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Harvey Weinstein faces sex crimes trial in LA

October 10, 2022

The disgraced Hollywood producer is already serving a 23-year sentence in New York following a sex crimes conviction there. His trial is a defining catalyst for the #MeToo movement.

Harvey Weinstein
The formerly famed Hollywood producer will be tried again in California for sex crimesImage: John Minchillo/AP/picture alliance

The disgraced Hollywood movie producer Harvey Weinstein is standing trial Monday in Los Angeles, where he faces 11 sex crimes charges.

The one-time producer of "Pulp Fiction" was already convicted in New York on similar charges and is serving a 23-year sentence in the state.

Weinstein's case exploded from the pages of The New York Times in the early days of the so-called #MeToo movement in October 2017.

His 2020 conviction in New York state transformed the charges against him from tales told by some of Hollywood's most famous leading women, including Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow and Salma Hayek, into a criminal conviction.

What will happen in court?

Jury selection is scheduled to get underway Monday at the court in downtown Los Angeles.

The 70-year-old is facing charges including sexual battery by restraint, forcible rape and forcible oral copulation. It is alleged the crimes took place between 2004 and 2013 in hotels in Beverly Hills and Los Angeles.

The trial is expected to last two months. Weinstein, who is expected to plead not guilty to all the charges, could face up to 140 more years in prison.

What is the status of the cases against Weinstein?

Weinstein lost his appeal to have his criminal conviction in New York overturned. In the UK, prosecutors have also charged him with indecent assault stemming from an incident in 1996 in London.

Overall, more than 90 women have come forward to accuse Weinstein of indecent and often criminal behavior.

He has argued that all sexual encounters he was involved in were consensual and that charges to the contrary are unproven and lack credible witnesses.

The New York Film Festival said it will this week screen the film, "She Said" about the 2017 New York Times investigation into the allegations against Weinstein.

Prior to the publication of the expose about the sex crimes allegations, Harvey and his brother Bob were Hollywood's ultimate power brokers. The brothers co-founded the distribution company Miramax Films, which they sold to Disney in 1993.

Over the decades, Weinstein's films received over 300 Oscar nominations, winning 81 times. Hits he produced include "Good Will Hunting," "Gangs of New York," "Shakespeare in Love" and "The English Patient."

ar/nm (AFP, dpa)