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Harvey Weinstein rejects allegations of sexual assault and rape in Los Angeles


Harvey Weinstein, photographed during his trial in 2020, has been charged with sexual harassment or assault by about 90 women afp_tickers

This content was posted on 21 July 2021 – 21:34

(AFP)

Former U.S. film producer Harvey Weinstein pleaded not guilty Wednesday in a Los Angeles court to the 11 rape and sexual assault allegations that allegedly took place against five women in california hotels.

“The not guilty plea has been entered,” Judge Sergio Tapia said, after a lawyer spoke on behalf of Weinstein, who went to court in a wheelchair and wearing a brown inmate suit.

The formerly influential film mogul, whose fall from grace is considered a major victory for the #MeToo movement, is serving a 23-year prison sentence for sexual assault and rape in New York since 2020.

He was transferred Tuesday to Los Angeles to answer charges of sexual abuse committed there between 2004 and 2013, which could mean a sentence of 140 more years in prison for the 69-year-old producer.

“He absolutely, unequivocally and categorically denies the accusations (…) They are unprovable, unproven, uncredible and unsubstantiated,” his attorney Mark Werksman told a group of reporters outside the courthouse.

In California, Weinstein is particularly accused of raping an Italian model at a Beverly Hills hotel in February 2013 and sexually assaulting Lauren Young, an aspiring actress, in the bathroom of another hotel.

Young had acted as a witness in the New York case that led to the “Pulp Fiction” producer’s previous prison sentence. The identities of the other women have not been disclosed.

“Anyone who abuses their power and influence to attack others will be brought to justice,” Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon said.

– Fallen Titan –

The cases follow a similar pattern. Weinstein allegedly attacked women — in many cases aspiring actresses — in hotel rooms in Beverly Hills and west Los Angeles.

Weinstein has always denied the facts, both in New York and Los Angeles, claiming that his plaintiffs consented to have sex.

In total, nearly 90 women have accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment or assault, including actresses Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow and Salma Hayek.

Wednesday’s hearing was largely held behind closed doors. Journalists were briefly admitted to hear the conclusion.

During the hearing, attorney Werksman asked that three charges dating back to 2004 be dropped, claiming they are time-barred. He also asked for a medical evaluation of the defendant, which Judge Tapia granted.

Werksman told reporters that Weinstein could not walk because of a spinal problem and that his client’s physical condition “had deteriorated.”

The Los Angeles allegations “date back many years” and cannot be “substantiated or corroborated by any forensic evidence, any contemporary report, no credible witness,” he added.

For the New York case, prosecutors did not present forensic evidence or third-party testimony, but based the case on asking jurors to believe the women.

– Access to justice –

Famed attorney Gloria Allred, who represents several of Weinstein’s accusers, said it was important that the alleged victims in Los Angeles also have “access to justice” and “have their day in court.”

“These people, who are victims, have made many, many sacrifices,” he told reporters.

Before the allegations against Weinstein surfaced in 2017, he and his brother Bob had already left an indelible mark on Hollywood.

In 1979, the brothers co-founded Miramax Films, a small distribution company named after their mother Miriam and father Max. It was sold to Disney in 1993.

Among his biggest blockbusters are “Shakespeare in Love” (1998), for which Weinstein won his first Academy Award. Over the years, his films received more than 300 Oscar nominations and 81 statuettes.

In early April, Weinstein formally appealed his conviction for rape and sexual assault in New York, handed down in March 2020 after a resounding juicio.

The next hearing in the California case is scheduled for July 29.

HELEN HERNANDEZ

Helen Hernandez is our best writer. Helen writes about social news and celebrity gossip. She loves watching movies since childhood. Email: Helen@oicanadian.com Phone : +1 281-333-2229

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