For Weinstein, a Trial Where He Was Once King

Former Hollywood mogul to face new charges in Los Angeles starting Monday
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 9, 2022 8:45 AM CDT
Up Next for Weinstein: a Trial Where He Was Once King
Harvey Weinstein appears in court at the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center in Los Angeles, Calif., on Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022.   (Etienne Laurent/Pool Photo via AP)

Five years after women's stories about him made the #MeToo movement explode, Harvey Weinstein is going on trial in the city where he once was a colossus at the Oscars. Already serving a 23-year sentence for rape and sexual assault in New York, the 70-year-old former movie mogul faces different allegations, including several that prosecutors say occurred during a pivotal Oscar week in Los Angeles, per the AP. Jury selection for an eight-week trial begins Monday. Weinstein has been indicted on four counts of rape and seven other sexual assault counts involving five women, who will appear in court as Jane Does to tell their stories. He has pleaded not guilty.

Four more women will be allowed to take the stand to give accounts of Weinstein sexual assaults that did not lead to charges, but which prosecutors hope will show jurors he had a propensity for committing such acts. Starting in the 1990s, Weinstein, through the company Miramax that he ran with his brother, was an innovator in running broad and aggressive campaigns promoting Academy Award nominees. He had unmatched success, pushing films like Shakespeare in Love and The Artist to best picture wins and becoming among the most thanked men ever during Oscar acceptance speeches.

It was during 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 company's Django Unchained, that four of the 11 alleged crimes took place. Like most of the incidents in the indictments, they happened under the guise of business meetings at luxury hotels in Beverly Hills and Los Angeles, which Weinstein used as his California headquarters. He was treated as more than a VIP. At a pre-trial hearing, the chauffeur who drove Weinstein around Los Angeles testified that even he was allowed to take as much as $1,000 in cash in Weinstein’s name from the front desk of the hotel where the mogul was staying.

The Los Angeles trial is likely to be far less of a spectacle than the New York proceedings. Only a dozen reporters, including two sketch artists, will be allowed into the small courtroom each day, compared to several dozen in New York. The film She Said, which fictionalizes the work of two New York Times reporters and their bombshell stories on Weinstein, is set to be released midway through the trial on Nov. 18.

(Read more Harvey Weinstein stories.)

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