Edward James Olmos Accused of Sexual Assault

Police in South Carolina investigating complaint from female fan

By Joal Ryan Dec 09, 1997 4:10 PMTags
For the second time in as many months, ex-Miami Vice star Edward James Olmos is fending off sexual assault accusations.

Police in South Carolina are investigating a complaint by a woman who claims the 50-year-old married actor forced "her to do things she didn't want to do," in the words of one source quoted in today's New York Post, in a hotel room there last October.

Olmos--held to fire by wife Lorraine Bracco's ex- Harvey Keitel in a child custody trial last month and forced to answer to five-year-old charges that he sexually abused a Florida teen-ager--told New York's Daily News Monday night he couldn't comment on the latest case. "You'll find out more about the other side later," he said.

Olmos' lawyer Richard Harpootlian issued the official denial: "Mr. Olmos adamantly denies doing anything wrong or violating any laws."

The attorney told the Post that the accuser--described as a 38-year-old housewife--is a stalker-type who has failed a lie-detector test about her encounter with Olmos.

"We have one witness who says the woman stalked and followed Mr. Olmos to his hotel, then came back the next morning," Harpootlian said.

Olmos was in South Carolina, on October 18 to participate in Winthrop University's "Distinguished Lecture Series."

The actor met his eventual accuser at a reception following the speech. Harpootlian says the woman followed Olmos to the reception, later to a restaurant and finally to his room at a Howard Johnson's Lodge in Rock Hill. An unnamed source tells the Post that it was Olmos who invited the woman to his room.

"Once there, she said things got out of hand," the source tells the Post.

But Harpootlian says the woman was tailing Olmos. Once she got to his hotel room, "she left and came back the next morning and waited till he came down to the lobby from his room," the attorney says.

Harpootlian says he believed police were closing the investigation--"It's almost two months old," he noted.

It can't close soon enough for Olmos who has seen his image battered in bitter battles with Harvey Keitel in recent years.

Olmos is already prevented, per a court restraining order, from being in the same room with Stella Keitel--The Bad Lieutenant's teen-age daughter by Bracco--unless another adult is present. Keitel has repeatedly accused Olmos of molesting Stella. Bracco has sole custody of the girl.

Olmos has admitted paying $150,000 to the family of the Florida teen he was accused of sexually abusing--although he denies the allegation and says he cut the check to protect his son whom he claims was the real target of the complaint. (No criminal charges were filed in that case.)