The model at the centre of one of the most high profile sexual assault cases against Harvey Weinstein has said she feels "vindicated" after suffering years of condemnation for speaking out.
Ambra Gutierrez, born in Italy, was introduced to Weinstein at a theatre reception at Radio City Music Hall, after which the film mogul reportedly took her back to his Tribeca office.
There, he allegedly began asking her about her breasts then tried to force himself on her, trying to slip his hand up her skirt. Weinstein has denied all allegations of sexual assault.
Gutierrez immediately reported the incident to New York police, who persuaded her to work with them on a sting operation: wearing a mic, she recorded him apologising to her for his behaviour to her while at the same time trying to coax her into a room at the Tribeca Grand Hotel. The disturbing audio was published earlier this year.
Yet Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. decided not to prosecute, claiming officers had failed to gather enough proof. She was allegedly silenced with a $1m contract and a non-disclosure agreement from Weinstein.
“I felt like I was going crazy,” Gutierrez told the New York Post. “No one believed me...[but] My life is finally coming back to me. I feel vindicated.”
After years of depression and dealing with an eating disorder, Gutierrez began to receive new-found support after the explosive report in the New York Times published in October this year, which published allegations against Weinstein by high profile stars such as Ashley Judd, Rose McGowan and Gwyneth Paltrow.
“I cried. I couldn’t believe it. It was a shock for me,” Gutierrez said. “It’s crazy how much [that piece] changed my life.
“I have people saying so many nice things, saying that I’m brave. Now I can go anywhere and feel like I’m safe . . . It feels like I’m starting to get two years of my life back.”
The rights to Guiterrez's life story have reportedly been bought by Archstone Pictures.