Harvey Weinstein convicted of rape in Los Angeles trial
Harvey Weinstein, the former Hollywood mogul whose reported abuse of actresses and other women helped ignite the #MeToo movement, has been found guilty of committing rape and other sexual crimes by a Los Angeles jury.
The verdict on Monday marks the second conviction for the 70-year-old former head of Miramax, who was sentenced to 23 years in prison after a New York jury found him guilty of rape and sexual assault in 2020. He could face up to 24 years in prison in California following the latest conviction.
“It is time for the defendant’s reign of terror to end,” deputy district attorney Marlene Martinez said in the prosecution’s closing argument, according to media reports. “It is time for the kingmaker to be brought to justice.”
Weinstein was found guilty of three counts of sexual assault, including the rape and forced oral copulation of an actress during a Los Angeles film festival in 2013. But the jury was unable to reach a decision on several other counts after 10 days of deliberation.
The jury failed to reach a decision on charges involving Jennifer Siebel Newsom, a film-maker and the wife of California governor Gavin Newsom. A mistrial was declared on charges related to Newsom and another woman, according to media reports.
Weinstein was also acquitted of allegations that he committed sexual battery on a massage therapist who treated him at a hotel in 2010.
“Harvey Weinstein will never be able to rape another woman,” Siebel Newsom said in a statement. “He will spend the rest of his life behind bars where he belongs.”
During the 1990s and early 2000s, Weinstein and his independent Miramax studio — which he ran with his brother, Bob — shook up Hollywood with films such as Shakespeare in Love and Pulp Fiction. He changed how Oscar campaigns were waged and launched the careers of Gwyneth Paltrow and Quentin Tarantino.
But his entertainment empire collapsed after reporting by The New York Times and The New Yorker in 2017 revealed his serial assaults against actresses and use of non-disclosure agreements to silence them.
Weinstein’s conviction in New York was upheld after an initial appeal, but his case will be heard next year by the state’s highest court. He is expected to appeal against his California conviction.
Weinstein’s attorneys said two of the women had lied about their encounters with him, and claimed the other two women’s encounters with him were consensual.
“Regret is not the same thing as rape,” said Alan Jackson, an attorney for Weinstein, according to the Associated Press. A lawyer for Weinstein did not immediately return a request for comment.