As the first day of Harvey Weinstein’s criminal trial came to a close in Manhattan, a new rape charge was filed against the disgraced producer in a Los Angeles court. It’s a significant move in the ongoing legal escapade around the former Hollywood titan who was the catalyst for the #MeToo movement. The new charge signals some justice for survivors after Weinstein and his lawyers announced they were close to settling with victims in New York for Weinstein’s civil case in a deal that would leave Weinstein without any financial responsibility for his legal fees and would not force him to admit he had done anything wrong.
Images of Weinstein arriving to the Manhattan courthouse using a walker quickly began spreading through social media on Monday, with the producer being accused of using the medical device to gain sympathy. Three witnesses are expected to testify, including Sopranos actor Annabella Sciorra, The Weinstein Co. production assistant Mimi Haleyi, and an unidentified accuser.
Harvey Weinstein will be convicted and will go to jail for the rest of his life. He then will be convicted again in California. The walker charade demonstrates that he is a raging narcissist with no capacity for remorse.
— Publius (@ThePubliusUSA) January 7, 2020
A second criminal case against Weinstein is also taking place in California, and only hours after Weinstein appeared in the Manhattan court, charges in California were levied against the producer, including one felony count each of forcible rape, forcible oral copulation, sexual penetration by use of force and sexual battery by restraint. If convicted, Weinstein faces 28 years in jail.
The identity of the two women who have accused Weinstein of assault remains concealed, but one was described as an Italian model and actress, who Weinstein reportedly raped in her hotel room at the Mr. C luxury hotel in Beverly Hills. The second woman stated that Weinstein trapped her in the bathroom of a Beverly Hills hotel and held her by her breasts while he masturbated in front of her. Los Angeles County district attorney Jackie Lacey released a statement, saying “We believe the evidence will show that the defendant used his power and influence to gain access to his victims and then commit violent crimes against them.”
Harvey Weinstein charged with rape, other sex crimes, LA district attorney announces: “We believe the evidence will show that the defendant used his power and influence to gain access to his victims and then committed violent crimes against them.” @abc
— FierceWarriorNStilettos (@InactionNever) January 7, 2020
According to the Times, it’s unlikely that a warrant will be issued for Weinstein’s arrest in California as prosecutors do not want to disrupt the ongoing case against the producer in New York. A jury for Weinstein’s Manhattan trial is expected to be selected on Tuesday.
Some of the more than 90 women who have accused Weinstein of sexual assault gathered outside Foley Square in Manhattan on Monday in a press conference. Rosanna Arquette and Rose McGowan, two of the most well-known actors who accused Weinstein of sexual assault, as well as Lauren Sivan, Louise Godbold, Dominique Huett, Sarah Ann Masse and Paula Williams wore red in solidarity and spoke about the effects of Weinstein’s actions.
At least 100 #silencebreakers who bravely came forward to report Harvey Weinstein’s sexual misconduct risked everything to see him brought to justice. Today as his criminal trial begins, we’re in awe of their bravery & full of gratitude.
— TIME’S UP (@TIMESUPNOW) January 6, 2020
“As one of the Silence Breakers, I stand in solidarity with the brave survivors who will take the stand against Harvey Weinstein in this trial. While the emotion of the day runs high, I join these other brave women who were also harmed by Harvey Weinstein to say: We aren’t going anywhere,” said Arquette. “These abusers that make it unsafe for women to go to work every morning, to take a business meeting or event, to report a crime without retaliation. We’re here to ensure that the focus of this criminal case is on the perpetrator’s actions, not his victims. And that justice is served. The truth will prevail. And whether it is this trial or in the future, Harvey will be held accountable for his actions.”
McGowan, who has accused Weinstein of raping her in a hotel room in 1997, also read a statement during the press conference. “You brought this upon yourself by hurting so many. You have only yourself to blame. I came here today to see this through,” said McGowan, who addressed Weinstein directly. “I came here today to stand side by side with these other women who you also harmed and to be a voice for the voiceless, like I was for so long. You thought you could terrorize me and others into silence. You were wrong. We rose from your ashes. We rise together.”
— TIME (@TIME) January 6, 2020