Harvey Weinstein's new trial begins in Los Angeles

Harvey Weinstein’s new Los Angeles trial begins

UPDATE DAY

The new rape and sexual assault trial of disgraced ex-Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein opened Monday in Los Angeles with jury selection. < /p>

The 70-year-old “Pulp Fiction” producer has already been convicted in New York, where he has been serving a 23-year prison sentence since 2020 for sexual assault and rape.

This new trial coincides almost to the day with the fifth anniversary of the #MeToo movement, sparked by revelations about his behavior as a sexual predator.

Harvey Weinstein appeared in a Los Angeles courthouse in a wheelchair on Monday, wearing a dark blue suit and light blue tie. He is scheduled to appear there for the next two months.

Jury selection, which could span the first week, began Monday under the supervision of Judge Lisa Lench.

< p>He faces eleven counts for alleged acts committed on five women in hotels in Beverly Hills and Los Angeles between 2004 and 2013.

If convicted, Harvey Weinstein – who has pleaded not guilty to all counts – could be sentenced to more than 100 additional years behind bars.

A 'trap'

His conviction in March 2020 in New York, followed by an immediate imprisonment and whose appeal was rejected, was a major victory for the #MeToo movement.

In total, nearly 90 women, including Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow and Rosanna Arquette have accused Harvey Weinstein of harassment, sexual assault, or rape. But the statute of limitations has been exceeded in many of these cases, some dating back to 1977.

The ex-producer is also charged in the United Kingdom with sexual assaults which date back to 1996.

Among the five accusers – all of whom will appear in Los Angeles as “Jane Doe” – is Jennifer Siebel Newsom, wife of Democratic California Governor Gavin Newsom, according to the Los Angeles Times.

< p>“Like many other women, my client was sexually assaulted by Harvey Weinstein during an alleged business meeting that turned out to be a trap,” her lawyer Elizabeth Fegan told the newspaper.

< p>“She intends to testify during her trial in order to obtain some form of justice for the victims and improve the condition of women,” she added. Siebel Newsom, a film producer, previously wrote about Mr. Weinstein's behavior in a 2017 essay, but did not elaborate on the alleged assaults.

Immense influence< /strong>

According to Mr. Weinstein's lawyer, Mark Werksman, quoted by the Los Angeles Times, well-known personalities, seen “in films, in advertisements”, will testify during the trial.

The former producer has always assured that all his accusers were consenting.

The allegations are “unproven, not credible and unfounded”, Mark Werksman had declared in July 2021 to the press, pleading that there was no no forensic evidence or credible witnesses to back them up.

Mr. Weinstein's retrial also coincides with the premiere of the film 'She Said', which premieres next week at the New York Film Festival and retraces the investigation of the two journalists from the New York Times into the grip and misdeeds of the all-powerful producer.

Before his fall, his influence on Hollywood was immense. Over the years, films produced by Mr. Weinstein, such as Quentin Tarantino's “Inglourious Basterds,” have received more than 300 Oscar nominations and 81 statuettes.