5 years after girls’s tales about him made the #MeToo motion explode, Harvey Weinstein is occurring trial in Los Angeles, the town the place he as soon as was a colossus on the Oscars.
Already serving a 23-year sentence for a conviction for rape and sexual assault in New York, the 70-year-old former film mogul faces completely different allegations, together with a number of that prosecutors say occurred throughout a pivotal Oscar week in L.A. Jury choice for an eight-week trial begins Monday.
Weinstein has been indicted on 4 counts of rape and 7 different sexual assault counts involving 5 girls, who will seem in courtroom as Jane Does to inform their tales. He has pleaded not responsible. The alleged sexual assaults span from 2004 to 2013, and most occurred in resort rooms in L.A. and Beverly Hills, prosecutors stated.
4 extra girls can be allowed to take the stand to provide accounts of Weinstein sexual assaults that didn’t result in costs, however which prosecutors hope will present jurors he had a propensity for committing such acts.
In February 2020, a Manhattan jury discovered Weinstein responsible of third-degree rape for sexually assaulting an actress in a New York Metropolis resort room in 2013, and one depend of a legal intercourse act for forcing oral intercourse on a former manufacturing assistant in 2006.
In August, a New York choose granted Weinstein’s software to enchantment the conviction.
In June, British prosecutors additionally charged Weinstein with sexually assaulting a girl again in 1996.
Beginning within the Nineties, Weinstein, via the corporate Miramax that he ran along with his brother, was an innovator in operating broad and aggressive campaigns selling Academy Award nominees. He had unmatched success, pushing movies like “Shakespeare in Love” and “The Artist” to finest image wins and changing into among the many most thanked males ever throughout Oscar acceptance speeches.
Miramax and its successor, The Weinstein Co., had been based mostly in New York, the place Weinstein lived and did enterprise, however that did not diminish his presence in Hollywood.
“He was a creature of New York, however he was additionally a creature of Los Angeles,” stated Kim Masters, editor at massive for The Hollywood Reporter and a longtime observer of the film business. “He had this large Golden Globes celebration that was all the time effectively past capability when he was in his heyday. He was the king of Hollywood in New York and L.A.”
It was throughout Oscars week in 2013, when Jennifer Lawrence would win an Academy Award for the Weinstein Co.’s “Silver Linings Playbook” and Quentin Tarantino would win for writing the corporate’s “Django Unchained,” that 4 of the 11 alleged crimes passed off.
Like many of the incidents within the indictments, they occurred underneath the guise of enterprise conferences at luxurious inns in Beverly Hills and L.A., which Weinstein used as his California headquarters and the place he might be seen throughout awards season and all year long. He was handled as greater than a VIP. At a pre-trial listening to, the chauffeur who drove Weinstein round Los Angeles testified that even he was allowed to take as a lot as $1,000 in money in Weinstein’s identify from the entrance desk of the resort the place the mogul was staying.
By the point tales about him in The New York Occasions and The New Yorker in October of 2017 led to his downfall, Weinstein’s energy to seemingly will movies to win awards had diminished, and his firm had fallen into monetary bother.
“His stature modified, he was now not the king of Oscar, which was actually what made him susceptible,” Masters stated.
The Los Angeles trial is more likely to be far much less of a spectacle than the New York proceedings, and never merely as a result of it is a sequel and Weinstein is already serving a protracted sentence.
Foot site visitors is sparse and there’s no grand entrance on the downtown L.A. courthouse that is internet hosting the trial. Weinstein won’t be seen to any media horde or protesters exterior as he was in Manhattan, as he’ll be ushered into the courtroom straight from jail – as soon as he is modified from his jail garb right into a go well with – throughout a brief hallway the place no cameras are allowed that would seize him.
Solely a dozen reporters, together with two sketch artists, can be allowed into the small courtroom every day, in comparison with a number of dozen in New York.
Weinstein can even be represented by completely different attorneys in Los Angeles, Alan Jackson and Mark Werksman. They’ve expressed worries that the films might play a task in trial.
The movie “She Mentioned,” which fictionalizes the work of two New York Occasions reporters and their bombshell tales on Weinstein, is ready to be launched halfway via the trial, on Nov. 18.
Weinstein’s attorneys misplaced a bid to have the proceedings delayed over the movie, with the choose rejecting their argument that publicity surrounding it could prejudice a possible jury in opposition to him.
“This case is exclusive,” Werksman stated at a pretrial listening to. “Mr. Weinstein’s notoriety and his place in our tradition on the heart of the firestorm which is the #MeToo motion is actual, and we’re making an attempt to do all the pieces we are able to to keep away from having a trial when there can be a swirl of opposed publicity towards him.”
Weinstein’s trial is one in all a number of with #MeToo connections which have begun or are about to start because the fifth anniversary of the motion’s largest second passes, together with the rape trial of “That ’70s Present” actor Danny Masterson simply down the corridor from Weinstein’s, and the New York sexual assault civil trial of Kevin Spacey.