Weinstein sex assault trial to open in Los Angeles

2. Weinstein
Former film producer Harvey Weinstein appears in court at the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center in Los Angeles, California on October 4. Weinstein was extradited from New York to Los Angeles to face sex-related charges. (Photo: AFP)
LOS ANGELES, United States — Disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein goes on trial in Los Angeles on Monday, where he faces charges in the city whose main industry he dominated for decades.اضافة اعلان

The 70-year-old “Pulp Fiction” producer is already serving 23 years in jail in New York after being convicted there of a series of sex crimes.

He now faces 11 more charges including sexual battery by restraint, forcible rape, and forcible oral copulation against women in Beverly Hills and Los Angeles hotels between 2004 and 2013, in a trial expected to last two months.

If convicted, Weinstein — who has pleaded not guilty to all counts — could be sentenced to 140 additional years behind bars.

Jury selection was set to begin Monday in a downtown Los Angeles court.

Widespread sexual abuse and harassment allegations against Weinstein exploded in October 2017, and his conviction in New York in 2020 was a landmark in the #MeToo movement.

In June, he lost a bid to have that sex crimes conviction overturned. He has also been separately charged by British prosecutors with the 1996 indecent assault of a woman in London.

In total, nearly 90 women, including Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Salma Hayek, have accused Weinstein of harassment or assault.

He says that all his sexual encounters were consensual, and his lawyer told reporters that the Los Angeles accusations “stem from many years ago” and cannot “be substantiated or corroborated by any forensic evidence” or “credible witnesses”.

The New York Film Festival this week will premiere “She Said”, a film about the 2017 newspaper investigation into Weinstein that sparked the demise of his movie empire.

Before the allegations against him emerged, the producer and his brother Bob were Hollywood’s ultimate power players.

They co-founded Miramax Films, a distribution company named after their mother Miriam and father Max, in 1979. It was sold to Disney in 1993.

Their hits included the 1998 “Shakespeare in Love”, for which Weinstein shared a best picture Oscar. Over the years, Weinstein’s films received more than 300 Oscar nominations and 81 statuettes.

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