Weinstein rape trial begins in New York

Credit: Reuters - Politics
Published on January 6, 2020 - Duration: 02:12s

Weinstein rape trial begins in New York

Former film producer Harvey Weinstein arrived at a Manhattan court on Monday for the start of his landmark rape trial, met by celebrity accusers including Rosanna Arquette who helped fuel the #MeToo movement in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations against him.

Jillian Kitchener has more.


Weinstein rape trial begins in New York

Former Hollywood movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, Monday, hobbled into a Manhattan court using a walker for the start of his criminal trial.

The 67-year-old has pleaded not guilty to charges of assaulting two women in New York.

He could face life in prison if convicted on the most serious charge - predatory sexual assault.

More than 80 women have accused Weinstein - once one of Hollywoodโ€™s most powerful producers - of sexual misconduct going back decades.

Outside of court - some of Weinstein's most high-profile accusers including Rose McGowan, who praised those speaking out.

(SOUNDBITE)(English) ACTRESS ROSE MCGOWAN, SAYING: "I thank those testifying for standing not just for themselves but for all of us who will never have even one day in court.

Today is a day for us to honor how far we've come and how much we've endured to get here." Actress Rosanna Arquette, who says Weinstein damaged her career after she resisted his advances, demanded that he be held accountable.

(SOUNDBITE)(English) ACTRESS ROSANNA ARQUETTE, SAYING: โ€œTime's up on sexual harassment in all workplaces... Time's up on the pervasive culture of silence that has enabled abusers like Weinstein." Weinstein's attorney, Donna Rotunno, told reporters that no evidence has been presented yet, and that her client is innocent until proven guilty: (SOUNDBITE)(English) WEINSTEIN'S ATTORNEY, DONNA ROTUNNO, SAYING: "The government doesn't want us to have a voice.

This trial is to show the jury and the state of New York that there is more to this then they'd like everyone to believe." Weinstein faces charges of assault from former production assistant Mimi Haleyi, who says that Weinstein sexually assaulted her in 2006.

The other woman, who is accusing Weinstein of rape in 2013, has not been publicly identified.

Weinstein's alleged wrongdoings have become a symbol of the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment.

Weinstein has denied the allegations and says any sexual encounters he had were consensual.

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