Harvey Weinstein found guilty of rape in Los Angeles trial
A Los Angeles jury on Monday found Harvey Weinstein guilty of rape, forced oral copulation and a third sexual misconduct charge after a weeks-long trial detailing harrowing allegations against him, according to the Associated Press. This was the former Hollywood producer’s second criminal trial; he is serving a 23-year sentence in New York state prison, though he was granted an appeal this year.
The convictions were related to one victim. The jury was unable to reach a verdict on three additional counts involving two other women, and Weinstein was acquitted of a sexual battery allegation made by another woman, the AP reported.
Weinstein faces a prison sentence of up to 24 years, according to the wire service.
While the sexual misconduct allegations against him prompted a surge in the #MeToo movement several years ago, Weinstein, 70, remains one of the few high-profile accused figures to face actual legal repercussions. The Los Angeles jury deliberated for 10 days, in multiple instances asking for certain testimony to be read back, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón said in a statement to The Washington Post that he was “of course disappointed that the jury was split on some of the counts, but hope its partial verdicts bring at least some measure of justice to the victims.” He thanked “the survivors in this case, who exhibited extraordinary bravery in a case that put them in the national spotlight,” as well as the jurors for serving in such a “lengthy trial.”
“Our team will meet to determine whether or not we intend to retry the counts that were hung,” Gascón added.
Weinstein’s representative, Juda Engelmayer, said in a statement that “Harvey is obviously disappointed in the verdict.” He said the counts on which Weinstein was found guilty “have a strong likelihood of an appeal with positive results, as the logistics of the time and location of the alleged incident make no sense.”
Weinstein “is grateful for the jury’s work on the other counts and he’s determined to continue his legal challenges,” Engelmayer added.
Weinstein’s attorneys did not respond to a request for comment.
In October 2017, following explosive reports in the New York Times and New Yorker detailing decades of rape and sexual misconduct allegations against Weinstein, authorities in New York, London and Los Angeles launched investigations into the film executive’s alleged behavior. He was charged in New York in May 2018 on counts of rape and sexual abuse related to two separate accusers; just hours after that trial began in January 2020, he was charged in Los Angeles with the sexual assaults of two women in incidents said to have taken place in 2013.
In February 2020, the New York jury found that Weinstein had forced oral sex on a production assistant in 2006 and raped an aspiring actress in 2013, but it acquitted him of the most severe charges of predatory sexual assault. He received the 23-year state prison sentence the following month. In July 2021, the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office indicted Weinstein on charges of sexually assaulting five women in incidents spanning a decade. He was extradited for the indictment from New York to Los Angeles, where he pleaded not guilty to every count.
The Los Angeles trial kicked off in October following a failed bid from Weinstein’s lawyers to push court proceedings in an attempt to avoid overlap with the “swirl of adverse publicity” his team said would accompany the November release of “She Said,” a feature-film rendering of the Times’s real-life investigation into Weinstein.
In opening statements, which began Oct. 24, prosecutors argued that there was a pattern to how Weinstein — who long had a reputation in the entertainment industry for aggressive behavior, especially as it related to awards season campaign tactics — allegedly targeted young women in Hollywood and threatened to harm their careers if they spoke up.
Multiple women who remained anonymous testified during the trial. The first, Jane Doe #1, said that she met Weinstein at a Los Angeles film festival in 2013 and that he showed up at her hotel room afterward, demanding he be let in, according to Deadline. She recalled “panicking with fear” as he allegedly forced her to perform oral sex on him and stated to the jury that she “wanted to die” as he assaulted her in the bathroom. She added, “I wish this never happened to me.”
All three of the convictions against Weinstein announced Monday involved allegations made by Jane Doe #1, the AP reported.
Jane Doe #2, an aspiring actress and playwright who previously testified in the New York trial as a supporting witness, also said Weinstein assaulted her in a hotel bathroom in 2013, according to Variety. Jane Doe #2 had shown up to the hotel expecting to pitch a script to Weinstein in the lobby, as was arranged by a relatively new friend of hers. Instead, the accuser said, the friend led her to Weinstein’s hotel suite and then left, shutting the door behind her.
The jury was unable to reach a verdict on the charge involving Jane Doe #2, identified by the AP as Lauren Young.
Variety reported that another accuser, a masseuse identified as Jane Doe #3, testified that Weinstein trapped her in a hotel bathroom, where he allegedly groped and yelled at her while masturbating. She said she agreed to see him again on the condition that he not make her uncomfortable again, but he repeated the behavior later on.
Jurors acquitted Weinstein of the felony sexual battery charge involving Jane Doe #3, according to Variety.
Among the most high-profile accusers to testify was Jennifer Siebel Newsom, 48, the documentary filmmaker and former actress married to California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D). Siebel Newsom, whose attorney previously confirmed to The Post that Siebel Newsom was the accuser referred to in court filings as Jane Doe #4, accused Weinstein of raping her at a Beverly Hills hotel in 2005 when they met to discuss her career. She said that she hadn’t expected him to be alone when she arrived, according to the AP, and that he groped her while masturbating before he then raped her.
An emotional Siebel Newsom recalled feeling nervous after she was directed to Weinstein’s hotel suite, but said in court that she didn’t leave because “you don’t say no to Harvey Weinstein. He could make or ruin your career.”
The jury was hung on the charges involving Siebel Newsom, the AP reported Monday.
“Harvey Weinstein will never be able to rape another woman. He will spend the rest of his life behind bars where he belongs,” she said in a statement to the wire service after the verdict was announced. “Throughout the trial, Weinstein’s lawyers used sexism, misogyny, and bullying tactics to intimidate, demean, and ridicule us survivors. The trial was a stark reminder that we as a society have work to do.”
Prosecutors aimed to highlight a pattern in Weinstein’s alleged behavior by calling upon “prior bad acts” accusers. One of them, model Ambra Battilana Gutierrez, in 2015 participated in a New York sting operation by recording audio of Weinstein in which he admits to groping her and says he is “used to” behaving that way, the New Yorker reported.
Weinstein did not testify in his own defense. His lawyers pointed to what they claimed were inconsistencies in some of the accusers’ testimonies, including specific details related to Jane Doe #1’s claim that Weinstein demanded she perform oral sex on him. Prosecutors established in opening statements that Weinstein has abnormal genitalia because of a 1999 surgery in which his testicles were removed from his scrotum and relocated to his inner thighs, Variety reported. Alan Jackson, an attorney representing Weinstein, claimed that Jane Doe #1’s story changed after hearing of Weinstein’s irregular genitalia, while she maintained that she had previously made note of it to police.
British prosecutors in June authorized charges against Weinstein, citing two counts of indecent assault against a woman in 1996. (He cannot be arrested and formally charged unless extradited to England or Wales.) In August, over two years after Weinstein’s New York conviction, the state’s highest court granted him an appeal.
SOURCE: The Washington Post
Frail Jane Fonda, 85, is seen in wheelchair at LAX
Jane Fonda looked frail as she was seen in a wheelchair arriving back at LAX Airport from the Cannes Film Festival on Wednesday.
Fonda wore a black jacket, lavender sweater, black pants and white shirt for her arrival look.
She completed the ensemble with sunglasses and a black face mask.
It is not known why Fonda used a wheelchair – but in the past she has had back operations, an artificial knee surgery and a hip implant which required her to use the aide.
Fonda is facing backlash after she called for men to face ‘arrest and jail’ for the destruction done to the planet as she blamed white men specifically for creating the ‘climate crisis.’
‘It is a tragedy that we have to absolutely stop. We have to arrest and jail those men — they’re all men [behind this],’ she said Saturday at the Cannes Film Festival.
She added there ‘would be no climate crisis if there was no racism.’
‘White men are the things that matter and then everything else [is] at the bottom,’ the outspoken actor said of the ‘hierarchy’ that gives men power.
Fonda first shared her thoughts about the connection between racism and climate change in an interview on The Kelly Clarkson Show earlier this year.
‘Where would they put the sh*t,’ she said. ‘They’re not gonna put it in Bel Air. They’ve got to find someplace where poor people or indigenous people or people of color are living.’
Fonda on Saturday called for those in positions to act quickly as she says there is less than a decade to save the planet from the effects of climate change.
‘This is serious. We’ve got about seven, eight years to cut ourselves in half of what we use of fossil fuels, and unfortunately, the people that have the least responsibility for it are hit the hardest,’ she said.
Global South, people on islands, poor people of color,’ the actress continued.
Her comments came after a question from the audience at the famed film fest.
‘It’s good for us all to realize, there would be no climate crisis if there was no racism. There would be no climate crisis if there was no patriarchy,’ Fonda stated.
‘A mindset that sees things in a hierarchical way. White men are the things that matter and then everything else [is] at the bottom,’ she explained.
The ‘Grace and Frankie’ actor has previously sparked headlines for her head-turning comments on the highly politicized issue.
Back in December Fonda announced that her cancer is now in remission and has been told by doctors she can discontinue chemotherapy treatment ahead of her 85th birthday next week.
The Barbarella star revealed the happy news to her fans via her website, calling it ‘the best birthday present ever.’
‘Last week I was told by my oncologist that my cancer is in remission and I can discontinue chemo,’ she wrote in a lengthy post.
In September, Fonda – who has previously battled the disease – announced she had cancer after being diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, but told fans at the time she felt ‘lucky’ as it is ‘very treatable.’
The thrice-married star said in her latest health update: ‘I am feeling so blessed, so fortunate. I thank all of you who prayed and sent good thoughts my way. I am confident that it played a role in the good news.’
‘I’m especially happy because while my first 4 chemo treatments were rather easy for me, only a few days of being tired, the last chemo session was rough and lasted 2 weeks making it hard to accomplish much of anything.’
Fonda, a two-time Oscar winner, said in September that she was ‘privileged as a celebrity’ and was ‘lucky’ to ‘have health insurance and access to the best doctors and treatment.’
She has previously been diagnosed with both breast and skin cancer, and blamed the latter on her past love of sunbathing.
Tina Turner: legendary rock’n’roll singer dies aged 83
Tina Turner, the pioneering rock’n’roll star who became a pop behemoth in the 1980s, has died aged age of 83 after a long illness, her publicist has told the PA news agency.
Turner affirmed and amplified Black women’s formative stake in rock’n’roll, defining that era of music to the extent that Mick Jagger admitted to taking inspiration from her high-kicking, energetic live performances for his stage persona. After two decades of working with her abusive husband, Ike Turner, she struck out alone and – after a few false starts – became one of the defining pop icons of the 1980s with the album Private Dancer. Her life was chronicled in three memoirs, a biopic, a jukebox musical, and in 2021, the acclaimed documentary film, Tina.
“Turner’s musical character has always been a charged combination of mystery as well as light, melancholy mixed with a ferocious vitality that often flirted with danger,” scholar Daphne A Brooks wrote for the Guardian in 2018.
Turner was born Anna Mae Bullock on 26 November 1939 and raised in Nutbush, Tennessee, where she recalled picking cotton with her family as a child. She sang in the tiny town’s church choir, and as a teenager talked – or rather, sang – her way into Ike’s band in St Louis: he had declined her request to join until he heard her seize the microphone during a Kings of Rhythm performance for a rendition of BB King’s You Know I Love You.
She had suffered ill health in recent years, being diagnosed with intestinal cancer in 2016 and having a kidney transplant in 2017.
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Mike Tyson Break Silence On Jamie Foxx’s Health : He’s Suffered A Stroke’
Boxer Mike Tyson has claimed that actor Jamie Foxx suffered a stroke amid his mystery hospitalisation.
Jamie Foxx was hospitalised with a stroke last month, according to former pro boxing legend Mike Tyson.
The Oscar-winning actor was rushed to hospital in April after reportedly experiencing a “medical complication” whilst filming his upcoming Netflix film, Back in Action.
The 55-year-old has since been discharged from hospital and is continuing to recover at a physical rehabilitation facility.
Speaking on the latest episode of the Valuetainment podcast, Tyson updated fans on Jamie’s health condition.
“He’s not feeling well. They said a stroke. I have no idea what happened to him,’ quipped Tyson on the podcast.
Foxx’s family are yet to reveal what happened to the Oscar-winning actor, but have taken to social media to give periodic updates.
Jamie’s daughter Corinne took to Instagram to update fans on her father and said: “My dad has has been out of the hospital for weeks recuperating.”
“In fact, he was playing pickelball yesterday! Thanks for everyone’s prayers and support,” Corinne added. “We have an exciting work announcement coming next week too!”
Foxx was set to portray Mike Tyson in an upcoming biographical TV series, however Mike revealed that the programme is in limbo following his health.
“Well, it was a possibility. I don’t know what’s going to happen now. But, you know, it’s a strong possibility.”
“If we don’t know by now, they don’t want us to know,” said Tyson.
Jamie is now recovering in Chicago after being hospitalised in Atlanta, Georgia.
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