, Mr. Weinstein strongly objects to any suggestion that his conduct at any time has ever been contrary to law," according to the statement published in the magazine. "Be assured that we will respond in any appropriate legal forum, where necessary, and fully expect that Mr. Weinstein will prevail against any claim of legal wrongdoing."

'We had so much proof of everything'

Gutierrez had told police the movie magnate touched her thigh, grabbed her breasts and asked "are these real?" during a meeting in his Manhattan office on March 27, 2015. Investigators conducted a sting, listening to a call between the two and getting the model to record an in-person encounter in which Weinstein alternated between trying to persuade her to come into his hotel room and apologizing for his conduct at his office.


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