Weinstein in his much-abetted glory. Reuters photo. Front photo Amanda Demme/New York Magazine
Two years after his much-rumored, multiple crimes against women were detailed in The New Yorker, shaming so-called law enforcement to finally act on them and helping kick off the #MeToo and #Time'sUp movements, the trial of fallen Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein began in New York. Accompanied by a phalanx of lawyers and bodyguards, the fierce burly guy famed for reportedly cornering countless women in their hotel rooms arrived at a Manhattan courtroom looking determinedly frail after minor back surgery, pushing a walker complete with ragged tennis balls - a vision clearly meant to belie the grotesque allegations against him by what are now at least 100 women. To date, he has been charged with five counts of rape and sexual assault of just two women - specifically first-degree rape, two counts of predatory sexual assault, one count of first-degree sexual assault and one count of third-degree rape. That litany of crimes grew when, even as the New York trial opened, the Los Angeles District Attorney's office bestowed upon Weinstein the unholy title of coast-to-coast offender by charging him with four more counts of sexual assault - forcible rape, forcible oral copulation, sexual penetration by use of force and sexual battery by restraint - at hotels in California.
“We see you, we hear you and we believe you,” said D.A. Jackie Lacey to Weinstein's accusers while announcing the charges, which could get him 28 years in prison. L.A. Police Chief Michel Moore echoed her, arguing the charges open the “next chapter” for a man “who has gotten away with too much for too long.” That historic lack of accountability was made infuriatingly clear when news surfaced of a 57-page PowerPoint presentation, written by Weinstein's "opposition research team," issued by his "publicist," and sent to media, titled “The Proper Narrative for Addressing the Harvey Weinstein Case.” Having allegedly spent the past two years hiring private eyes, Israeli security agents and anyone else who could find dirt on his accusers, Weinstein and his well-funded "team" go full slime in the report: Victims' texts and photos and smears, arguments that “consensual relations are being reinterpreted," "detailed refutations" by "stakeholders of various sorts," the claim charges came as a result of "repeated suggestions from others,” the how-low-can-we-go defense there's “no objective support” for charges because there were “no physical injuries - even scratches,” which have nothing to do with the law on and reality of rape. A note to the despicable Harvey: The narrative is clear. You're a serial rapist, predator and assaulter, and your time's up.
Silence Breakers speak up outside the courtroom. Photo by AFP via Getty.
Lots of men still helping the suddenly frail Weinstein. AP photo
At least 100 #silencebreakers who bravely came forward to report Harvey Weinstein’s sexual misconduct risked everything to see him brought to justice. Today as his criminal trial begins, we’re in awe of their bravery & full of gratitude.
— TIME'S UP (@TIMESUPNOW) January 6, 2020