Harvey Weinstein’s retrial begins Monday in Los Angeles

Former film producer Harvey Weinstein, already sentenced in New York, returns to American justice on Monday for a new trial for rape and sexual assault in Los Angeles, during which he faces up to 140 years in prison.

The 70-year-old producer of “Pulp Fiction” is already serving a 23-year prison sentence after his New York conviction. This new trial coincides almost to the day with the fifth anniversary of the #MeToo movement, triggered by revelations about his behavior as a sexual predator.

In Los Angeles, Mr. Weinstein is accused of raping or sexually assaulting five women in hotels between 2004 and 2013.

Two months of hearing

The hearing, which is expected to last two months, begins Monday with the selection of jurors. In July 2021, the former Hollywood mogul pleaded not guilty during preliminary hearings in Los Angeles court. His conviction in March 2020 in New York, followed by an immediate imprisonment and whose appeal was rejected, was a major victory for the #MeToo movement.

In total, nearly 90 women including Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow and Rosanna Arquette have accused Harvey Weinstein of harassment, sexual assault, or rape. But the statute of limitations has been exceeded in many of these cases, some dating back to 1977.

The former producer has always assured that his accusers were consenting. The allegations are “unproven, unbelievable and unsubstantiated,” his attorney Mark Werksman told reporters in July 2021.

During the New York trial, the prosecution asked the jurors to believe the word of the victims, without presenting forensic evidence and without calling a witness on the stand.

Accused of numerous sexual assaults

In California, Harvey Weinstein is notably accused of having raped an Italian model in a Beverly Hills hotel in February 2013, then of having sexually assaulted Lauren Young, an up-and-coming actress, in the bathroom of another hotel.

The ex-producer is also charged in the United Kingdom for sexual assaults which date back to 1996.

Before his fall, his influence on Hollywood was unparalleled. Over the years, films produced by Mr. Weinstein, such as Quentin Tarantino’s “Inglourious Basterds,” have received more than 300 Oscar nominations and 81 statuettes.