Hollywood has been keeping the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office awfully busy this summer. According to the New York Daily News, local law enforcement has handed the DA’s sexual assault task force three new cases for review. Earlier this week, the Los Angeles Police Department forwarded the DA their investigations into allegations of sexual assault made against comedian Anthony Anderson, as well as action star Steven Seagal. And in June, according to the Daily News, the Beverly Hills Police Department handed the task force yet another case against Harvey Weinstein, the third case forwarded by their investigators. All three have denied the allegations.
Last month, the website The Blast revealed that Anderson, who currently stars on the hit show Black-ish, was being investigated for a sexual assault that occurred over a year ago. According to the site, the accuser first met Anderson at an event he hosted, then set up a second meeting to discuss possible business opportunities, and that’s when the alleged assault occurred. It wasn’t until a few months later that she felt comfortable enough to file a police report against the actor, sources told the the Blast, her motivation due, in part, to the #MeToo movement.
This isn’t the first time that Anderson has been accused of sexual assault either; in 2004, an extra on the set of the film Hustle & Flow accused Anderson of raping her, but the charges were eventually dropped.
Reached for comment, Anderson’s spokesperson referred Rolling Stone to the denial issued in July, when a spokesperson told The Blast, “It’s unfortunate that anyone can file a police report whether it is true or false. The authorities have not contacted Anthony or any of his representatives about this matter. Anthony unequivocally disputes the claim.”
It’s a little less clear what allegation against Steven Seagal is under review, but a representative for the DA’s Office confirmed that this is the second case against the actor currently under investigation by the task force. Over the last 10 months, the Above the Law actor and recently appointed Russian diplomat was accused of sexual harassment and sexual assault by several women, including Julianna Margulies, Portia de Rossi, Inside Edition correspondent Lisa Guerrero and actress Rachel Grant. Variety reported in February that Seagal was under investigation by the DA’s Office.
In March, former model Faviola Dadis and actress Regina Simons held a press conference with their attorney, Lisa Bloom, and both publicly accused the actor of sexual assault. Dadis claimed that in 2002, when she was 17, Seagal grabbed her genitals without her consent during a casting session. And Simons accused Seagal of raping her at his home in 1993, when she was 18 years old.
“Mr. Seagal denies all accusations and continues to stand his ground that he has not engaged in any such misconduct,” Seagal’s attorney, Anthony Falangetti said in a statement on the actor’s behalf back in March. “The allegations that have been made against Mr. Seagal are false and have no substantive material support. The accounts of both women are completely fictitious and totally made up. The allegations are a disservice to women who are victimized because of real predators in the film industry.” A request for further comment was not immediately provided to Rolling Stone.
It’s worth noting that while many of the allegations against Seagal are from a decade ago or more, in 2016, Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill that eliminated the statute of limitations for prosecuting rape charges.
Seagal, like Anderson, has been accused of sexual assault and harassment before — approximately a dozen times, in fact, stretching all the way back to the early ‘90s. In 2010, he was sued for sexual harassment and sex trafficking, but that lawsuit was later dismissed.
Not much is known about the new case against Harvey Weinstein, in part because there have been just so many allegations made against the disgraced film producer. Weinstein is currently facing several serious charges in New York, which altogether could send him to prison for life, and he is still under investigation by authorities in London. In addition to the three cases against Weinstein forwarded by the Beverly Hill Police Department, the L.A. District Attorney’s sexual assault task force is also reviewing three other cases investigated by the LAPD, bringing the total number of cases against the movie mogul currently under review in California to six. Weinstein has continued to “vehemently deny” any criminal acts.
Aside from acknowledging that the task force was presented with the cases against Anderson and Seagal on August 8th, and a sixth case against Weinstein in June, a representative from the Los Angeles County DA’s Office would only say that these cases “remain under review.”