Still Doing Time

In October of 2017, the world was enraged by the sexual abuse allegations involving the now-former film producer Harvey Weinstein. While they were merely speculations, most of the world had already made up their mind. 

I’d covered it on here in Hollywood’s Biggest Nightmare back in January 2018, briefly talking about whatever I could find then. Now that this saga has finally come to an end, it only seemed fitting that I conclude it on here as well. 

So buckle up, it’s going to be a wild ride!

What We Already Know

A little after the sexual abuse allegations surfaced, Weinstein was fired from his production house, expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, suspended from the British Academy of Television and Arts, and was denounced by leading figures in politics. This led to the revival of the #MeToo movement, which was also known as the “Weinstein effect”. 

Harvey Weinstein with then-wife Georgina Chapman

What were initially just mere accusations turned into the truth with enough evidence that could result with him behind bars. Harvey’s then-wife Georgina Chapman stated that she was shocked and embarrassed by all of this and announced their separation in 2017. Their divorce was finalized in the following year.

 “False Accusations”

Shortly after many in the fraternity accused Weinstein the Los Angeles Police Department opened a criminal investigation for alleged rape during which the New York and London police investigated other sexual accusations. Despite the investigations, Weinstein took various steps to ensure the accusations would go away. 

The New Yorker reported that Weinstein hired British-Israeli Personal Intelligence to stop publishing the allegation. How did they go about this? The PI used false identities to track the journalists and actresses who accused him. Rose McGowan was particularly to be tracked by them. 

To make matters worse, Weinstein reportedly asked the PI to “target, or collect information on, dozens of individuals, and compile psychological profiles that sometimes focussed on their personal or sexual histories.” Yes, why don’t you go ahead and make yourself look guilty, Harvey? 

Weinstein continued to deny the claims until the New York Police charged him with “rape, criminal sex act, sex abuse and sexual misconduct for incidents involving two separate women” on May 25th, 2018. He then surrendered and was arrested on the same day. 

Harvey Weinstein

Upon his arrest, a $1 million bail was posted on Weinstein’s behalf. Not only was he granted the bail, but he also surrendered his passport with his travel restricted from New York to Connecticut, and wore an ankle bracelet. The date of the trail was January 6, 2020. To which Weinstein’s lawyer stated that he pleaded not guilty.  Things only went downhill when the Los Angeles County District Attorney announced two separate criminal charges against him on January 6. The charges were for allegedly raping one woman and assaulting another over two days in 2013. 

He was also charged with one felony count each of forcible rape, forcible oral copulation, sexual penetration by use of force and sexual battery by restraint.

Let’s Talk About It

Amidst being accused of sexual abuse in 2017, Weinstein decided to respond to The New York report saying “I appreciate the way I’ve behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologize for it.” He also claimed that he would be working with his therapists and that he was due a sabbatical. 

What’s odd is that Weinstein had various attorneys ranging from 2017 to 2019. The first being Lisa Bloom, his consulting lawyer in 2017. Although, after calling Weinstein “an old dinosaur learning new ways”, she was criticized for how she handled his defence and as a result, ended her involvement on October 7, 2017. 

However, Weinstein then hired Sitrick and Company two days after. But by April 3, 2018, Weinstein was no longer a client. Charles Harder filled those shoes and claimed that Weinstein would be suing The New York Times, but Harder was no longer working for him as of October 15, 2018. 

Amidst this, Weinstein’s spokesperson said this in response to The New York Times: 

Rose McGowan

Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein. Mr. Weinstein has further confirmed that there were never any acts of retaliation against any women for refusing his advances. Mr. Weinstein has begun counseling, has listened to the community and is pursuing a better path. Mr. Weinstein is hoping that if he makes enough progress, he will be given a second chance.

Things unravelled when Weinstein’s attorney released private emails from Ben Affleck and Jill Messick on January 30, 2018. Messick was Rose McGowan’s former manager, and these emails both contradicted her version of the incident. The leaked emails and McGowan’s accusations led to cyberbullying and a lot of negative attention towards Messick. Unable to deal with any of this, Messick, committed suicide on February 7, 2018.

If you think Weinstein is a pig, his lawyer Benjamin Brafman isn’t any better. In an interview with The Time in March 2018, Brafman said: “The casting couch in Hollywood was not invented by Harvey Weinstein. … If a woman decides that she needs to have sex with a Hollywood producer to advance her career and actually does it and finds the whole thing offensive, that’s not rape.” He then addressed the women who accused Weinstein “You made a conscious decision that you’re willing to do something that is personally offensive in order to advance your career.” Good job on picking him as your lawyer, Harvey! 

Harvey Weinstein (Left) with Benjamin Brafman.

He finally parted ways with Brafman in 2019 and hired Donna Rotunno as his defence counsel who then represented him for the trials.

Criminal

Weinstein, represented by Donna Rotunno, was tried in the Manhattan Supreme Court in February 2020. Six women testified that he had sexually assaulted them at the trial, but the charges rested on the complaints of two women, a production assistant and a former actress. Both of whom provided the jury accounts from 2006 and 2013 respectively. 

It was on the blessed day of February 24, 2020, where the jury found Weinstein guilty. He was guilty of rape in the third degree and a criminal sexual act in the first degree. They, however, found him not guilty on three counts that included two more serious charges of predatory sexual assault. Even if it wasn’t everything, it was all that they needed to put the pig behind bars.  

Weinstein was remanded to jail and was housed in Rikers Island’s infirmary unit. On March 11, 2020, Justice James A. Burke sentenced him to 23 years in prison. However, since this sorry excuse of a human being was 67 years old and in poor health at the time of sentencing, he would spend whatever life he has left in prison. He was then transferred to Wende Correctional Facility.

While at the Rikers Island’s infirmary unit, where coronavirus infected hundreds of people, Weinstein, now 68, tested positive too. He was promptly moved and quarantined in the Regional Medical Unit at the Wende Correctional Facility. He was given the all-clear on Friday, but the virus would be the least of his worries. 

The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office had previously filed charges against Weinstein in January, while also stating that they were reviewing eight more cases. They have now charged him with a new felony sexual assault count on April 10th, 2020, accusing him of assaulting a woman at a Beverly Hills hotel in May 2010; an incident that happens to fall within California’s 10-year statute of limitations. 

What does this mean for Weinstein? He is already serving a 23 years sentence in New York, but if he is found guilty on the new charges, he could face up to 29 years in prison in California.

Where Do I Stand?

What I personally think or say regarding Weinstein’s situation shouldn’t matter, because they are solely my thoughts. But I have been following this case, and have also previously written about it when this all had started. And I think prison is where he should be.  

Weinstein appearing in court for his trial

The weak, sick act at his hearing didn’t work on the jury. And rightly so, because nothing could hide the fact that Harvey Weinstein was a sleazy pig who didn’t understand what consent meant. 

Weinstein is not the first, nor will he be the last. The world is full of people who feel like they are entitled to everything. Consent means nothing to them, and they wouldn’t take no for an answer. And I honestly hope that no one is going through a similar situation, and feeling like they’re trapped. But if you do, all you need is the right people to help you with it. If you’re in such an unavoidable situation, then the links below could help you get through this! 

#MeToo

Times Up Now

Rape Crisis Network Europe

No More

If you enjoyed reading this, you can check out more of my work here.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s