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story.lead_photo.caption FILE - In this Nov. 23, 2011 file photo, film producer Harvey Weinstein poses for a photo in New York. Weinstein has asked a judge to toss out a federal sexual misconduct lawsuit filed against him and he's invoking the words of some A-list actresses in his defense. (AP Photo/John Carucci, File)

3:30 P.M. UPDATE:

NEW YORK — Law enforcement officials say Harvey Weinstein is expected to surrender to authorities Friday morning to face criminal charges in a months-long investigation into allegations that he sexually assaulted women.

The two officials said the criminal case involves allegations by Lucia Evans, a former actress who was among the first women to speak out about Weinstein. The case would be the first criminal charge against the film producer since scores of women began coming forward to accuse him of harassment or assault, triggering a cascade of accusations against media and entertainment figures that has become known as the #MeToo movement.

The two officials spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to discuss the investigation.

A grand jury has been hearing evidence in the case for weeks, and the precise charges against Weinstein weren't immediately clear. Weinstein's attorney, Benjamin Brafman, declined to comment, though Weinstein has said repeatedly through his lawyers that he did not have nonconsensual sex with anyone.

Evans told The New Yorker in a story published in October that Weinstein forced her to perform oral sex during a daytime meeting at his New York office in 2004, the summer before her senior year at Middlebury College.

"I said, over and over, 'I don't want to do this, stop, don't,' " she told the magazine. "I tried to get away, but maybe I didn't try hard enough. I didn't want to kick him or fight him."

She didn't report the incident to police at the time, telling The New Yorker's Ronan Farrow that she blamed herself for not fighting back.

"It was always my fault for not stopping him," she said.

Brafman said in court paperwork filed this month in a bankruptcy proceeding that the allegations that Weinstein forced himself on women were "entirely without merit."

"I am trying my very best to persuade both the federal and state prosecutors that he should not be arrested and or indicted, because he did not knowingly violate the law," Brafman wrote.

Brafman said in the same court filing that he had been informed that Weinstein was a "principal target" of an investigation being conducted by the U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan.

In recent months, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance has come under pressure to make a criminal case. Some women's groups, including the Hollywood activist group Time's Up, accused the Democrat of being too deferential to Weinstein and too dismissive of his accusers.

In March, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo took the step of ordering the state's attorney general to investigate whether Vance acted properly in 2015 when he decided not to prosecute Weinstein over a previous allegation of unwanted groping, made by an Italian model.

Vance had insisted any decision would be based on the strength of the evidence, not on political considerations.

Weinstein was fired from the company he co-founded and expelled from the organization that bestows the Academy Awards last fall after The New York Times and The New Yorker published articles about his treatment of women, including multiple allegations that he groped actresses, exposed himself to them or forced them into unwanted sex.

His accusers included some of the biggest names in Hollywood. Several actresses and models accused him of criminal sexual assaults, including film actress Rose McGowan, who said Weinstein raped her in 1997 in Utah, Sopranos actress Annabella Sciorra, who said he raped her in her New York apartment in 1992, and the Norwegian actress Natassia Malthe, who said he attacked her in a London hotel room in 2008. Another aspiring actress, Mimi Haleyi, said Weinstein forcibly performed oral sex on her in his New York apartment in 2006.

New York City police detectives said in early November that they were investigating allegations by another accuser, Boardwalk Empire actress Paz de la Huerta, who told police in October that Weinstein raped her twice in 2010.

It's not clear whether Weinstein will face additional charges involving other women.

EARLIER:

NEW YORK — Gwyneth Paltrow says ex-boyfriend Brad Pitt threatened producer Harvey Weinstein after an alleged incident of sexual misconduct.

The 45-year-old actress told The Howard Stern Show on Wednesday she was "blindsided." Paltrow claimed she was 22 when Weinstein placed his hands on her at a hotel and suggested they go to a bedroom for massages.

Paltrow said she told Pitt what happened and the actor confronted Weinstein at a Broadway opening. Paltrow said, "It was like the equivalent of throwing him against the wall."

Paltrow said Pitt leveraged his fame and power to protect her at a time when she didn't have fame or power.

The two, who were briefly engaged, broke up in 1997.

Representatives for Weinstein and Pitt did not immediately respond to emails seeking comment.

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