Guilty again! Five years after the first sex crimes charges were brought against him, and almost three years after he was sentenced to 23 years in prison for sexual assault and rape in New York, Harvey Weinstein, 70, was again convicted of rape and two sexual assaults in Los Angeles on Monday. For these latest crimes, the former “king of Hollywood” faces up to 24 more years in prison.
When the verdict was announced, one of his accusers, actress Jennifer Siebel-Newsom, who is also the wife of the current Governor of California, did not hide her satisfaction: “Weinstein will spend the rest of his life behind bars, she rejoiced, where his real place is… He is a predator and he will never rape again”.
But it still took nine days for the twelve jurors to agree on a verdict, after a particularly trying month of trial. Four women (a fifth had withdrawn her complaint shortly before the opening of the proceedings) had accused the ousted producer of having forced them into sexual relations in Los Angeles between 2004 and 2013. The jurors ultimately retained only all of the accusations brought by the first accuser, an Italian actress who remained anonymous, and part of the accusations by a second. They did not comment on the allegations of the other two, including those of Ms Siebel-Newsom.
A very brutal defense
Weinstein’s lawyers had of course refuted all the charges, saying that these sexual relations were consensual and “transactional”. “I don’t know how to put it in a softer way, but fury doesn’t make facts, and tears don’t make truth,” said Me Alan Jackson, one of the tenors of the California bar… And Weinstein’s defenders had against -attacked with a brutality that shocked, even here. One of them, Mr. Mark Werksman, had even described Ms. Siebel-Newsom as a “lovely idiot (babe) who had slept with Weinstein to advance his career”…
In an interview for the “Los Angeles Times”, the Italian actress explained that she had met Weinstein at a film festival in 2017 and that he had approached her later in the lobby of his hotel in asking him to come up to his room. She had refused, but he had knocked on her door a little later, promising her that he did not want to sleep with her and bragging about his influence in Hollywood, the 330 nominations and the 81 Oscars his films had obtained during the course of his career. his career as a producer. And all of a sudden, she said, “he grabbed me by my hair and forced me to do something I didn’t want to do, (…) then he dragged me to the bathroom. and he raped me there”.
A film about the downfall of the producer
It is the same testimony that won the support of jurors. For others, the defense had succeeded in instilling doubt, arguing that Ms Siebel-Newsom, for example, had, years after suffering her sexual assault, asked Weinstein for a financial contribution to her husband’s campaign for governorship. from California…
The charges against Weinstein in the fall of 2017 — in total more than 100 women said to be victims of harassment, sexual assault or rape, accusations the oldest of which date back to 1977 — had propelled the hashtag MeToo, this movement which had freed women to speak about the sexual and gender-based violence of which they are victims all over the world…
Coincidence, the movie She Said was released in the United States three weeks ago, in the middle of the Weinstein trial. It retraces the investigation of the two journalists from the “New York Times” who had played a fundamental role in the fall of the producer. Actress Ashley Judd, one of the main accusers, plays herself.
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Weinstein trial: “He will spend the rest of his life behind bars, where his true place is”