Harvey Weinstein trial begins in LA

Harvey Weinstein has been charged with 11 counts of sexual crimes, including rape and is already serving a 23-year sentence in New York. 

harvey weinstein LA rape

After already being convicted in New York, Weinstein now faces up to another 140 years in jail on new charges in Los Angeles. He has also been charged with two accounts of indecent assault in the UK

The first witness, only named as Jane Doe 1, took the stand on Monday to recount her incident with Weinstein from 2013, but broke down in the middle of her testimony, Deadline reports. A total of nine women will testify against Weinstein during the trial which is expected to last until the end of November. 

As reported by Variety here, Weinstein’s defense attorneys are arguing that all sexual encounters were consensual and that at the time, “transactional”. Attorney Mark Werksman ask the jurors to look at Weinstein, stating: “He’s not Brad Pitt or George Clooney. Do you think these beautiful women had sex with him because he’s hot? No, it’s because he’s powerful.”

harvey weinstein court

Credit: Etienne Laurent-Pool/Getty Images

“Transactional sex … it may have been unpleasant … and now embarrassing,” Werksman noted. “[But] everyone did it. He did it. They did it.”

The prosecution is arguing that Weinstein took advantage of his position and used business meetings as a cover to rape and sexually assault women, who were scared of retaliation if they said no to one of the most powerful men in the film industry. 

Weinstein’s abuse, which has been proven by a court in New York that convicted the former Hollywood producer to 23 years in prison, was revealed after a New York Times article published the stories of his victims. 

Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey adapted their article into a book, which has now been adapted into a Hollywood film, starring Carey Mulligan and Zoe Kazan. You can read our review of She Said here

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