Harvey Weinstein pleads not guilty to 11 sexual assault charges in California

Entertainment

Fox News 21 July, 2021 - 01:43pm 30 views

Where is Harvey Weinstein?

He has been at Wende Correctional Facility near Buffalo, New York, where he is serving a 23-year sentence after being convicted of two sex crimes in Manhattan in 2020, including first-degree sexual assault and third-degree rape. USA TODAYHarvey Weinstein pleads not guilty to 11 sex-crime charges in L.A. after extradition from New York

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Harvey Weinstein has pleaded not guilty in a Los Angeles courtroom on Wednesday to 11 sexual assault charges.

He is facing four counts of rape and seven other sexual assault counts which Weinstein denies. 

Sheriff’s deputies brought the 69-year-old convicted rapist into court in a wheelchair. He was wearing a brown jail jumpsuit and face mask. Attorney Mark Werksman entered the plea for the disgraced movie mogul a day after Weinstein was extradited to California from New York, where he was serving a 23-year prison term.

He now awaits a second trial on a second coast, and the possibility of another lengthy sentence.

Weinstein's charges involve five women and span from 2004 to 2013. Most are said to have taken place in the hotels in Beverly Hills and Los Angeles that the New York-based Weinstein would make his headquarters for Hollywood business. Some took place during Oscars week, when his films were perennial contenders before the #MeToo movement brought him down.

He pleaded not guilty to four counts of rape, four counts of forcible oral copulation, two counts of sexual battery by restraint and one count of sexual penetration by use of force, charges that together could bring a sentence of 140 years.

The women were not named in the charging documents.

A New York jury found Weinstein guilty of raping an aspiring actress in 2013 in a Manhattan hotel room and forcibly performing oral sex on a TV and film production assistant in 2006 at his Manhattan apartment.

He is appealing that conviction, seeking a new trial. Weinstein maintains his innocence and contends that any sexual activity was consensual.

Los Angeles prosecutors first charged Weinstein in January 2020, just as jury selection was getting underway in the New York City case.

More charges were added later in the year, and in March, he was indicted by an LA County grand jury.

The pandemic and procedural delays meant that Weinstein's extradition took well over a year. His attorneys cited his declining health as they sought to keep him at a state prison near Buffalo, New York, until jury selection began in the Los Angeles trial.

Weinstein's time in custody in California will count toward his New York sentence, officials said.

Once a major power in Hollywood along with his brother Bob and their movie companies Miramax and The Weinstein Co., Harvey Weinstein would be marked as the archvillain of the #MeToo movement starting late in 2017, when women’s accounts were published in the New York Times and the New Yorker. He would be arrested in New York seven months later.

Rumors about Weinstein’s behavior swirled in film industry circles for decades, but he silenced many accusers with payoffs, nondisclosure agreements and the fear that he could crush their careers.

The Los Angeles charges came from a task force established to tackle sexual misconduct in Hollywood as #MeToo gained momentum.

Weinstein and porn performer Ron Jeremy are among the few charged by the team, which declined to prosecute more than 20 famous men because the allegations against them were too old or could not be corroborated.

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Harvey Weinstein, in a wheelchair, pleads not guilty to sexual assault charges in Los Angeles

CNN 21 July, 2021 - 03:01pm

Updated 3:28 PM ET, Wed July 21, 2021

CNN's Lauren del Valle contributed to this report.

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Harvey Weinstein pleads not guilty to rape charges in L.A.

Los Angeles Times 21 July, 2021 - 01:29pm

Weinstein, 69, was indicted in April on multiple counts of forcible rape, forcible oral copulation and sexual battery. He faces 11 charges in connection with alleged assaults that took place between 2004 and 2013 in Beverly Hills and West L.A.

The disgraced Hollywood mogul, who is already serving a 23-year prison sentence in New York after he was convicted of sexual assault in a Manhattan trial last year, was extradited to California on Tuesday over the objections of his defense attorneys, who say he desperately needs surgery to avoid losing his eyesight. Weinstein has denied all wrongdoing and appealed his conviction in New York.

On Wednesday, Weinstein appeared in a downtown L.A. criminal courthouse wearing a brown jail jumper and seated in a wheelchair. He did not speak during the arraignment except to say “thank you” after the judge wished him good luck. During the brief hearing, defense attorney Mark Werksman said he had filed a motion to dismiss three of the 11 counts against Weinstein, claiming the statute of limitations for the alleged crimes had long expired.

Werksman said the counts relate to allegations levied by two different women involving assaults in 2004, 2005 and 2010. A hearing on the dismissal motion will be heard July 29.

Former Dist. Atty. Jackie Lacey first brought charges against Weinstein in January 2020, on the eve of jury selection in the Manhattan case. While several alleged victims came forward to the Los Angeles Police Department in 2017, shortly after reports of Weinstein’s alleged predatory behavior first surfaced, prosecutors said they needed years to win over the women’s trust and verify their stories.

Only one woman’s identity has been made public. Lauren Young, an aspiring actress who was 23 at the time of the alleged assault, has accused Weinstein of trapping her in a room at the Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills and groping her while he masturbated. Young testified as a “prior bad acts” witness during the mogul’s New York trial.

A second alleged victim in the L.A. case, an Italian model who spoke to The Times on the condition of anonymity in 2017, has said Weinstein attacked her inside Mr. C’s hotel in Beverly Hills in 2013. The woman alleged Weinstein barged into her hotel room and violently raped her.

Speaking outside the courthouse, Allred said Wednesday’s hearing was significant as it marked the first time Weinstein had to answer for allegations in California, where many accusers waited while Weinstein first stood trial in New York.

“There has been, to date, no access to justice for those who are victims in the Los Angeles case,” she said.

The indictment against Weinstein was unsealed Wednesday, and he has a right to stand trial within 120 days of his extradition, meaning proceedings will take place by mid-November unless his defense counsel waives that right. Werksman said Wednesday he had yet to do so, while saying the charges against his client are “unprovable.”

“These charges stem from allegations made years and years ago,” he said. “They are not confirmed by scientific evidence.”

There also was no forensic evidence presented in the Manhattan trial, where Weinstein ultimately was convicted of sexually assaulting a former production assistant, Mimi Haleyi, and an aspiring actress, Jessica Mann.

Get breaking news, investigations, analysis and more signature journalism from the Los Angeles Times in your inbox.

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James Queally writes about crime and policing in Southern California, where he currently covers Los Angeles County’s criminal courts and the district attorney’s office.

Weinstein pleads not guilty to sexual assaults in California

Yahoo Entertainment 21 July, 2021 - 01:21pm

Sheriff’s deputies brought the 69-year-old convicted rapist into court in a wheelchair. He was wearing a brown jail jumpsuit and face mask. Attorney Mark Werksman entered the plea for the disgraced movie mogul a day after Weinstein was extradited to California from New York, where he was serving a 23-year prison term.

Weinstein spoke only to say “thank you” to Judge Sergio Tapia, who wished him good luck as the hearing ended.

He now awaits a second trial on a second coast, and the possibility of another lengthy sentence.

Weinstein's indictment involves five women in incidents spanning from 2004 to 2013. Most are said to have taken place in the hotels in Beverly Hills and Los Angeles that the New York-based Weinstein would make his headquarters for Hollywood business. Some took place during Oscars week, when his films were perennial contenders before the #MeToo movement brought him down.

He pleaded not guilty to four counts of rape, four counts of forcible oral copulation, two counts of sexual battery by restraint and one count of sexual penetration by use of force, charges that together could bring a sentence of 140 years.

Werksman told the judge that he was filing documents requesting the dismissal of three of the counts, saying they were beyond the statute of limitations.

“They're baseless, they're from long, long ago, they're uncorroborated,” Werksman said of the charges after the hearing. “We are confident that if we have a fair trial he will be acquitted.”

The terms of Weinstein's extradition require that his trial begin by November. Werksman said Weinstein had yet to waive that right. But it would be unusual for the trial to begin that quickly. Weinstein returns to court for a motions hearing next week.

The women were not identified in the indictment.

A New York jury found Weinstein guilty of raping an aspiring actress in 2013 in a Manhattan hotel room and forcibly performing oral sex on a TV and film production assistant in 2006 at his Manhattan apartment.

He is appealing that conviction, seeking a new trial. Weinstein maintains his innocence and contends that any sexual activity was consensual.

Los Angeles prosecutors first charged Weinstein in January 2020, just as jury selection was getting underway in the New York City case.

More charges were added later in the year, and in March, he was indicted by an LA County grand jury. That indictment was unsealed by the judge on Wednesday, but the allegations in it are essentially identical to those already revealed in previous criminal complaints.

The pandemic and procedural delays meant that Weinstein's extradition took well over a year. His attorneys cited his declining health as they sought to keep him at a state prison near Buffalo, New York, until jury selection began in the Los Angeles trial.

At Wednesday's hearing, Werksman requested a health examination of Weinstein. He said outside court that he was especially concerned for Weinstein's vision.

“He's going blind in one eye,” the attorney said.

Once a major power in Hollywood along with his brother Bob and their movie companies Miramax and The Weinstein Co., Harvey Weinstein would be marked as the archvillain of the #MeToo movement starting late in 2017, when women’s accounts were published in the New York Times and the New Yorker. He would be arrested in New York seven months later.

Rumors about Weinstein’s behavior swirled in film industry circles for decades, but he silenced many accusers with payoffs, nondisclosure agreements and the fear that he could crush their careers.

"Anyone who abuses their power and influence to prey upon others will be brought to justice,” Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón said in a statement Wednesday.

The Los Angeles charges came from a task force established to tackle sexual misconduct in Hollywood as #MeToo gained momentum.

Weinstein and porn performer Ron Jeremy are among the few charged by the team, which declined to prosecute more than 20 famous men because the allegations against them were too old or could not be corroborated.

Follow AP Entertainment Writer Andrew Dalton on Twitter: twitter.com/andyjamesdalton

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Rosie O’Donnell Recalls Confronting Harvey Weinstein About M. Night Shyamalan Film ‘Wide Awake’

Hollywood Reporter 21 July, 2021 - 12:00pm

When the director told O'Donnell that Weinstein wanted to recut the film, O'Donnell joined the pair on a conference call to defend Shyamalan's work.

By Seth Abramovitch

While 1999’s The Sixth Sense is rightly regarded as the film that launched M. Night Shyamalan’s career — his latest, Old, opens July 23 — the India-born, Philadelphia-raised director had made two features before it.

The first, 1992’s Praying With Anger, was an autobiographical film starring Shyamalan and shot while he was a student at NYU. His second outing was a step into the big leagues: On the strength of its script, Wide Awake drew a cast of big-name talent like Rosie O’Donnell, Denis Leary, Dana Delany and Robert Loggia (plus a young Julia Stiles in one of her first roles).

The film, produced by Harvey and Bob Weinstein for Miramax, was made in 1995. Wide Awake did not follow the supernatural template (plus twist ending) that would become the director’s calling card; this was a sweetly philosophical story of a fifth grader on a mission to find God after his beloved grandfather dies.

“What a great talent he was,” recalls O’Donnell of Shyamalan; she was 33 when he approached her to play Sister Terry, a Phillies-loving teacher at the boy’s Catholic school. “He was a really loving director and a great guy. He was very family-oriented, talking about how he got married very young. It was a lovely, warm family that this guy seemed to have come from, and I thought, ‘He’s going to be successful.’ He seemed to have his own little universe of support wherever he went.”

But the positive aura surrounding the shoot ended the moment Shyamalan handed over his final cut to Weinstein and the producer ordered extensive edits.

“[M. Night] called me up and told me he was having trouble with Harvey — that Harvey had recut his movie and would I talk to Harvey with him,” says O’Donnell. “So we had a conference call where he was in the office with Harvey and I phoned in. And I said to Harvey Weinstein, ‘This kid is an artist. You wouldn’t say to Van Gogh, ‘Less blue.’ Your job as the producer and the distributor is to frame it and sell it, but not to change the canvas.’ And that’s when he called me the C-word. And he said, ‘You don’t know anything. You’re just a talk show host. Who do you think you are?’ And I said, ‘Well, this is the last conversation we’ll ever have.’ And it was.”

Weinstein’s efforts to bury the film seemed to work: When it was finally released in 1998 — a year after Shyamalan had sold his Sixth Sense spec for a record $2.2 million — the $6 million film grossed just $282,000.

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