With more cameras than cars filling the Manhattan street, this feels like a moment in history.
NEW YORK: With more cameras than cars filling the Manhattan street, this feels like a moment in history.
I don't think there's ever been a case of sexual assault allegations giving birth to a global movement. But Harvey Weinstein did.
Perhaps because he was one of Hollywood's most powerful men.
Perhaps because more than 80 women came forward accusing him of sexual misconduct. 80.
Perhaps because some of the accusers themselves were high-profile and glamorous, so people listened to them more than they would anyone else.
It's likely it was a combination of all these factors that caused the #MeToo Movement to explode and rouse women all around the world to fight for their rights.
Whatever prompted the perfect storm, it was in the forecast for a while. And if one good thing comes from the horrendous alleged experiences of these victims, it's that men abusing their power have been called out for their actions.
Not just in the entertainment industry but in the business world, politics and social scenes alike.
Today marked the real beginning of Harvey Weinstein's trial – the baton was handed over to 12 jurors who will decide his fate on five criminal charges.
Seven men and five women must agree in order to secure convictions. The most serious charge he's facing – predatory sexual assault – carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.
The trial began today – as most do – with each side getting the chance to present an overview of their case to the jury.
Prosecutors went hard on detail – describing Weinstein as "not just a titan in Hollywood, but a rapist".
They alleged he violently raped Sopranos actress Annabella Sciorra, pinning her down on a bed.
Sciorra will be testifying in the trial in an effort by the prosecution to prove Weinstein showed a pattern of predatory behaviour.
The charges in this trial relate specifically though to different women. One alleged victim is former production assistant Mimi Haleyi who claims Weinstein forced oral sex on her in 2006.
The other, whose identity remains unknown, says he raped her in a Manhattan hotel room in 2013.
Jurors heard on one occasion he went to a woman's hotel room in his underwear, uninvited, holding baby oil and videotape. He's also accused of injecting himself to increase his libido during an alleged assault.
In another incident, Weinstein allegedly dragged a victim into a bedroom and ripped her jeans off.
Prosecutors told jurors today Weinstein later said to the woman "I just want to apologise for what happened earlier. I just find you so attractive, I couldn't resist you".
In their counterargument, the defence was clearly trying to discredit Weinstein's alleged victims.
They claim to have dozens of 'loving' emails which were sent from women after he'd allegedly assaulted them.
The defence also told jurors about a text message from one alleged victim to Weinstein which read: "I love you, I always do. But I hate feeling like a booty call."
But in an interview with Nine News today in Manhattan, Gloria Allred who's representing victims said "everything has to be put into context. Taking emails out of context is meaningless."
In her 44 years as a lawyer, Allred has dealt with thousands of rape victims and added that "it's very common for there to continue to be communication afterwards".
Regardless of how this trial ends – acquittal or conviction – Weinstein has a long road ahead of him. Once this trial ends, he faces similar separate charges in Los Angeles.
His fall from grace is far from over.
Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/entertainment/harvey-weinstein-rape-trial-crime-new-york-news/680e68f4-83a6-4f79-9e7f-6734085e7fa8