A sting set up by police between Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein and the woman who claims he groped her has revealed he did not deny touching the model, it has been reported.
Italian model Ambra Battilana, 22, has claimed the 63-year-old Hollywood producer asked her for a kiss and groped her during a ‘business meeting’ at his Tribeca office in Manhattan on Friday night.
But while Weinstein has spoken to police and denied the accusations, a recorded conversation between him and Battilana shows he did not deny the incident, it has been claimed.
‘He didn’t deny doing what she said he did to her,’ the source told the New York Daily News. ‘The content of the phone call, there’s no question about what he did.’
She also convinced him to meet him a restaurant and the NYPD were also there to watch that meeting, according to the newspaper.
It is not clear if he knew he was being monitored but following the call and the meeting at the restaurant at the Tribeca Grand Hotel, Weinstein voluntarily went to speak with police on Saturday.
He requested a lawyer and has promised full cooperation with the probe.
The alleged incident unfolded at Weinstein’s Tribeca office after he invited her there for a business meeting on Friday night, hours after meeting her at Radio City Music Hall on Thursday night.
When she arrived at the office, the married father-of-five allegedly asked if her breasts were real before touching them and putting his hand up her skirt, she told police. He also asked her for a kiss, she claimed.
She clearly rejected him and he backed off, the New York Daily News reported, and she fled from the building. Security footage shows the model speaking on the phone as she quickly left the building half an hour after arriving, the newspaper reported.
The model’s lawyer said his client was ‘creeped out’ by her alleged encounter with Weinstein, who is behind hit movies including Pulp Fiction, The King’s Speech and Gangs Of New York.
‘When she was describing what happened, her face became contorted,’ said Mark Heller. ‘It was that look of someone who was creeped out. She’s a very young woman who was relating her disgust that a much older man – an old man in view of someone her age – conducted himself like that.’
Weinstein could face misdemeanor charges of forcible touching or sexual abuse if the allegations are credible. No charges have been filed and his representatives say they believe he will be cleared.
‘We are confident that we will be fully vindicated,’ a Weinstein spokesman said.
A source close to The Weinstein Company told Page Six the groping allegations were nothing more than a ‘blackmail attempt’ and insisted that the award-winning producer ‘did nothing wrong’.
Weinstein’s camp have dismissed Miss Battilana as an opportunist with a sketchy past.
It has emerged that Battilana previously told Italian authorities she witnessed a so-called ‘bunga-bunga’ orgy involving disgraced Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi at his Milan mansion in 2010.
She claimed she had seen young models performing stripteases and baring their breasts to be kissed by the Italian leader during a raunchy dinner party.
It also emerged that she told Italian police in 2010 that she was ‘forced against’ her will into having sex for money with a 70-year-old ‘businessman of substantial means’ when she was underage.
Battilana met the wealthy car dealer in September 2009 when she was under 18 and therefore below the age of consent for prostitution in Italy, according to Italian newspaper reports.
In her police statement, she said the man invited her into his car, where he then caressed ‘my hand and left leg’ and proposed ‘that I become his ‘playmate’, she said.
Battilana said he then gave her a bag with €2,000, before assuring her it was only ‘an advance of the €5,000 he would give me every month’.
She added: ‘Despite the indecency of the proposal, both because of my psychological subjection in which I found myself and because of the severe poverty of my family I felt forced against my will not to refuse the money.’
The relationship ended after she was accepted into the Miss Italia 2010 pageant.
Prosecutors in Italy asked for the rape allegation to be dismissed in 2012 but it was not reported whether the judge granted the dismissal – although it is likely it would have been carried out.
In 2012, the Alba prosecutor told Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera that Miss Battilana never showed up to talk to them about her police complaint so they were unable to verify her claims.