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Harvey Weinstein freed on $1 million bail after being charged with rape and sex crimes against two women

Published by Yahoo on Sat, 26 May 2018


A smiling Harvey Weinstein has left a New York police department precinct in handcuffs, having been chargedwith rape and sexual crimes against two women. Almost eight months after the scandal surrounding his behaviour first broke, Weinstein, 66, was led out of a Manhattan police station on Friday morning in handcuffs and in disgrace. He had arrived for the scheduled appearance at the NYPD 1st precinct, in the TriBeCa district of Manhattan, at 7:20am, walking through a thick crowdof photographers and reporters held back by metal barriers. Wearing a black suit jacked over a blue jumper and white shirt, Weinstein looked composed and calm, refusing to answer yelled out questions from the throng of reporters. He evidently expected the proceedingsto last some time, and had brought reading material with him: a copy ofSomething Wonderful: Rodgers and Hammerstein's Broadway Revolution. After 90 minutes he was led out of the police station, smirking to the cameras. "Today, at the NYPD's 1st Precinct, Harvey Weinstein was arrested, processed and charged with Rape, Criminal Sex Act, Sex Abuse and Sexual Misconduct for incidents involving two separate women," said the NYPD in a statement. "The NYPD thanks these brave survivors for the courage to come forward and seek justice." It was unclear who had filed the rape charges. He is believedto have been fingerprinted and then charged. Harvey Weinstein is led out of the police precinct in handcuffs, after a 90 minute session in which he was charged and fingerprinted Credit: Reuters Weinstein was then taken toManhattan Supreme Court and was released on $1million bail and fitted with an ankle tag. He will 'vigorously defend himself', his lawyer said, arguing that his interactions with women were always consensual and that Weinstein 'did not invent the casting couch'. Benjamin Brafman said that Weinstein should not be tried for the prevailing Hollywood culture, and insisted that he had not acted criminally. 'My job is not to defend behaviour,' he said. 'My job is to defend against accusations that something was criminal. 'Mr Weinstein did not invent the casting couch. That's not what this is about. It's whether you committed a criminal act, and Mr Weinstein vigorously denies that.' Weinstein, he said, was coping 'as well as can be expected when accused of a crime that you have not committed.' Mr Brafman, one of the most experienced and aggressive trial lawyers in New York, said he intended to cross-examine the women who had accused Weinstein and that a 12-person jury would find him not guilty ' if a 'fair-minded' jury could be assembled. Shortly before a grim-faced Weinstein appeared before the judge to face charges against two women, in a momentous day for the more than 70 who have accused him. Flanked inside the courtroom by Mr Brafman, Weinstein, 66, did not speak as he was granted bail of $10 million including property, or $1 million in cash. He opted to pay $1 million in cash. He was ordered to surrender his passport, fitted with an electronic tag, and told he could not leave New York or Connecticut. His next court hearing was set for July 30, and he left the courtroom by a side exit, avoiding the media. Some of the charges are believed to relateto accusations made by Lucia Evans, the former actress, whoclaimed that the studio boss forced her into oral sex during a business meeting in 2004. Evans confirmed to The New Yorker that she was pressing charges against Weinstein. 'At a certain point, you have to think about the greater good of humanity, of womankind,' she said.Harvey Weinstein timeline: Key moments in Hollywood scandal Evans told the magazine that she had been informed by NYPD officers that they might not be able to bring charges without her cooperation. 'They said that if I do nothing, Harvey would walk,' Evans said. 'I think the significance hit all at once.' She said that she initially felt 'proud to be a part of this movement, just knowing I could do this for everybody.' But she then became frightened, realising the impact it could have on her of being involved in such a high profile case. 'I think everyone's self-preservation mechanism kicks in when they make a big life decision such as this,' she said. 'What is it going to mean to you' How is it going to affect your life, your family, your friends'' Lucia Evans, who has decided to press charges against Harvey Weinstein over an incident she claims took place in 2004 She decided to proceed, and contracted Carrie Goldberg a lawyer who specialises in sexual-violence, 'revenge porn,' and stalking cases, and who was already representing actress Paz de la Huerta. 'I know how this has changed my life for the worse," Evans said. "How he took away my self-esteem and personal power. And knowing I can take it back, and stop him from doing that to another woman, I couldn't let that go.' More than 70 women have publicly accused Weinstein of sexual harassment and assault in recent months. He has denied all allegations of non-consensual sex. "It's a great day," said Lauren Silva, one of the first women to come forward and accuse Weinstein. She spoke out shortly after Ashley Judd's story was published in The New York Times, in October 2017. "I came out to validate their stories, based on what happened to me, and Harvey was calling them liars. Never in a million years did I think we'd all be believed." Weinstein ' who was once worth as much as $300 million ' also faces an avalanche of lawsuits and financial ruin. A former Netflix associate producer filed a $10 million lawsuit against Weinstein in December. An unidentified actress filed a separate $14 million case against him in Toronto. The latest development followed an investigation by the Manhattan district attorney's office, headed by Cyrus Vance, and New York police department. Harvey Weinstein with his wife Georgina Chapman - who has now filed for divorce - in August 2017, two months before the scandal broke Mr Vance has come under huge pressure to charge Weinstein, and in March Andrew Cuomo, the governor of New York, opened an investigation into whether Mr Vance acted properly in 2015 when he decided not to prosecute Weinstein over a previous allegation of unwanted groping, made by an Italian model. Some of the NYPD officers who worked on Ambra Battilana's case also assisted on the current investigation. Mr Vance, however, objected to Mr Cuomo's "intrusion", and both he and and then-NYPD chief of detectives Robert Boyce suggested the investigations were bearing fruit. "We have a lot of information that we handed over to the grand jury," said Mr Boyce at the time. Mr Vance added: "I've spoken with the police, and I can tell you we are working very hard with them to complete the investigation." Actress Rose McGowan, who has accused Weinstein of raping her 20 years ago, said wasgratified but "still in shock" at the news that he was expected to surrender. "I still have very guarded hopes," McGowan told The Associated Press on Thursday night. "The justice system has been something very elusive. I hope in this case it works. Because it's all true. None of this was consensual. 33 Hollywood stars who have spoken out about Harvey Weinstein "I hope this gives hope to victims and survivors everywhere, that we are one step closer to justice. Because one win is a win for all of us," McGowan said. "It shows that it can be done." The allegations gave rise to the #MeToo movement in which hundreds of women have accused powerful men in business, government and entertainment of sexual misconduct. Ashley Judd, the actress, last month sued Weinstein, saying that he cost her a part The Lord of the Rings in 1998 after she rejected his sexual advances, allegations that Weinstein has denied. Other prominent actresses who have made public accusations include Uma Thurman and Salma Hayek. Salma Hayek is one actress who has accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct Credit: Stefania M. D'Alessandro/Getty The twice-married father-of-five is being investigated by police in New York, Los Angeles and London. In a previous statement, a representative for Weinstein said: "Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr Weinstein. Mr Weinstein has further confirmed that there were never any acts of retaliation against any women for refusing his advances." Earlier this week federal US prosecutors opened their own criminal investigation into sexual assault accusations. Mr Brafman said he had met with them "in an attempt to dissuade them from proceeding" and would continue to meet with them in coming weeks. He is one of America's most celebrated criminal defence lawyers and his previous clients include Michael Jackson; Martin Shkreli, the former drug company executive; and Dominique Strauss-Kahn, former head of the International Monetary Fund. Weinstein has recently spent time at a rehabilitation centre in Arizona.
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