The case that led to the growth of the Me Too movement in 2017 comes to an end with the jury’s decision to convict Weinstein of two sex offenses – and his credit for the rape clause. He will be remanded in custody until sentencing in two weeks
Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein was convicted Monday of sexual assault and third-degree rape – and acquitted of two more serious counts of rape and assault in aggravated circumstances. Until the sentencing on March 11, Weinstein would remain in custody. At the conclusion of the jury’s verdict, Weinstein escorted him outside the courtroom when he was handcuffed.
Weinstein’s acquittal of the serious counts would allow him to evade life imprisonment, but the offenses for which he was convicted amount to a maximum sentence of 25 years. Weinstein will also have to register as a convicted sex offender.
Since 2017, more than 80 women have testified that Weinstein harassed or committed various sex offenses. However, many did not file a formal complaint – and some of the complaints were closed due to statute of limitations. The two cases where he was convicted are relatively contemporary: forcing oral sex with a production assistant in one of his films in 2006, and assaulting an actress in a Manhattan hotel room in 2013.
In October 2017, the New Yorker magazine and The New York Times also published investigative articles revealing one of Hollywood’s best-known secrets: Weinstein’s relationship with women he worked with. About 20 actresses were interviewed, some in full oil, and testified that Weinstein offered to promote them for sexual favors. Three women said he raped them, and others described behaviors as requests by him for nude massage, and unwanted sexual contact.
Following the exposure, about 80 women testified that Weinstein harassed or sexually assaulted them over three decades, including actresses Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow and Selma Hayek. Late last year, a former model who sued Weinstein and was accused of sexually assaulting her when she was 16 was exposed.
When the affair was revealed, the extensive efforts of Weinstein in concealing his actions were also revealed. Actress Rose Variety, who was one of the first exposed in the affair, and journalist Ronan Farrow who published the New Yorker article said that the producer hired the Israeli Black Cube company to collect information and disrupt the exposure of the affair. Farrow also claimed that the NBC channel, where the article was originally due to be published, had for a long time refused to broadcast it, implying that the channel appeared to be under heavy pressure to “bury” the issue.
In the months after the publications, it seemed that one day, without accusations of key figures in a variety of disciplines, including actor Kevin Spacey, comedian Louis CK and US gymnast Larry Nasser, it appeared that 100 girls and women had testified.