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Weinstein found guilty

Untouchable: The Rise and Fall of Harvey Weinstein

Disgraced movie and TV producer Harvey Weinstein has been convicted in New York City of third-degree rape and a first-degree criminal sexual act.

The co-founder of The Weinstein Company (TWC), once one of the most powerful forces in Hollywood, faces up to 25 years in prison over the guilty verdicts relating to two women.

Weinstein, who denied all charges, will be sentenced on March 11 and his lawyers have said he will appeal.

Weinstein was cleared of the most serious count of predatory sexual assault. However, he has been accused of sexual misconduct by at least 80 women and still faces charges in LA of assaulting two women in 2013.

Most of the accusations against Weinstein, which have come from women including actresses Gwyneth Paltrow, Uma Thurman and Salma Hayek, have not led to criminal charges as they are beyond the statute of limitations.

Speaking outside the courtroom yesterday, Cyrus Vance Jr, the New York district attorney who led the prosecution, described Weinstein as “a vicious serial sexual predator who used his power to threaten, rape, assault, trick, humiliate and silence his victims.”

The allegations against the former Hollywood mogul emerged in October 2017, when the New York Times first reported incidents dating back decades.

This acted as the catalyst for the #MeToo movement, which has resulted in numerous high-profile men in the media and other industries facing justice for their treatment of women.

Accusers of Weinstein yesterday welcomed the guilty verdicts, with actress Rose McGowan telling the BBC “this is a great day” and others saying the ruling brought hope to victims that their voices would be heard.

In 2018, Dallas-based private equity group Lantern Capital completed a US$289m deal for the assets of TWC, which went bankrupt after sexual assault claims against Weinstein.

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