Harvey Weinstein is back in court for rape and sexual assault – everything you need to know about the trial | Ents & Arts News

Harvey Weinstein faces four counts of rape and seven other counts of sexual assault in Los Angeles.

Opening statements in the case are expected to begin today.

The charges are the latest in a long line of allegations against the disgraced movie mogul – previously considered Hollywood royalty and one of the most award-winning producers in history.

The septuagenarian is already serving 23 years in prison in California for rape and sexual assault after being sentenced in New York in 2020.

Here are all the details on his latest court case.

What was Weinstein accused of?

Weinstein is charged with 11 counts of rape and sexual assault against five women in Los Angeles and Beverly Hills between 2004 and 2013.

He pleaded not guilty to the charges.

If convicted on all 11 counts, Weinstein could face up to 140 years in prison.

Who are Weinstein’s accusers?

Documentary filmmaker and actress Jennifer Siebel Newsom is one of five women accusing Weinstein.

She appeared in small roles in dozens of movies and TV shows between 2002 and 2011, and has recently directed genre-focused documentaries including The Great American Lie and Fair Play. She is married to California Governor Gavin Newsom.

She first wrote about her experience with Weinstein in a 2017 essay in The Huffington Post, but revealed few details at the time.

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Jennifer Siebel Newsom

Ms Newsom’s lawyer, Elizabeth Fegan, said in a statement: “Like many other women, my client was sexually assaulted by Harvey Weinstein during an alleged business meeting which turned out to be a trap .

“She intends to testify at her trial to seek some measure of justice for survivors, and as part of her life’s work to improve the lives of women.”

The other four women will remain anonymous and will testify under the name of Jane Doe.

Most of the alleged incidents, like Ms Newsom’s, happened under the guise of business meetings at luxury hotels in Beverly Hills and Los Angeles, which Weinstein used as his California headquarters during awards season. and throughout the year.

Four of the alleged attacks were said to have taken place during Oscars week 2013, where Weinstein’s hit films Silver Linings Playbook and Django Unchained brought home scores of statuettes.

Film producer Harvey Weinstein arrives at New York Criminal Court for his sexual assault trial in the New York borough of Manhattan, New York, U.S., February 5, 2020. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
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Weinstein was photographed with a walker during his previous trial

Who are the witnesses?

The initial list of witnesses included more than 270 names, although the final list is expected to contain less than half. The list has not been made public.

A witness, Barbara Schneeweiss, producer of Project Runway and other TV shows, was present in court and a judge told her she was on call to report at all times.

Jurors were also given a long list of names of witnesses at the upcoming trial, including those of the accusers, to determine if they are related to them.

Read more:
Harvey Weinstein: The Downfall of the King of Hollywood

The prosecution will also be allowed to introduce as evidence material from Weinstein’s New York conviction for rape and sexual assault.

A potential witness against Weinstein is Hollywood actor and director Mel Gibson after a judge ruled he could testify.

Prosecutors say Gibson, who won an Oscar for directing Braveheart, was a friend of one of the accusers.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Lisa Lench ruled Gibson could testify about what the friend told her about Weinstein, although the judge said she could change her mind depending on the friend’s testimony.

Will there be a jury?

This is a jury trial and 12 jurors – nine men and three women – have been selected.

They seem to be mostly between the ages of 40 and 70. Some appear to be older than that, and one male appears to be in his early to mid-twenties.

Ten alternate jurors will also attend for the duration of the trial, ready to step in and replace any of the 12 jurors, should anyone become unable to serve.

They were chosen from a group of 225 potential jurors, who all completed a lengthy questionnaire.

It is understood to have included questions such as what media coverage of Weinstein they had seen and whether they had formed an opinion about it.

There was also a question about a California law that states that a sexual assault victim’s testimony alone can be sufficient evidence to convict if a juror believes them.

Harvey Weinstein was found guilty of rape and sexual assault
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Weinstein during his 2020 trial in New York

What happened at the 2020 trial in New York?

Weinstein is currently serving a 23-year prison sentence in California, having been extradited there following his March 2020 conviction for assaulting production assistant Mimi Haleyi in her apartment in 2006 and third-degree rape of Jessica Mann. in 2013.

He is actually appeal these convictions.

In a landmark trial, more than 100 womenincluding famous actresses such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Salma Hayek and Uma Thurman, Weinstein has been accused of sexual misconduct dating back decades – fueling the #MeToo movement against sexual abuse and harassment.

He was acquitted of first-degree rape and two counts of predatory sexual assault dating back to the 1990s.

Prior to his extradition to California, he was serving his sentence at the Wende Correctional Facility in Buffalo, New York – a maximum security prison.

Weinstein at his peak, pictured on a red carpet in 2015
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Weinstein at his peak, pictured on a red carpet in 2015

How did Weinstein fall out of favor?

Harvey Weinstein was once the king of Hollywood, a man with the power to make and break movie careers.

But in October 2017, in reports from The New York Times and The New Yorker, the Oscar-winning producer was accused of sexual misconduct by a number of women. He was also accused of reaching settlements to keep the stories quiet.

In the months since, dozens of other women have come forward to allege incidents of rape, sexual assault and harassment by Weinstein dating back decades.

Police investigations into the allegations have spanned from Los Angeles to New York and London.

Weinstein has admitted his behavior has “caused a lot of pain”, but has always denied all sexual allegations made against him.

In September 2020, Weinstein was stripped of his CBE following his conviction.

Many other honors awarded to Weinstein during his career – including the prestigious French Legion of Honor – have been revoked since the allegations against him first surfaced.

The multi-Oscar winner, who was responsible for blockbusters such as Pulp Fiction, The English Patient, Good Will Hunting, Gangs Of New York and Shakespeare In Love, was expelled from the Academy in 2017.

They had previously nominated his work for 341 awards, earning him 81 statuettes over the past 26 years.

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