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Harvey Weinstein trial begins in Los Angeles

Multimedia 09:48 11 Oct, 2022
Harvey Weinstein is facing 11 further charges of abuse
Harvey Weinstein trial begins in Los Angeles

The 70-year-old is currently serving 23 years in jail in New York, after he was convicted there for sexual assaults including rape.

The new charges include allegations of assault and rape that allegedly took place in Los Angeles hotels between 2004 and 2013, reports.

He denies the charges. 

Jury selection, which began on Monday, is expected to take about two weeks. Five alleged victims are expected to take the stand during the course of the trial.

The Oscar-winning Shakespeare in Love and Pulp Fiction producer claims his sexual encounters were consensual, and his lawyer told the press the latest round of West Coast allegations "stem from many years ago" and cannot "be substantiated or corroborated by any forensic evidence" or "credible witnesses".

His conviction in New York in 2020 was a landmark moment for the #MeToo movement, which had been calling out widespread sexual abuse and harassment in the film industry for several years. 

In Los Angeles, prosecutors initially charged him in early 2020 but opted to put the trial on hold until legal proceedings in New York had been completed. 

Stars including Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow and Salma Hayek all accused Weinstein of assault or harassment. 

In a statement quoted by the Los Angeles Times, one of Weinstein's defence attorneys, Mark Werksman, said that some of the women who are expected to testify would be familiar to the public. 

Witnesses at the trial will be identified either as Jane Doe or by their first name and initials, according to the Times. 

The New York Film Festival will this week premiere She Said, a movie about the 2017 newspaper investigation into Weinstein.

In June, it was revealed he was also to be charged with two counts of indecent assault against a woman in London in the summer of 1996.