The trial for alleged sexual abuse against the almighty film producer Harvey Weinstein, who drove the #MeToo feminist movement begins this January 6
The trial for alleged sexual abuse against the almighty film producer Harvey Weinstein, who boosted the #MeToo feminist movement and aroused a tsunami of complaints against sexual stalkers, starts on January 6. These are the keys to understanding the process.
On October 5, 2017, ‘The New York Times’ published the testimony of several women, including actress Ashley Judd, who said that twenty years ago Weinstein summoned her for what she believed a working breakfast and, in her Instead, he called her to his room and asked if he could give her a massage or watch her shower.
When Hollywood was still trying to digest this information, the magazine ‘The New Yorker’ spread five days later a report that gave voice to more women who accused Weinstein of sexual harassment. Both publications shared months later the Pulitzer Prize for public service for uncovering the case.
The #Metoo shock wave
The effects of the first information that appeared on the influential producer and his abuses and violations silenced for decades were swift and served, in addition, to encourage thousands of women to denounce similar situations. More than eighty women accused the producer of the alleged abuse.
A day after the information appeared in the Times, the board of directors of its production company, The Weinstein Company, ceased it and on October 11 Weinstein was expelled from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (Bafta).
One of the main channels of the complaints was the #MeToo social media movement, which had been launched in 2006 by a victim of sexual abuse, activist Tarana Burke.
Only ten days after the scandal was uncovered, actress Alyssa Milano encouraged the use of the #MeToo label to report sexual abuse, a call to which thousands of women responded, which led Time magazine to recognize this movement as “Character of the year 2017”.
The judicial process
Weinstein’s appearance before justice symbolizes the success of the #MeToo movement and the breaking of silence and fear to denounce the famous and powerful who have taken advantage of their position to exploit, humiliate and abuse their employees. Therefore, many eyes will be on the Manhattan courtroom chaired by Judge James Burke.
The NYPC announced on November 3, 2017 that they had enough evidence to bring Weinstein to justice, but it was not until February 11, 2018, when the then New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced that They had filed an indictment.
After surrendering to the New York Police Department on May 25, accused of rape and sexual abuse, the judge imposed a bail of one million dollars, placed a GPS locator on him and ordered the withdrawal of his passport.
During the process, Weinstein has changed his lawyers twice and, according to the Times, reached a pre-agreement for 44 million dollars to close several lawsuits filed against him. However, next Monday he will sit on the bench accused of sexual assault, criminal sexual act and rape in first and third grade.
Harvey Weinstein, 67, faces a total of five charges filed by the Prosecutor’s Office: two of predatory sexual assault, a third of “first-degree criminal sexual act”, another of first-degree rape and a fifth of rape in the third degree. If found guilty, he could be sentenced to life imprisonment.
The jury will testify to actress Annabella Sciorra, famous for her participation in the series “The Sopranos” and key testimony of the Prosecutor’s Office, which accuses the magnate of having raped her in 1993 or 1994 in her New York apartment.
For her part, production assistant Mimi Haleyi argues that, in March 2006, Weinstein forced her to have oral sex and a third plaintiff, whose identity remains hidden, has also denounced that Weinstein abused her in a New York hotel in March 2013. The prosecution will also seek the participation of witnesses with the intention of demonstrating Weinstein’s alleged “predatory attitude.”
Dozens of women have reported being abused by the Hollywood producer, such as marketing executive Lucia Evans, actresses Natassia Malthe, Lysette Anthony, Lupita Nyong’o, Gwyneth Paltrow or even Angelina Jolie, who said she had “a bad experience with him”.
The process will start on January 6 with the beginning of the election of the jurors. Last September, the Prosecutor’s Office indicated that it expected that the duration of the trial would be approximately six weeks. But Sciorra’s lawyer, Gloria Allred, considers it difficult to foresee its duration and believes that only the election of the jury could last several weeks.