Harvey Weinstein arrives at court for start of rape trial | Ents & Arts News


Harvey Weinstein declared he has “good lawyers” as he arrived at court for the start of his rape trial.

The once-powerful Hollywood producer entered the courthouse in New York City without a walking frame, which he has used at previous appearances.

Opening statements and the first witness evidence are expected on Wednesday in the trial, which has been described as the biggest of the #MeToo era.

Weinstein, 67, is accused of raping a woman in a Manhattan hotel room in 2013 and sexually assaulting another woman in 2006.

He has pleaded not guilty to five charges related to the two women – who have not been named – and insists any sexual activity was consensual.

If convicted, he could face life in prison.

Asked by reporters on his way into court whether he thinks he will get a fair trial, Weinstein replied: “Yes.”

More from Harvey Weinstein

Harvey Weinstein(C) arrives at the Manhattan Criminal Court, on January 22, 2020 for opening arguments in his rape and sexual assault trial in New York City. - Opening arguments in Harvey Weinstein's rape and sexual assault trial are due Wednesday, with the defense expected to detail "loving" emails between the once-mighty movie producer and his accusers. Weinstein, 67, faces life in prison if convicted of predatory sexual assault charges related to two women in the high-profile New York proceedings seen as key to the #MeToo movement. (Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP) (Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images)
Weinstein walked into court without the frame he has used at previous appearances

When asked why he believed that, he added: “I have good lawyers.”

Since 2017, more than 80 women, including several famous actresses, have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct dating back decades – although his New York trial involves only two allegations.

Weinstein has denied the claims, saying any sexual encounters he had were consensual.

His lawyers say they have “dozens and dozens and dozens of loving emails” from women who have accused him of sexual misconduct.

The allegations against Weinstein helped fuel the #MeToo movement, in which women have gone public with misconduct allegations against powerful men in business, entertainment and politics.

But judge James Burke told potential jurors at a previous court hearing: “This trial is not a referendum on the #MeToo movement.

“You must decide this case on the evidence.”

It is expected Weinstein’s trial could take more than a month.

His lawyers applied to have the court case moved out of New York City after claiming it had turned into a “media and entertainment circus”, but the request was rejected by a judge.

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