As former Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein appears in court in New York City, two new criminal cases have been opened against him in Los Angeles.
Cape Town - Former Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein is currently appearing in court in Manhattan for allegedly raping a woman in 2013 and forcibly performing oral sex on another in 2006.
He faces five counts of rape and sexual assault against the two women and if found guilty could possibly be sentenced to life in prison.
According to a report by CNN, jury selection for the case is due to start on Tuesday and last for at least two weeks which will be followed by arguments and testimony that is expected to last eight weeks.
2 NEW CASES
As the criminal trial started in New York City on Monday two new cases were opened against the 67-year-old in Los Angeles where prosecutors announced that Weinstein faced charges of "raping one woman and sexually assaulting another in separate incidents over a two-day period in 2013".
This means that even if Weinstein, who has denied all allegations made against him in the New York case, prevails he’ll now also have to face trial in Los Angeles. If convicted, he faces 28 years in prison.
(DRAMATIC EXIT: Weinstein is seen using a walker as he exits court with his team. His lawyer claims that Weinstein needs the walker as he's recovering from back surgery which he had in December 2019 after being involved in a car crash in August 2019. Photo: Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
PREVIOUS CASES SETTLED OUT OF COURT
Channel24 in December reported that Weinstein had reached a $25m settlement with dozens of his alleged sexual misconduct victims. The money from this settlement will be shared among more than 30 actresses and former employees who have sued the disgraced mogul for offenses ranging from sexual harassment to rape.
The New York Times reported that Weinstein will not have to admit wrongdoing or pay from his own pocket with the bill instead being met by insurers for his bankrupt former movie studio, The Weinstein Company.
WHERE IT ALL STARTED
The 67-year-old’s downfall came in 2017 when both the The New York Times and The New Yorker published stories about the numerous allegations of sexual assault against him. The fallout started the #MeToo and Times Up movements and had a snowball effect in exposing sexual predators who had previously gotten away with their deeds due to their position of power.
In 2018 Ronan Farrow, Jodi Kantor, and Meghan Twohey – who wrote the articles that exposed Weinstein – shared the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for their reporting. Kantor and Twohey has since published the book She Said, and Farrow has released Catch and Kill in which they further detail the allegations against Weinstein.
The Guardian’s Rachel Cook wrote about Farrow’s book: "The book captures the terror and paranoia that eat away at Weinstein’s victims for the simple reason that he comes to experience them himself, a human mirror. The producer’s sphere of influence extends ever outwards, like the powerful arms of some giant squid."
The number of accusers against Weinstein total more than 80.
(Compiled by Herman Eloff. Sources: CNN, The New Yorker, The New York Times, BBC)