Harvey Weinstein pled not guilty to sexually assaulting a woman in 2006 during an arraignment in downtown Manhattan on Monday.
It was a familiar scene for the 66-year old movie mogul. He had previously been arraigned in June on charges of first- and third-degree rape, and a first-degree criminal sexual act involving two other women. The charges stem from incidents that allegedly took place in 2004 and 2013.
A handcuffed Weinstein entered the court room on Monday wearing a dark suit, a white shirt, and a navy blue tie. He looked ashen and appeared to have shed some weight from his hulking frame. He was flanked by his attorney Benjamin Brafman, and whispered to him at various points during the arraignment.
Weinstein, the producer of hit indie films such as “Pulp Fiction” and “Shakespeare in Love,” was a force in Hollywood, renowned for his ability to pick art house fare that could cross over into the mainstream, and feared for his volatile temper. He also had deep ties to the Beltway, raising money for President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during their White House runs.
However, Weinstein’s career is in tatters. Dozens of women have come forward in recent months to accuse the producer of assaulting or harassing them. His accusers include prominent actresses such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, and Ashley Judd. Weinstein’s fall helped lead to an industry-wide reckoning, one that led to charges of assault or misbehavior being leveled against other powerful figures such as Kevin Spacey, Dustin Hoffman, Matt Lauer, and Brett Ratner.
The new charges stem from accusations that Weinstein forcibly performed oral sex on a woman in July 2006. It carries a potential life sentence if convicted. He faces a minimum of 10 years in prison if found guilty. Law enforcement has not publicly identified any of the three women accusing Weinstein of assault, but one accuser, former marketing executive Lucia Evans, previously said she was pressing charges.
Weinstein faces a number of potential legal issues. Police in Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, and London are also investigating allegations that the producer assaulted or sexually abused women.
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SOURCE: Variety, Brent Lang and Addie Morfoot