Harvey Weinstein, once the world’s most powerful film producer, faced a court in Los Angeles on Wednesday in a case in which he heard 11 allegations of rape and sexual violence.
Harvey Weinstein in February 2020, he was sentenced to 23 years in prison for sexual assault in 2006 and rape in 2013. Last spring, he was sent to a maximum security prison near Buffalo, New York.
On Tuesday he was taken to Los Angelesand the next day he was brought before a Californian court for the first time. The local prosecutors have charged him with 11 charges, including rape. The Reuters Agency explains that Weinstein allegedly raped two women and sexually assaulted three more.
BBC News explains that the incidents underlying the indictment occurred at hotels in Beverly Hills and Los Angeles in 2004-13. The maximum sentence facing Weinstein is 140 years in prison.
Harvey Weinstein maintains his innocence
Weinstein appeared in a wheelchair in a brown prison uniform and face mask. He only spoke once – he replied “thank you” when Judge Sergio Tapia wished him “good luck”. He expressed his position through the lawyer, Marek Werksman, who defended him. The once influential film producer – as in the case of the New York trial – does not admit to the alleged acts and claims that all sexual contacts were made by mutual consent.
Weinstein’s defense attorney presented to journalists the client’s position at the post-trial meeting: – The allegations are unfounded, have been around for a long time and are unconfirmed. It stated that the prosecution had no evidence or credible witnesses in the case. “We are aware that if we could have had a fair trial, Mr Weinstein would have been acquitted,” said the lawyer.
The next hearing is scheduled for July 29.
BBC News recalls that Weinstein’s attorneys are awaiting an appeal in a New York case in which he was sentenced to 23 years in prison.
One of the most influential producers in history
Harvey Weinstein, 69, was one of the most powerful people in Hollywood. In 1979, he and his brother founded the production company Miramax, which quickly became one of the most important players in the entertainment market. In 2012, Time magazine named Weinstein the most powerful man in Hollywood. In total, he has produced over 300 titles. Twenty of them won Academy Award nominations for Best Picture, five of which ultimately won, including “The English Patient” and “How to Be King.” He himself has an Oscar for “Shakespeare in Love”. In total, the creators and actors of films produced by Weinstein received over 300 nominations, 81 times of which they won the statuette.
The Weinstein affair broke out when New York Times journalists Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey reached out to women who had been victims of sexual abuse in the past two decades. Over the years, a film and television producer was supposed to not only sexually abuse mainly young women who wanted to make a career in show business, but also pay them to be silent.
The text “Harvey Weinstein has paid for victims of sexual harassment for decades” was released on October 5, 2017 and gave more women the courage to publicize their experiences with a film producer. Among those who dared to speak openly were: Ashley Judd, Rose McGowan, Angelina Jolie, Lea Seydoux, Cara Delevingne, Tomi-Ann Roberts, Rosanna Arquette, Louise Godbold, Mira Sorvino, Asia Argento, Dawn Dunning, Lucia Evans and Ambra Batilana Gutierrez. This is also how the global #MeToo movement was born.
tvn24.pl, Reuters, BBC News
Main photo source: ENEX