Harvey Weinstein is going on trial in the city where he was once an Oscars titan, five years after the #MeToo movement was sparked by women’s allegations against him.
The 70-year-old former movie mogul, who is already serving a 23-year term for rape and sexual assault in New York, faces more charges, including three that authorities say occurred during a key Oscar week in Los Angeles. Monday begins jury selection for an eight-week trial.
Four allegations of rape and seven counts of sexual assault have been filed against Weinstein on behalf of five women, who will appear in court as Jane Does to relate their story. He has claimed his innocence.
Four additional women will be permitted to testify about sexual assaults committed by Weinstein that did not result in prosecution, but which prosecutors think would convince jurors he had a predilection for such crimes.
Beginning in the 1990s, Weinstein, through the firm he co-founded with his brother, Miramax, was a pioneer in launching expansive and aggressive marketing to promote Academy Award nominations. He helped propel “Shakespeare in Love” and “The Artist” to best-picture wins and became one of the most thanked men in the history of Oscar victory speeches.
Miramax and its successor, The Weinstein Company, were headquartered in New York, Weinstein’s place of residence and place of business, but this did not reduce his prominence in Hollywood.
“He was a creature of New York, but he was also a creature of Los Angeles,” said Kim Masters, editor at large for The Hollywood Reporter and a longtime observer of the movie industry. “He had this huge Golden Globes party that was always well beyond capacity when he was in his heyday. He was the King of Hollywood in New York and LA.”
Four of the eleven alleged offenses occurred during Oscars week in 2013, when Jennifer Lawrence won an Oscar for the Weinstein Co.’s “Silver Linings Playbook” and Quentin Tarantino won for scripting the company’s “Django Unchained.”
Like the majority of the episodes detailed in the charges, they occurred under the pretense of business meetings at Weinstein’s California offices in Beverly Hills and Los Angeles, where he was frequently spotted during award season and throughout the year.
More on this story via The Western Journal:
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.
By the time stories about him in The New York Times and The New Yorker in October of 2017 brought about his downfall, Weinstein’s power to seemingly will films to win awards had diminished, and his company had fallen into financial trouble. CONTINUE READING…