LOS ANGELES –
Five years after girls’s tales about him made the #MeToo motion explode, Harvey Weinstein goes on trial in town the place he as soon as was a colossus on the Oscars.
Already serving a 23-year sentence for rape and sexual assault in New York, the 70-year-old former film mogul faces completely different allegations together with a number of that prosecutors say occurred throughout a pivotal Oscar week in Los Angeles. Jury choice for an eight-week trial begins Monday.
Weinstein has been indicted on 4 counts of rape and 7 different sexual assault counts involving 5 girls, who will seem in court docket as Jane Does to inform their tales. He has pleaded not responsible.
Four extra girls might be allowed to take the stand to provide accounts of Weinstein sexual assaults that didn’t result in expenses, however which prosecutors hope will present jurors he had a propensity for committing such acts.
Starting in the Nineteen Nineties, Weinstein, by means of the corporate Miramax that he ran together with his brother, was an innovator in operating broad and aggressive campaigns selling Academy Award nominees. He had unmatched success, pushing movies like “Shakespeare in Love” and “The Artist” to greatest image wins and turning into among the many most thanked males ever throughout Oscar acceptance speeches.
Miramax and its successor The Weinstein Co. had been primarily based in New York, the place Weinstein lived and did enterprise, however that did not diminish his presence in Hollywood.
“He was a creature of New York, however he was additionally a creature of Los Angeles,” mentioned Kim Masters, editor at giant for The Hollywood Reporter and a longtime observer of the film business. “He had this big Golden Globes occasion that was at all times properly past capability when he was in his heyday. He was the King of Hollywood in New York and LA.”
It was throughout Oscars week in 2013, when Jennifer Lawrence would win an Academy Award for the Weinstein Co.’s “Silver Linings Playbook” and Quentin Tarantino would win for writing the corporate’s “Django Unchained,” that 4 of the 11 alleged crimes came about.
Like many of the incidents in the indictments, they occurred below the guise of enterprise conferences at luxurious accommodations in Beverly Hills and Los Angeles, which Weinstein used as his California headquarters and the place he might be seen throughout awards season and all year long. He was handled as greater than a VIP. At a pre-trial listening to, the chauffeur who drove Weinstein round Los Angeles testified that even he was allowed to take as a lot as $1,000 in money in Weinstein’s title from the entrance desk of the resort the place the mogul was staying.
By the time tales about him in The New York Times and The New Yorker in October of 2017 led to his downfall, Weinstein’s energy to seemingly will movies to win awards had diminished, and his firm had fallen into monetary hassle.
“His stature modified, he was not the king of Oscar, which was actually what made him weak,” Masters mentioned.
The Los Angeles trial is prone to be far much less of a spectacle than the New York proceedings, and never merely as a result of it is a sequel and Weinstein is already serving an extended sentence.
Foot visitors is sparse and there’s no grand entrance on the downtown LA courthouse that is internet hosting the trial. Weinstein is not going to be seen to any media horde or protesters outdoors as he was in Manhattan, as he’ll be ushered into the courtroom straight from jail — as soon as he is modified kind his jail garb right into a go well with — throughout a brief hallway the place no cameras are allowed that might seize him.
Only a dozen reporters, together with two sketch artists, might be allowed into the small courtroom every day, in comparison with a number of dozen in New York.
Weinstein can even be represented by completely different legal professionals in Los Angeles, Alan Jackson and Mark Werksman. They have expressed worries that the films could play a task in trial.
The movie “She Said,” which fictionalizes the work of two New York Times reporters and their bombshell tales on Weinstein, is about to be launched halfway by means of the trial on Nov. 18.
Weinstein’s legal professionals misplaced a bid to have the proceedings delayed over the movie, with the choose rejecting their argument that publicity surrounding it might prejudice a possible jury towards him.
“This case is exclusive,” Werksman mentioned at a pretrial listening to. “Mr. Weinstein’s notoriety and his place in our tradition on the middle of the firestorm which is the .MeToo motion is actual, and we’re attempting to do the whole lot we will to keep away from having a trial when there might be a swirl of antagonistic publicity towards him,” Werksman mentioned at a pretrial listening to.
Weinstein’s trial is considered one of a number of with .MeToo connections which have begun or are about to start because the fifth anniversary of the motion’s greatest second passes, together with the rape trial of “That `70s Show” actor Danny Masterson simply down the corridor from Weinstein’s and the New York sexual assault civil trial of Kevin Spacey.
Follow AP Entertainment Writer Andrew Dalton on Twitter: twitter.com/andyjamesdalton