In the recent turn of events, the Hollywood movie producer Harvey Weinstein was pronounced as guilty on two counts - criminal sexual assault and rape on February 24. The court announced the ruling after 12 jurors deliberated for 26-and-a-half hours over five days and reached the verdict that convicted Harvey Weinstein of rape and sexual assault.
Back in 1979, Harvey and his brother Bob had found the independent film distribution and production company Miramax and in June 1993 the Walt Disney Company bought the company reportedly for $80 million. It was 1999 that Miramax won seven Oscars for Shakespeare in Love. The movie also won the best picture and best actress for Gwyneth Paltrow.
However, in 2005, the Weinstein brothers left Miramax to set up their own production company, The Weinstein Company. It was in 2017 that an international media outlet reported that Harvey was accused of unwanted physical contact and sexual harassment after which he apologized for causing pain to his colleagues and took an indefinite leave of absence from The Weinstein Company. The same year, 13 women alleged that Harvey sexually harassed or assaulted them and three of them also reportedly said that he had raped them.
Harvey denied all the non-consensual sex and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences expelled him. It was in May 2018 that Harvey surrendered to New York police on charges of rape and a criminal sex act involving alleged assaults against two women. In June 2018, he pleaded not guilty to new charges of sexually assaulting a third woman and in October 2018 he won the dismissal of the charges over the alleged 2004 assault.
In January 2019, Harvey appeared in court to announce his new defence team after which his trial was delayed until September to allow defence more time to gather evidence. The same year in August he again pleaded not guilty to new indictment involving the same two women accusing him of two counts of predatory sexual assault. In December 2019, he then reached tentative $25 million settlement with dozens of women who allegedly accused him of sexual misconduct.
It was earlier this year in January when a Los Angeles prosecutor announced sexual assault charges against Harvey and on January 7, the Jury selection at his trial began in New York. On February 24, one of the major criminal cases to stem from the MeToo movement, that uncovered some spine chilling accounts of sexual misconduct in show business finally came to an end.
Harvey Weinstein will reportedly be sentenced at a later date. The case is a landmark of the MeToo movement, which has brought a flurry of sexual assault and harassment allegations against powerful men and prompted conversations about gender and misconduct in all walks of life.
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