Manhattan DA opens probe into Weinstein’s hush-money settlements

NY Post

Hey, they got Al Capone for tax evasion.

As the public gets distracted by each new wave in the flood of sexual-misconduct claims against Hollywood, Washington and media titans, the Manhattan district attorney is quietly working to ensure Harvey Weinstein doesn’t escape prosecution on his watch for a second time, The Post has learned.

Cyrus Vance Jr. is hedging his bets by pursuing a potential embezzlement case tied to hush-money settlements with Weinstein’s accusers, in addition to seeking evidence of his alleged sex crimes, law-enforcement sources said.

One source described the Vance investigation as “wide-ranging and aggressive,” and said authorities had served more than two dozen subpoenas demanding documents for the probe.

Several current and former Weinstein employees have also appeared with their lawyers for voluntary interviews at the DA’s office in recent weeks, sources said.

Vance’s prosecutors asked them what they knew about the slew of sordid accusations against Weinstein, sources said.

Those allegations include claims by Lucia Evans, then a college student, that Weinstein forced her to perform oral sex on him inside his Tribeca office in 2004, and claims by “Boardwalk Empire” actress Paz de la Huerta that Weinstein raped her on two occasionsin 2010.

The DA’s Office is also investigating whether Weinstein misappropriated money from The Weinstein Company — which fired him in October — or his former company, Miramax, to buy his accusers’ silence, sources said.

Weinstein reportedly struck settlements with around a dozen accusers over the past 20-plus years, and New York’s statute of limitations for fraud and larceny are six years and up to five, respectively.

But even if charges can’t be brought, any evidence that’s uncovered could potentially be used to bolster sex-assault charges, law-enforcement sources said.

Vance — who’s suffered defeats in several high-profile prosecutions — “wants to be really sure” of a conviction if he pursues charges against Weinstein, one source said.

“He doesn’t want another black eye,” the source added.

One payment, of $1 million, reportedly went to model Ambra Battilana Gutierrez, who went to cops in 2015 after Weinstein allegedly groped her in his Tribeca office.

Despite an incriminating recording made during an NYPD sting operation, Vance declined to prosecute, and he came under fire when the secret audio was leaked to the New Yorker in October.

Weinstein has repeatedly denied “any allegations of non-consensual sex” with his accusers and a source close to Weinstein said: “They are looking at this stuff now, because they understand how weak and unreliable the rape claims are.”

A grand jury isn’t expected to start reviewing evidence until next year, sources said.

Weinstein defense lawyer Ben Brafman said Sunday: “Any financial settlements by Mr. Weinstein were fully vetted and approved by legal counsel for Mr. Weinstein and The Weinstein Company.

“There was never any intent by Mr Weinstein to violate the law and as a result, we do not believe that any criminal charges will be filed once all of the facts are carefully reviewed,” he added.

Hey, Disney, Your Movie Probably Sucked, But Accusing The Sad Puppies Of Some Sort Of Spam Campaign Is A Little Low

The Arts Mechanical

The new Star wars movie has had a mixed reception from fans this weekend. The fans that have been critical have more or less pointed out that the movie has forgotten what the franchise was about and the franchise has been turned into a celebration of diversity and incompetence. Seemingly the rebellion can do nothing right. I haven’t seen the movie and frankly I have no desire to see movie that the creators have to defend by saying how diverse the cast is.  Of course the mixed response was treated a media smear blast of the kind that the puppies are all too familiar with.

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Things that Matter

Yes CATS are “something that matters”!

No Facilities

“I think you’re supposed to be feeding us”

I was going to write a short post about how busy this weekend has been, but that sounds like a complain, and there’s nothing to complain about. Well, there is one thing to complain about, but I’ve already done that, so I won’t bring it in here. The things that took my time this weekend are the things that matter.

The weekend began on Friday night, which is unusual for me. Faith (daughter) and I continued what has become a tradition, by attending Old Sturbridge Village’s Christmas by Candlelight. Saturday and Sunday took me away from home, but only as far as our daughter’s place so that I could watch her cats while she was out of town. The boys both require medication, so I meet them in the afternoon, sleep over and leave them after meds and food in the morning.

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Can you love someone but not really like them?

Vintage Vow

There. Seating in a bar all by yourself, sipping on your usual gin & tonic you start to feel nauseated. It isn’t the gin that you so mindlessly chugged but a heavy tug at your heart as it dawn on you just how long has it been since you’ve been pretending.

On a typical Tuesday night back at your apartment as you lay on your bed, staring into nothingness, you sigh. You try to remember when was the last time you genuinely felt it. The joy of presence. Because lately their absence relieves you more. 

Surrounded by your people, exchanging words of gossip, sarcasm and the all too known humor, you laugh if off because this is exactly what you should be doing. This is your usual, your routine. Then why does it feel different? Why are you being pretentious when all you wanna do is the exact opposite? 

Why…

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