Monday, July 6, 2020

The criminal trial of Harvey Weinstein, prosecuted for rape, opens in New York

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Since the revelations of the New york times then from New yorker in October 2017, more than 90 women – actresses, models, collaborators … – described the behavior of Harvey Weinstein's sexual predator. The film producer’s criminal trial was scheduled to begin Monday, January 6, in New York’s Supreme Court in Manhattan. But it only concerns two complainants who say they were raped.

The case of the other alleged victims is abandoned, for the moment: lack of sufficient evidence, because of the prescription of the facts, sometimes because of the contradictions in their testimony, because they preferred the civil route or did not want to add to humiliation after the trial of a public trial.

New York deputy prosecutor Joan Illuzzi-Orbon, who is leading the charge, will have to succeed in a feat: demonstrating in criminal terms the existence of the Weinstein "system", based on two cases, as well as the testimony of a third woman, actress Annabella Sciorra, who accuses Weinstein of assaulting her in 1993. The case is time-barred, but she will be able to support the accusation. Two cases are theoretically sufficient to prove the behavior of a sexual predator and sentence Mr. Weinstein, 67, to life imprisonment. Harvey Weinstein denies the allegations and assures that the sexual relations were agreed.

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also Two media lawyers to face off in Weinstein trial

Bullying system and confidentiality clauses

Hundreds of journalists are accredited, and the crowd was expected long before dawn on Monday, lining up outside the courthouse to attend the trial of a fallen Hollywood legend, and the case that sparked it around the world the #metoo feminist movement.

Harvey Weinstein, it must be remembered, was, at the end of the XXe century, the embodiment of independent cinema facing the majors. Born into a Jewish family in Queens, New York, he began his career promoting concerts in Buffalo (New York State), then created, with his younger brother Bob, in 1979, the Miramax company, in homage to their parents, Miriam and Max. The two brothers, who are not 30 years old, have the genius to discover talents and promote the cinema of author, like that of Quentin Tarentino.

In 1990, they won their first Palme d'Or at Cannes for Sex, lies and video, by Steven Soderbergh, then, in 1997, their first Oscar for The English Patient by Anthony Minghella. The firm was bought in 1993 by Disney, which gave the two brothers complete editorial freedom. When they fell out with Disney in 2005, they created the Weinstein Company.

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