LOS ANGELES (AP) – Five years after women’s stories about him spread in the #MeToo movement, Harvey Weinstein His trial takes place in the city where he was once a giant at the Oscars.
Already serving a 23-year sentence for rape and sexual assault In New York, the 70-year-old former movie mogul is facing various allegations including several that prosecutors say occurred during a pivotal Oscar week in Los Angeles. Jury selection for an eight-week trial begins on Monday.
Weinstein has been charged with four counts of rape and seven other counts of sexual assault involving five women, who will appear in court as Jane Doe to tell their stories. He pleaded not guilty.
Four other women will be allowed to stand up to provide accounts of sexual assaults against Weinstein that did not lead to charges, but prosecutors hope it will show jurors that he has a propensity to commit such acts.
Beginning in the 1990s, Weinstein, through the Miramax company he ran with his brother, was innovative at running extensive and intense campaigns to promote Academy Award nominees. It was an unparalleled success, propelling films like “Shakespeare in Love” and “The Artist” to best picture wins and became among the most thanked men of all time during his Oscar acceptance speeches.
Miramax and its successor, The Weinstein Co., were based in New York, where Weinstein lived and did business, but this did not diminish his presence in Hollywood.
“He was a New York creature, but he was also a Los Angeles creature,” said Kim Masters, general editor of the Hollywood Reporter and a longtime observer of the film industry. “He had a huge Golden Globes party that was always overkill when he was in the prime of his life. He was the king of Hollywood in New York and Los Angeles.”
It was during Oscar Week in 2013, when Jennifer Lawrence won an Oscar for Weinstein’s Silver Linings Playbook. and Quentin Tarantino will win for writing “Django Unchained” for the company, where four of the 11 alleged crimes occurred.
Like most of the incidents in the indictments, it occurred under cover of business meetings at luxury hotels in Beverly Hills and Los Angeles, which Weinstein used as his California headquarters and where he can be seen during awards season and year-round. He’s been treated as more than just an important figure. In a pretrial hearing, the driver who drove Weinstein around Los Angeles testified He was even allowed to take up to $1,000 in cash in Weinstein’s name from the front desk of the hotel where the Mughals were staying.
through time Stories about him in the New York Times And the The New Yorker in October 2017 It caused his downfall, Weinstein’s power to win prizes apparently waned, and his company got into financial trouble.
“His stature has changed, he’s no longer the king of Oscar, and that’s what made him vulnerable,” Masters said.
The Los Angeles trial is likely to be a lot less exciting than the New York proceedings, and not just because it’s a sequel and Weinstein is already serving a long sentence.
Foot traffic is minimal and there is no significant entrance into the downtown Los Angeles courthouse hosting the trial. Weinstein will not be visible to any crowd of media or protesters outside was in Manhattanwhere he will be taken straight to the courtroom from the prison – once changed from his prison uniform to a suit – via a short corridor where cameras that can capture him are not allowed.
Only dozens of reporters, including two graphic artists, will be allowed into the small courtroom each day, compared to dozens in New York.
Weinstein will also represent various Los Angeles attorneys, Alan Jackson and Mark Werksman. They have expressed concerns that films might play a role in the trial.
The The movie “She said” Which imagines the work and stories of two New York Times reporters the bombshell on Weinstein, scheduled for release mid-trial on November 18.
Weinstein’s lawyers lost an attempt to delay proceedings on the film, as a judge rejected their argument that the publicity surrounding the film would harm a potential jury against it.
“This case is unique,” Werksman said at a pre-trial hearing. “Mr. Weinstein’s notoriety and place in our culture is at the heart of the firestorm and is a real #MeToo movement, and we try to do everything we can to avoid conducting an experiment when there is a downward spiral of negative publicity towards him,” Werksmann said at a pretrial hearing.
Weinstein’s trial is one of several connections with #MeToo that have begun or are about to begin as the fifth anniversary of the movement’s biggest moment, including the rape trial of actor Danny Masterson’s “That ’70s Show” Down the hall from the Weinstein and New York civil trial for the sexual assault of Kevin Spacey.
Follow AP Entertainment writer Andrew Dalton on Twitter: twitter.com/andyjamesdalton