The Los Angeles police department confirmed Thursday that it is investigating allegations that film producer Harvey Weinstein sexually assaulted an Italian model and actress in 2013, the Lost Angeles Times reported. Weinstein is already being investigated by police in New York for two sex crimes and in London for allegations made by three other women. Most of the accusations that could lead to criminal charges against the Hollywood mogul are more than a decade old, but this new allegation falls within the legal 10-year statute of limitations. Defense attorney Dmitry Gorin, a former L.A. sex crimes prosecutor, said this new probe could “open the door to a prosecution if the evidence exists.”
White House chief of staff John Kelly on Thursday lashed out at Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL), the congresswoman who listened in on and publicly criticized President Trump’s call with a Gold Star widow. “I was stunned when I came to work yesterday morning and brokenhearted at what I saw a member of Congress doing,” Kelly said during the White House press briefing. “A member of Congress who listened in the on a phone call from the president of the United States to a young wife. and in his way tried to express that opinion that he’s a brave man, a fallen hero, he knew what he was getting himself into because he enlisted—there’s no reason to enlist, he enlisted and was where he wanted to be—exactly where he wanted to be with exactly the people he wanted to be with when his life was taken. That was the message. That was the message that was transmitted. It stuns me that a member of Congress would have listened in on that conversation—absolutely stuns me.” Wilson was riding in a vehicle with the widow of a soldier killed in Niger when the president called and she overheard the conversation. The congresswoman relayed to the press that she heard Trump tell the widow that her husband “knew what he signed up for… but when it happens, it hurts anyway,” and called those remarks “insensitive.” Wilson is a family friend of the widow and the fallen soldier’s own mother confirmed the congresswoman’s characterization of the phone call. The Daily Beast has reached out to Wilson for comment.
A military veteran glowingly featured by Fox News earlier this month for his pro-Trump artwork and his record as a “war hero” admitted Thursday to lying about his military service. John Garofalo, 72, was featured in a Bryan Llenas report as having served seven years as a Navy SEAL, receiving 22 commendations, including two Purple Hearts, and having been listed twice as missing in action during Vietnam. Garofalo, who personally carved a presidential seal to gift President Trump, is a “tough, tough man,” Llenas said, after calling him a “hero” during an interview. Fox News anchor Eric Shawn later remarked: “God bless John Garofalo. We certainly hope maybe the president is listening.” However, when the Navy Times reached out to Garofalo on Thursday, he confessed to having lied about his military service. “What I did I’m ashamed of, and I didn’t mean to cause so much disgrace to the SEALs,” he told the Times. Fox News has since removed the video, which went viral on Facebook, and issued a statement apologizing for the error.
Former President Barack Obama returned to the campaign trail on Thursday to rally supporters for New Jersey Democratic gubernatorial candidate Phil Murphy and Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ralph Northam. Before heading to Richmond, for the more hotly contested race in Virginia, Obama seemed to take a swipe at the current state of politics without naming President Trump explicitly. “What we can’t have is the same old politics of division that we have seen so many times before that dates back centuries,” Obama said in his New Jersey appearance. “We thought we put that to bed. That’s folks looking 50 years back. It’s the 21st century. Not the 19th century.”
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Actress Lupita Nyong’o wrote about her experiences with film producer Harvey Weinstein in a New York Times op-ed on Thursday night, in which she detailed predatory behavior from the mogul accused of rape and sexual harassment. In one instance, Nyong’o said Weinstein offered to give her a massage, something that many women described in their private encounters with him. “Harvey led me into a bedroom—his bedroom—and announced that he wanted to give me a massage,” the actress wrote. “I thought he was joking at first. He was not. For the first time since I met him, I felt unsafe. I panicked a little and thought quickly to offer to give him one instead: It would allow me to be in control physically, to know exactly where his hands were at all times.” Then, Nyong’o wrote, Weinstein “said he wanted to take off his pants.” “I told him not to do that and informed him that it would make me extremely uncomfortable,” she wrote. “He got up anyway to do so and I headed for the door, saying that I was not at all comfortable with that.”
In a new interview with The New York Times, director Quentin Tarantino admitted that he knew about Harvey Weinstein's pattern of alleged sexual abuse and said nothing. “I knew enough to do more than I did,” Tarantino, who worked closely with Weinstein from 1992's Reservoir Dogs through 2015's The Hateful Eight, said. “There was more to it than just the normal rumors, the normal gossip. It wasn’t secondhand. I knew he did a couple of these things.” He added, “I wish I had taken responsibility for what I heard. If I had done the work I should have done then, I would have had to not work with him.” Among the actresses who told Tarantino directly of Weinstein's behavior was his former girlfriend Mira Sorvino. “I was shocked and appalled,” Tarantino said of his feelings at the time. “I couldn’t believe he would do that so openly.”
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) announced Thursday that he would not attend the upcoming Women’s Convention in Detroit next weekend after being invited to speak on the opening night of the inaugural convention. Instead, Sanders said he will visit Puerto Rico to survey damage from Hurricane Maria. “I want to apologize to the organizers of the Women’s Convention for not being able to attend your conference next Friday in Detroit,” Sanders said in a statement. “Given the emergency situation in Puerto Rico, I will be traveling there to visit with San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz and other officials to determine the best way forward to deal with the devastation the island is experiencing. The U.S. Congress cannot turn its back on the millions of people in Puerto Rico who, four weeks after the hurricane, are still without electricity, food and running water.” He added: “Congratulations to the board of the Women’s March – Tamika Mallory, Bob Bland, Linda Sarsour, Carmen Perez, Janaye Ingram, Breanne Butler – along with thousands of other women leaders for their historic work in putting together the march in January and all that you have done since. My best wishes for a very successful conference.” Sanders’ invitation by the organizers had sparked some backlash from people objecting to him speaking on the opening night of the conference.
An 11-year old cub scout in Colorado was kicked out of his den after asking a state senator pointed questions at a Boy Scout-organized event earlier this month, The Denver Post reported Thursday. Ames Mayfield reportedly asked GOP Sen. Vicki Marble questions about her 2013 comments at a legislative hearing on poverty about the “problems in the black race” regarding mortality rates and “genetic makeup.” Lori Mayfield, the fifth-grader’s mother, said her son researched the state senator by himself and that she only told him to be “respectful” in his questioning. “He is still kind of reeling from this,” the mother said. “He is really sensitive, my heart breaks for him.” Nicole Cosme, marketing director of the Boy Scouts of America Denver Area Council said her organization is “evaluating this matter closely and will treat all parties with dignity and respect.” Ames was reportedly offered membership in other dens.
President George W. Bush spoke out Thursday about the state of American politics and denounced the bigotry that he said “seems emboldened” as of late. “People of every race, religion, ethnicity can be fully and equally American,” he said during an address at the George W. Bush Institute in Dallas, Texas. “It means that bigotry or white supremacy in any form is blasphemy against the American creed.” The former president also said that “our politics seems more vulnerable to conspiracy theories and outright fabrication.” Bush did not specifically name President Trump, whose many controversial, equivocating statements on racism have been credited with emboldening a new spate of white-supremacist activists.