Former Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein was convicted of rape and sexual assault against two women and led off to prison in handcuffs on Feb. 25 in what his foes hailed as a landmark moment for the legal system and a long-overdue reckoning for the man vilified as the biggest monster of the #MeToo era.
A hospitalized Harvey Weinstein was “upbeat” and “energized” about appealing his sexual assault and rape conviction, one of his lawyers said Tuesday as one of Weinstein's accusers said the verdict … Click to Continue »
Russian women's rights activist Zalina Marshenkulova has said the conviction of Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein for sexual assault might have an effect on the attitude of abusers of women in Russia, but voiced skepticism about the possibility of similar court cases in her country.
It’s Monday, February 24. In the rarest of rare outcomes, a jury convicted Harvey Weinstein today of sexually assaulting two women (but acquitted him on the most serious charge, predatory criminal assault).
In the rest of today’s newsletter: Trump at the Modi-o, part two. Plus: the Nevada caucus aftermath, and what happens if presidents refuse to leave office after their term ends.
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(Francis Mascarenhas / Reuters)
The MAGA show heads to India.
The sight was surreal: President Donald Trump clasping hands with India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, both of them taking in the raucous chants of some 50,000 Indian Americans who came to a Houston football stadium late in September for an event (aptly) named “Howdy Modi!”
Who wouldn’t want to bask in a sequel?
Today, Trump joined Modi for “Namaste Trump,” a MAGA-style rally for the two leaders in the world’s largest cricket stadium, in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. Though Trump tied himself into knots trying to pronounce Hindi words—stumbling over chai as well as the name of the city in which the rally was held—he got the crowd he came for. More than 100,000 people filled out the stadium pews; another 100,000 lined the motorcade route.
As intolerance and division in both societies erode their democracies, I fear that the leaders may reinforce each other’s worst instincts,” William J. Burns, a former deputy secretary of state, writes, worrying about the type of relationship that is developing between both countries.
(THOMAS PEIPERT / AP / SHUTTERSTOCK / THE ATLANTIC)
“That a president would defy the results of an election has long been unthinkable; it is now, if not an actual possibility, at the very least something Trump’s supporters joke about.”
Here’s a hypothetical. Say it’s November 2020 and Trump has been defeated, thus bringing an end to his administration on January 20, 2021 (or say he’s reelected; his term would still end in January 2025). Say he then refuses to leave the White House. What then?
Across Kentucky, floods are devouring rural communities. The catastrophe is out of sight, out of mind for many people living outside these areas, partly because the national news media are too quick to default to a “flyover country” attitude toward noncoastal towns, Silas House writes.
If coal mining isn’t devouring the mountain in front of your house, then it’s easy to leave all the lights on. If your home isn’t being carried away by floodwaters, it’s hard to feel the consequences of climate change. Folks in rural places aren’t immune to this disconnect. They say they care about the land, yet they often elect politicians who value profit over the environment. Rural voters’ support of Trump is widespread, even though he has been designated by several environmental groups as the “worst president in history.”
“They are creating a universe in which they’re stripping adult women of common sense, autonomy, and responsibility,” Donna Rotunno, one of Harvey Weinstein’s defense attorneys, said during the closing arguments of her client’s criminal trial. She was taking aim, most directly, at the case’s prosecution. But she was also suggesting, in the cosmic sweep of her accusation, a broader indictment: of the #MeToo movement, and of the movement’s insistence that the blame for sexual violence lies not with its victims, but with its perpetrators.
The lawyer’s argument was flawed in many ways—chief among them, it failed, apparently, to persuade its intended audience. Yesterday, the jury in People of the State of New York v. Harvey Weinstein announced its verdict, after nearly 30 hours of deliberation: Weinstein is guilty, it concluded, on two of the five charges that were brought against him. The “alleged rapist” is now the “convicted rapist.” He faces up to 29 years in prison. That is expressly because, not in spite, of the “common sense, autonomy, and responsibility” demonstrated by the women who spoke during the trial.
For many observers—people who have lived through the Anita Hill testimony and the Christine Blasey Ford testimony and the election of Donald Trump—the Weinstein verdict came as a shock. “This was such a narrow legal hallway to walk down, and many of us braced ourselves for a not-guilty verdict,” Lauren Sivan, a journalist who has said that Weinstein masturbated in front of her, explained during a call with reporters yesterday. For others, the verdict was a symbol. “This is a new day,” Cyrus Vance, the Manhattan district attorney, who declined to prosecute Weinstein in 2015, told reporters just after the verdict was announced. Trump shared his own—deeply fraught—reactions to the verdict during a press conference today: “I think that, from the standpoint of women, I think it was a, uh, great thing. I think it was a, uh, it was a great victory.”
The men’s optimism was too easy; the verdict, after all, was split. The trial was harrowing for many of those who participated in it. (One witness, Jessica Mann, had an apparent panic attack while answering a particularly harsh string of questions under cross-examination.) Progress is hectic and occasionally cruel. “Don’t Tell Me to Be Happy About the Harvey Weinstein Verdict,” Molly Jong-Fast wrote in the Daily Beast. She had a point.
And yet: That verdict was progress. The trial that occasioned it was progress. Even the simple shift in language—alleged rapist to convicted rapist—is progress. Alleged, applied to Weinstein, was both necessary and just; he was, like any other person accused of a crime, innocent until he was proved guilty. But alleged can suggest balance when there is none. More than 90 women have made allegations of sexual misconduct against one man. During the trial, their number was reduced, effectively, to two.
It is hard to overstate the risk the Manhattan DA’s Office took in bringing forward the charges of those two women, Mann and Miriam Haley—specifically because they went on to have relationships with Weinstein after their assault. Juries (in, that is, the vanishingly rare times they are summoned for sexual-assault cases) have not traditionally understood that 81 percent of sexual assaults are committed by people already known to the victims. Nor have juries traditionally understood the complicated dynamics that can keep survivors tethered to those who did them harm. Assaults committed by strangers, their victims screaming and clawing and fighting back until they can fight no more: This is the narrow view many Americans, and consequently many American juries, have had of rape. This is the mythology that the prosecution was taking on.
Myths are stubborn things. One consequence of living in a culture that remains loath to discuss sex, in schools or in courtrooms, is that it loses the capacity to talk about sex. Its language suffers, and its empathic imagination suffers along with it. Jeffrey Marsalis, accused of drugging and raping 10 women, was acquitted of rape by two Philadelphia juries after they learned that many of those women maintained contact with him after the assaults. (It took a third trial to convict him—this one involving a woman who had gone straight to the police with her claim.) The radio host Jian Ghomeshi was acquitted on assault charges in part because some of his accusers withheld information about the contact they maintained with him after the alleged assaults. Assaults, when they occur, take place in a social context; many discussions about assault, however, ignore that fact.
One of the remarkable elements of the Weinstein trial is the extent to which the women themselves wrestled, in public, with the myths. “I thought he was a nice person; I thought he was an okay guy,” Annabella Sciorra, who accused Weinstein of raping her in her New York City apartment in the mid-’90s, said on the stand. “At the time, I thought rape was something that happened in the dark, in a back alley, something a stranger did to you with a gun to your head.” Haley testified that she had sex with Weinstein just weeks after he forced oral sex on her, and continued a correspondence with him well after that. Haley was trying to “almost normalize the situation,” the assistant district attorney Meghan Hast told the jury—to reclaim what had happened to her. To convince herself that the world she had occupied before her assault was the same one she inhabited after it. Hast and her colleagues were hoping that the jury would empathize with that impulse.
Trials are blunt instruments. And the basic facts of this one were not, fundamentally, what was being adjudicated as the prosecution and the defense sparred. That the actions in question—oral sex, penetrative sex—had taken place was generally agreed upon; the real question at hand was whether the sex had been consensual. The facts at play, here, were matters of mind-set. The defense attempted to prove that Weinstein understood the encounters to be consensual, if transactional. This was a trial, in large part, about whether Weinstein assaulted one woman and raped another during incidents in 2006 and 2013, respectively. As it played out, though, its proceedings asked questions that remain perennial when sexual violence is concerned: whose perspective matters. Who is deemed believable. Who is assumed to bear the blame.
But when juries allow that no victim is “perfect”—when they expand their notions of what sexual violence actually looks like—the questions can become more nuanced and reflective of lived experience. Many of the women who took the stand described seizing up rather than fighting back. They described the feel of Weinstein’s weight over them, his strength, the power he wielded both physically and otherwise. He used his rage as a weapon, they suggested. But he weaponized his indifference too. “He, you know, told me not to make a big deal about it,” said Dawn Dunning, while testifying that Weinstein put his hand up her skirt and attempted to penetrate her with his finger during what she had assumed to be a business meeting. She did not tell anybody what happened. On the stand during the trial, she explained why: “I was embarrassed,” Dunning said. “I wanted to pretend like it didn’t happen. I just—I didn’t want to be a victim.”
Dunning was describing what it’s like to live in a world that arranges itself around the whims of powerful men. She was describing the world, in other words, that still exists—a world whose laws are biased toward the privileged, and a world that is much better at talking about justice than truly enacting it. Yesterday was not “a new day,” as Vance claimed. It was, however, a day that found 12 people doing something that some otherjuries have done as well: appreciating that sexual violence is far more complicated than American law, and American culture, have admitted. And then reflecting that nuance in their verdict. Believe women has been a slogan and a correction and an extremely modest rallying cry. Now it is precedent. Now more progress might be made. The jury took the women, at least in part, at their word. And Weinstein “will forever be guilty,” Tarana Burke, the founder of the movement that the now-convicted rapist unintentionally helped expand, said yesterday. “That’s a thing we have.”
Some of the more than 80 women who have accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct said on Tuesday they are looking to the disgraced producer's trial in Los Angeles to build on what they called a seismic shift in attitudes signaled by his conviction in New York.
In order to secure the rape and sexual assault convictions that will send Harvey Weinstein to prison, prosecutors called a parade of witnesses who portrayed the former Hollywood producer as a man who abused his power to prey on younger women.
Former movie producer Harvey Weinstein was convicted of sexual assault and rape in a New York court on Monday and taken off to jail in handcuffs, a victory for the #MeToo movement that inspired women to publicly accuse powerful men of misconduct.
Here is a timeline recounting 40 years in the life of Harvey Weinstein, 67, once one of Hollywood's most powerful executives, convicted on Monday of sexual assault and rape. He faces up to 25 years in prison.
Here are key moments from the trial of former movie producer Harvey Weinstein, who was convicted on Monday of sexually assaulting former production assistant Mimi Haleyi and raping onetime aspiring actress Jessica Mann.
Former Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein's conviction on charges of sexual assault and rape marks the end of his New York trial, but is likely the beginning of a long legal battle in the appeals courts.
The guilty verdict in the sexual assault case against Harvey Weinstein on Monday energized Hollywood celebrities and activists who said it was just the start of their movement to hold abusers accountable.
The jury in Harvey Weinstein's sexual assault trial in New York said on Friday they were deadlocked on the most serious criminal charges and suggested they were unanimous on the others leveled against the former Hollywood mogul.
The cascade of allegations against producer Harvey Weinstein, currently being tried on charges of rape and sexual assault, has "changed everything" for women in the film world, actress Sigourney Weaver said on Friday.
New York jurors weighing rape and sexual assault charges against former Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein ended their third day of deliberations by asking on Thursday to review testimony from actress Annabella Sciorra.
Former movie producer Harvey Weinstein was receiving medical attention at Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan on Tuesday, his spokesman said, a day after a New York jury convicted him of sexual assault and rape in a stunning victory for the #MeToo movement.
The jury presiding over Harvey Weinstein's sexual assault trial announced it reached a verdict on Monday after having initially indicated it was split on the top charges against the disgraced Hollywood film producer.
With 105 women having levelled accusations against him, how he managed to avoid trouble for decades is now a burning issue
As the dust settles over the Harvey Weinstein trial, following the disgraced movie mogul’s conviction in New York for rape and a criminal sex act that could see him put behind bars for up to 29 years, a looming question remains: how did he evade justice for so long?
Miriam Haley, a then Project Runway production assistant on whom Weinstein, 67, forced oral sex at his SoHo apartment, was attacked in 2006. Dawn Dunning, an aspiring actor who Weinstein lured to the InterContinental hotel in Manhattan then offered her movie roles on the condition she had a threesome with him and another woman, endured that humiliation in 2004.
The movie mogul’s predatory behaviour was said to be ‘just the way the industry works’. Now, finally, that may change
Memories of some of my encounters with Harvey Weinstein over the past two decades, just off the top of my head: September 2006, arriving at the New York fashion show for the fashion label Marchesa, co-run by Weinstein’s now ex-wife Georgina Chapman. Weinstein prowled around the front row, crossing off a name on his list every time a famous actress arrived to watch the show. (Several actresses have since said Weinstein “bullied” them into wearing Marchesa to high-profile events.)
In 2011, hiding in a bathroom in LA to get away from Weinstein because he blamed me personally for an article in the Guardian’s business section that had reported financial difficulties at his company. In 2012, being called by one of Weinstein’s myriad assistants, when I was again in Los Angeles to cover the Oscars, to say that Weinstein had personally banned me from various restaurants because of “unfriendly” Guardian coverage. No specific date, as this was pretty much a constant over the past two decades: laughing knowingly with other journalists about how if we gave anything other than glowing coverage to his films, or actors in his films, Weinstein would ban us from his film screenings and threaten to pull advertising from our publications.
Disgraced producer’s old-style attacks proved ineffective after victims spoke in the landmark #MeToo trial
When the end came, there was no walking frame to lean on for Harvey Weinstein. As he was led away to spend the first of what promises to be many nights in a jail cell, he had to hobble along unaided with his arms handcuffed before him.
For the seven long weeks of his trial, the disgraced movie mogul had begun every day trundling into court behind his faithful trademark walker, with its incongruous fittings of two yellow tennis balls glued to its legs.
LA case, announced before Manhattan trial began, focuses on charges for two alleged attacks over two days
The verdict in the New York case against Harvey Weinstein is only the beginning of the movie mogul’s prosecution, with separate charges filed against the disgraced producer in Los Angeles.
In the most high-profile trial of the #MeToo movement yet, a New York jury on Monday found Weinstein guilty of third-degree rape for an attack in a New York hotel and guilty of a criminal sex act for forcing oral sex on a former television production assistant. The fallen titan of Hollywood, who was taken away in handcuffs, could face 25 years in prison and will have to register as a sex offender.
One of Hollywood's most powerful men, Harvey Weinstein, has been found guilty of rape at his trial in New York. The jury found Weinstein guilty of a criminal sex act in the first degree for forcing, and also convicted him of rape in the third degree
The Spanish tenor Placido Domingo says he takes full responsibility for his actions after being accused of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior. It comes after Harvey Weinstein was found guilty of sexual assault.
Harvey Weinstein’s day began with expensive coffee and Acqua Panna mineral water at a breakfast meeting with his lawyers in a Four Seasons Hotel near Manhattan’s criminal courts.It was to end at New York’s violence-plagued Rikers Island jail complex, where the former Hollywood film producer was ordered to await sentencing after a jury found him guilty on Monday of raping one woman and sexually assaulting another.Weinstein, however, was diverted for unspecified reasons to Manhattan’s Bellevue…
Former movie producer Harvey Weinstein was convicted of sexual assault and rape by a New York jury on Monday and handcuffed in court, a milestone verdict for the #MeToo movement that inspired women to go public with misconduct allegations against powerful men.Once one of Hollywood’s most powerful producers, Weinstein, 67, was convicted of sexually assaulting former production assistant Mimi Haleyi in 2006 and raping Jessica Mann, a one-time aspiring actress, in 2013.Weinstein was acquitted on…
Erin Overbey introduces a selection of coverage on the Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, who was found guilty of felony sex crime and third-degree rape, including Ronan Farrow’s groundbreaking report, which helped usher in the #MeToo era.