Harvey Weinstein trial judge tells court ‘this is not a referendum on the #MeToo movement’

Harvey Weinstein’s lawyer asked potential jurors if they thought somebody could have sex with a person they didn’t find attractive ‘for reasons other than love’.

Damon Charonis asked the 18 potential jurors a series of delicate questions during the final stage of the disgraced film producer’s jury selection on Thursday. He raised the motivation for women having sex with Weinstein in what seemed to be a preview of their legal strategy.

Charonis asked flat out if the jury thought an accuser could make up an allegation of sexual assault.  

Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzi accused the defense of ‘systematically eliminating every young white female’ from the jury but was overruled.

At the New York Supreme Court the legal teams are whittling down 142 jurors down to the 12 who will serve and the six who will be alternates. By the end of the day Thursday seven jurors had been selected. 

The decisions came as the judge presiding over Weinstein’s rape and sexual assault trial told the court the case ‘is not a referendum on the #MeToo movement’. 

Judge James Burke spoke out as five jurors were finally selected after Gigi Hadid was dismissed and another was threatened with contempt over his tweets. Burke told the courthouse Thursday: ‘This trial is not a referendum on the #MeToo movement. It is not a referendum on sexual harassment. It is not a referendum on women’s rights…that is not the issue here.’  

In all, more than 600 potential jurors have been summoned for the high-profile case. Many were eliminated from contention early on after indicating they couldn’t be fair and impartial.  The jurors who showed up on Thursday had already passed a round of pre-screening over the last week, saying they could be impartial and were able to sit on the jury.

Burke said he expects a panel of 12 jurors and six alternates to be seated in time for opening statements and testimony on January 22. He told prospective jurors that he expected the trial to finish up in early March. 

Weinstein, 67, is accused of raping a woman in a Manhattan hotel room in 2013 and sexually assaulting another in 2006. The former studio boss behind such Oscar winners as ‘Pulp Fiction’ and ‘Shakespeare in Love’ has said any sexual activity was consensual.      

Weinstein's lawyers have slammed his trial's 'carnival' atmosphere as jury selection stretched into an eighth day Thursday with 200 potential jurors remaining. The shamed producer is pictured arriving at court on Thursday

Weinstein's lawyers have slammed his trial's 'carnival' atmosphere as jury selection stretched into an eighth day Thursday with 200 potential jurors remaining. The shamed producer is pictured arriving at court on Thursday

Weinstein’s lawyers have slammed his trial’s ‘carnival’ atmosphere as jury selection stretched into an eighth day Thursday with 200 potential jurors remaining. The shamed producer is pictured arriving at court on Thursday 

Weinstein, 67, is accused of raping a woman in a Manhattan hotel room in 2013 and sexually assaulting another in 2006. The former studio boss behind such Oscar winners as 'Pulp Fiction' and 'Shakespeare in Love' has said any sexual activity was consensual. He is pictured arriving at court on Thursday

Weinstein, 67, is accused of raping a woman in a Manhattan hotel room in 2013 and sexually assaulting another in 2006. The former studio boss behind such Oscar winners as 'Pulp Fiction' and 'Shakespeare in Love' has said any sexual activity was consensual. He is pictured arriving at court on Thursday

Weinstein, 67, is accused of raping a woman in a Manhattan hotel room in 2013 and sexually assaulting another in 2006. The former studio boss behind such Oscar winners as ‘Pulp Fiction’ and ‘Shakespeare in Love’ has said any sexual activity was consensual. He is pictured arriving at court on Thursday 

As the second panel of 18 sat in the jury box, Charonis asked: ‘Does anybody on this jury think that it’s possible that an individual could say that they were sexually assaulted when they weren’t?’

He said that the ‘mere fact’ somebody was making an accusation wasn’t enough to prove something beyond a reasonable doubt.

Charonis said he didn’t want to ask the next question but he had to. He said: ‘Does anybody think that an individual could have sex with someone they don’t find attractive for reasons other than love?’

A number of heads on the jury panel nodded.

Charonis asked if it was possible to have a ‘consensual sexual relationship and years later that individual changes into a pariah and it changes what was once consensual into something else’.

Some of the jury nodded their heads.

Charonis asked if anyone had read Ronan Farrow’s book or the book by New York Times journalists about the Weinstein case – nobody had.

He also asked if anyone watched the TV Series Law & Order and when one woman responded yes, he asked who she rooted for. She replied: ‘The jury’.

In her questioning of the jury, Assistant District Attorney Meghan Hast asked if they were open to being ‘educated’ about sexual assault and how victims responded.

Hast said that this was not a case where there would be CCTV or any other evidence and that it would just be the witnesses giving testimony.

She asked the jury if that would potentially be enough to convict Weinstein and the jury agreed.

Hast raised the issue of how victims react to crime and used the example of a robbery victim who puts up no resistance.

She said that ‘just because he doesn’t fight doesn’t mean it’s no longer a robbery’ and asked if the jury were open to this in the trial – some nodded in agreement.

Hast asked the jury: ‘Looking at Mr Weinstein is there anything about (him) that makes you feel that there is no way that man is a rapist? Anybody feel that?’

The jury indicated they did not feel that way.

After the complaint from Assistant District Attorney Illuzi Judge Burke heard representations from both sides and ruled that the defense had legitimately excluded the young white female jurors.

But Illuzi lodged a formal complaint shortly after and said that the defense had eliminated every white woman – seven in total – from the first two potential jury panels.

Donna Rotunno, Weinstein’s lead defense lawyer, said that one of the women was an author of books about women in the workplace and had friends in the entertainment industry.

Judge Burke ruled in favor of the defense and allowed the women to be struck.  

One juror said he thought he could be impartial but had ‘reservations’ about how his friends would perceive him if Weinstein was found not guilty.   

Fewer than 200 potential jurors will be back for additional questioning beginning Thursday. Hadid, pictured, was one of them

The defense, having lost an earlier change of venue request, said the 'carnival-like atmosphere' surrounding jury selection, coupled with the frenzy over supermodel Gigi Hadid's appearance in the jury pool and social media comments by prospective jurors showed Weinstein won't get a fair shake in his hometown

The defense, having lost an earlier change of venue request, said the 'carnival-like atmosphere' surrounding jury selection, coupled with the frenzy over supermodel Gigi Hadid's appearance in the jury pool and social media comments by prospective jurors showed Weinstein won't get a fair shake in his hometown

Hadid is pictured arriving at court on Thursday

Hadid is pictured arriving at court on Thursday

The defense, having lost an earlier change of venue request, said the ‘carnival-like atmosphere’ surrounding jury selection, coupled with the frenzy over supermodel Gigi Hadid’s appearance in the jury pool and social media comments by prospective jurors showed Weinstein won’t get a fair shake in his hometown. Hadid is pictured arriving at court on Thursday

Supermodel Hadid was told she had not made the cut Thursday despite telling the judge that she thought she could ‘keep an open mind on the facts’. The defense and prosecutors agreed later that having her on the jury would be too much of a commotion. She left the court shortly after her arrival. 

Hadid’s dismissal came as another potential juror was threatened with being held in contempt of court by Judge Burke. The juror, a man in his 50s who wore a military style green jacket, was given a court date of March 10 to ‘explain why you shouldn’t be held in contempt’. 

Judge Burke said that the man could face 30 days in jail or a fine. The man said: ‘I know it now’. Judge Burke told him ‘good luck’ as he walked out. 

He later told potential jurors they ‘must decide this case on the evidence’, adding: ‘The issue is not if you feel strongly about those subjects, but only if those beliefs would prevent you from deciding facts on the case. 

‘You are, of course, allowed to have strongly held beliefs, but that is not the question everybody understands. Again, the sole issue is for you to decide whether or not the defendant committed certain acts, which constitute a particular crime. You must decide this case on the evidence.’   

Judge James Burke told the court Thursday that the case 'is not a referendum on the #MeToo movement'

Judge James Burke told the court Thursday that the case 'is not a referendum on the #MeToo movement'

Judge James Burke told the court Thursday that the case ‘is not a referendum on the #MeToo movement’

On Wednesday, Weinstein filed a last-minute motion with a New York appellate court to have his trial delayed and moved out of Manhattan, arguing that the ‘carnival-like atmosphere’ surrounding the case made it impossible for him to get a fair trial. The court has not ruled. 

And on Thursday Weinstein’s lawyers made a last ditch plea to have the jury sequestered during this final stage of jury selection. Lead attorney Donna Rotunno said that the information that could be elicited from the jury could ‘contaminate’ the entire jury pool.

She said there were a number of victims of sex assault in the jury pool and that she had an issue with 31 potential jurors. Rotunno said that the stigma of finding Weinstein not guilty could cause others problems.

She said: ‘The question is how are the jury going to go go back to their communities, families and friends and say I found Harvey Weinstein not guilty – what would that do to their own lives is relevant’.

Judge Burke rejected the motion.

In the last few days, Judge Burke has been amplifying his warnings about social media, turning last week’s posts into a cautionary tale as he’s welcomed groups of 120 or so potential jurors into his Manhattan courtroom on Wednesday.

‘The court was alerted recently that a few prospective jurors from last week went on Facebook and Twitter as if I had’t just said not to, what was it, a hundred times? A thousand times? Was anything I said ambiguous?’ Burke said, warning the latest batch of prospective jurors not to do the same. 

A motion from the defense team cited the tweets of two potential jurors, showing them talking about or commenting on the case and included screen grabs of their posts on Facebook and Twitter. 

Weinstein’s lawyers raised the social media issue in court papers last week. They cited postings from several people they said were prospective jurors as they made an unsuccessful push to conduct the remainder of jury selection in private, out of the view of the news media and the public.

One man purportedly in the running for Weinstein’s jury tweeted about leveraging ‘serving on the jury of a high-profile case’ to promote a novel he wrote. Another potential juror reacted with a laughing emoji when someone asked if she’d been picked, according to Weinstein’s lawyers. 

Judge Burke has been amplifying his warnings about social media. A defense motion filed showed some of those posts

Judge Burke has been amplifying his warnings about social media. A defense motion filed showed some of those posts

Judge Burke has been amplifying his warnings about social media. A defense motion filed showed some of those posts 

Judge Burke has been amplifying his warnings about social media. A defense motion filed showed some of those posts

Judge Burke has been amplifying his warnings about social media. A defense motion filed showed some of those posts

Judge Burke has been amplifying his warnings about social media. A defense motion filed showed some of those posts

Supermodel Gigi Hadid arrives at a Manhattan courthouse on Thursday for Harvey Weinstein's jury selection in his trial

Supermodel Gigi Hadid arrives at a Manhattan courthouse on Thursday for Harvey Weinstein's jury selection in his trial

Supermodel Gigi Hadid arrives at a Manhattan courthouse on Thursday for Harvey Weinstein’s jury selection in his trial

Hadid had been called as a potential juror in Weinstein's trial, adding a fresh celebrity twist to the high-profile proceedings

Hadid had been called as a potential juror in Weinstein's trial, adding a fresh celebrity twist to the high-profile proceedings

Hadid had been called as a potential juror in Weinstein’s trial, adding a fresh celebrity twist to the high-profile proceedings

The supermodel, pictured, was told on Thursday she had not made the cut despite telling a judge she could 'keep an open mind on the facts'

The supermodel, pictured, was told on Thursday she had not made the cut despite telling a judge she could 'keep an open mind on the facts'

The defense and prosecutors agreed that having Hadid, pictured, on the jury would be too much of a commotion

The defense and prosecutors agreed that having Hadid, pictured, on the jury would be too much of a commotion

The supermodel, pictured,  was told on Thursday she had not made the cut despite telling a judge she could ‘keep an open mind on the facts’. The defense and prosecutors agreed that having her on the jury would be too much of a commotion

Harvey Weinstein leaves New York City Criminal Court during a break in jury selection on Thursday

Harvey Weinstein leaves New York City Criminal Court during a break in jury selection on Thursday

Harvey Weinstein leaves New York City Criminal Court during a break in jury selection on Thursday 

The intersection of big data capabilities and prevalence of social media has transformed the business of jury research in the United States, which once meant gleaning information about potential jurors from car bumper stickers or the appearance of a home.

Now, consultants scour Facebook, Twitter, Reddit and other social media platforms for hard-to-find comments or ‘likes’ in discussion groups or even selfies of a juror wearing a potentially biased t-shirt.

‘This is a whole new generation of information than we had in the past,’ said Jeffrey Frederick, the director of Jury Research Services at the National Legal Research Group Inc. 

Weinstein's lead attorney Donna Rotunno arrives at court on Thursday carrying a folder labelled 'Jurors'

Weinstein's lead attorney Donna Rotunno arrives at court on Thursday carrying a folder labelled 'Jurors'

Weinstein’s lead attorney Donna Rotunno arrives at court on Thursday carrying a folder labelled ‘Jurors’

Harvey Weinstein uses a walker as he arrives at a Manhattan courthouse to attend jury selection in his trial on Thursday

Harvey Weinstein uses a walker as he arrives at a Manhattan courthouse to attend jury selection in his trial on Thursday

Harvey Weinstein uses a walker as he arrives at a Manhattan courthouse to attend jury selection in his trial on Thursday

The disgraced movie mogul and his lawyers spent the first hour of Wednesday´s court session behind closed doors, working with prosecutors to whittle down the pool of prospective jurors by examining responses to a questionnaire each was asked to fill out

The disgraced movie mogul and his lawyers spent the first hour of Wednesday´s court session behind closed doors, working with prosecutors to whittle down the pool of prospective jurors by examining responses to a questionnaire each was asked to fill out

Harvey Weinstein enters Manhattan Criminal Court on Thursday

Harvey Weinstein enters Manhattan Criminal Court on Thursday

Harvey Weinstein enters Manhattan Criminal Court on Thursday. The disgraced movie mogul and his lawyers spent the first hour of Wednesday´s court session behind closed doors, working with prosecutors to whittle down the pool of prospective jurors by examining responses to a questionnaire each was asked to fill out

Why the jury selection process will take up to two weeks and how they will be selected

Selecting the jury for the Hollywood mogul’s rape and sexual assault trial is likely to be a painstaking, weeks-long process, made complicated by the high stakes, heavy publicity and public revulsion toward him. 

Jury selection is expected to stretch on for at least two weeks, far longer than for a non-celebrity trial, with lawyers delving into each potential juror’s knowledge and opinions about the case. Opening statements shouldn’t be expected before the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday on January 20, the judge said.

The prospective jurors were given questionnaires asking, among other things, if they could ignore media coverage and decide the case based only on evidence heard in court. They were also told the trial will last six weeks, which could weed out many parents, college students and others with pressing day-to-day obligations. 

Jury questionnaires are commonly used to identify subject areas like their knowledge of and potential links to the case or any prior experiences with law enforcement that can then allow follow-up questions back in the courtroom before selection.

Potential jurors raise their hands and explain why they can't serve on the jury of film producer Harvey Weinstein's sexual assault trial

Potential jurors raise their hands and explain why they can't serve on the jury of film producer Harvey Weinstein's sexual assault trial

Potential jurors raise their hands and explain why they can’t serve on the jury of film producer Harvey Weinstein’s sexual assault trial

‘The defense team is concerned about widespread media coverage of sexual assault and harassment claims against Weinstein, and of jurors prejudging the case,’ said Cornell University law professor Valerie Hans. On the other side of the case, ‘prosecutors are wary of prospective jurors who might reveal a predisposition to blame the victims, even in this age of #MeToo.’ 

Prospective jurors were introduced as a group to Weinstein and were read a list of names that could come up at trial, including actresses Salma Hayek, Charlize Theron and Rosie Perez.  

New pools of prospective jurors will be summoned to court each morning in the coming days – around 120 per day will be called. A jury summons was sent to 2,000 New Yorkers – five times the number for a typical trial.

Experts said lawyers for Weinstein and the prosecution would need to be wary of jurors who may try to mask their bias in order to serve on a headline-grabbing trial. 

Some jurors may seek to use the trial as a means of advancing a personal cause, a concern in a case that has become a flashpoint for ending sexual harassment.  

Weinstein in October lost a bid to move the trial to suburban Long Island or to Albany, New York state’s capital. He said intense media scrutiny made it impossible for jurors to give him a fair trial in Manhattan.

The defense also asked that the jury be sequestered, a request the judge denied. 

The disgraced movie mogul and his lawyers spent the first hour of Wednesday´s court session behind closed doors, working with prosecutors to whittle down the pool of prospective jurors by examining responses to a questionnaire each was asked to fill out.

The survey asked, among other things, if they could ignore media coverage and decide the case based only on evidence heard in court. They were also asked if they or someone they knew had been a victim of sexual violence.

About 70 of the 120 prospective jurors summoned to court Wednesday were asked to return Thursday, though some could find themselves sent home rather quickly once the lawyers get a chance to read through their questionnaires.

The remainder of Wednesday’s group was dismissed for various reasons, most of them because they indicated they could not be fair and impartial.

Mazdack Rassi, a production studio co-founder whose fashion editor wife appeared on Weinstein-produced ‘Project Runway: All Stars,’ was rejected after saying he knew the producer and did not think he could be impartial.

The proceedings were interrupted at 11am last Friday by the sound of chanting and percussion instruments bellowing through the courthouse window as an all-female protest against Weinstein was staged outside

The proceedings were interrupted at 11am last Friday by the sound of chanting and percussion instruments bellowing through the courthouse window as an all-female protest against Weinstein was staged outside

 The proceedings were interrupted at 11am last Friday by the sound of chanting and percussion instruments bellowing through the courthouse window as an all-female protest against Weinstein was staged outside

The some sixty demonstrators, affiliated with the Chilean feminist organization Las Tesis, performed 'A Rapist in Your Path', a Chilean feminist performance piece that protests violence against women

The some sixty demonstrators, affiliated with the Chilean feminist organization Las Tesis, performed 'A Rapist in Your Path', a Chilean feminist performance piece that protests violence against women

The some sixty demonstrators, affiliated with the Chilean feminist organization Las Tesis, performed ‘A Rapist in Your Path’, a Chilean feminist performance piece that protests violence against women

Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzzi arrives at court for jury selection in Harvey Weinstein's trial

Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzzi arrives at court for jury selection in Harvey Weinstein's trial

Donna Rotunno, attorney for Harvey Weinstein, arrives for jury selection in his trial on rape and sexual assault charges in New York on Thursday

Donna Rotunno, attorney for Harvey Weinstein, arrives for jury selection in his trial on rape and sexual assault charges in New York on Thursday

Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzzi, left, and Donna Rotunno, attorney for Harvey Weinstein, right, at court Thursday

Since 2017, more than 80 women, including many famous actresses, have accused him of sexual misconduct dating back decades. Weinstein has denied the allegations, saying any sexual encounters he had were consensual. 

The allegations helped fuel the #MeToo movement, in which women have gone public with misconduct allegations against powerful men in business, entertainment and politics.

Weinstein’s trial kicked off on January 6 and is expected to last months. 

Los Angeles prosecutors have also charged Weinstein with sexually assaulting two women there on successive nights during Oscar week in 2013. 

Weinstein faces up to 28 years in state prison if he is convicted of the charges filed in LA of forcible rape, forcible oral copulation, sexual penetration by use of force and sexual battery by restraint. 

His arraignment has not yet been scheduled and prosecutors will recommend $5 million bail. Weinstein is expected to appear in court in California after his trial in New York is finished.   

WHAT HAPPENS NOW? THE CHARGES AGAINST HARVEY WEINSTEIN

Harvey Weinstein, 67, has pleaded not guilty to charges of assaulting two women in New York. 

More than 80 women have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct dating back decades but he only faces five criminal counts in New York – two counts of rape, one count of criminal sexual act and two counts of predatory sexual assault. 

He faces life in prison if convicted on the most serious charge, predatory sexual assault.  

One of the women Weinstein was charged with assaulting, former production assistant Mimi Haleyi, has said that Weinstein sexually assaulted her in 2006. Prosecutors say Weinstein raped the second woman, who has not been publicly identified, in 2013. 

Harvey Weinstein, 67, has pleaded not guilty to charges of assaulting two women in New York. More than 80 women have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct dating back decades but he only faces five criminal counts

Harvey Weinstein, 67, has pleaded not guilty to charges of assaulting two women in New York. More than 80 women have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct dating back decades but he only faces five criminal counts

Harvey Weinstein, 67, has pleaded not guilty to charges of assaulting two women in New York. More than 80 women have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct dating back decades but he only faces five criminal counts

Jury selection began January 7 but finding impartial New York City jurors amid the media frenzy surrounding the Weinstein case will be a challenge for both legal teams, experts said.

Lawyers will likely question potential jurors about their knowledge and opinion of the case, their work history and whether they have been victims of sexual misconduct.

The trial is expected to last for around six weeks.  

Los Angeles prosecutors have also charged Weinstein with sexually assaulting two women there on successive nights during Oscar week in 2013.

Lawyers for Weinstein had no immediate comment on the new charges, though he has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing. 

Weinstein faces up to 28 years in state prison if he is convicted of the charges filed in LA of forcible rape, forcible oral copulation, sexual penetration by use of force and sexual battery by restraint. 

His arraignment has not yet been scheduled and prosecutors will recommend $5 million bail. Weinstein is expected to appear in court in California after his trial in New York is finished.   

Here is what to expect from the trial:

WHO ARE THE ACCUSERS?

One of the women Weinstein was charged with assaulting, former production assistant Mimi Haleyi, pictured in 2017, has said that Weinstein sexually assaulted her in 2006

One of the women Weinstein was charged with assaulting, former production assistant Mimi Haleyi, pictured in 2017, has said that Weinstein sexually assaulted her in 2006

One of the women Weinstein was charged with assaulting, former production assistant Mimi Haleyi, pictured in 2017, has said that Weinstein sexually assaulted her in 2006

More than 80 women have publicly accused Weinstein, 67, of sexual misconduct, helping to fuel the #MeToo movement over the last two years. The criminal charges against him refer to just three accusers.

Mimi Haleyi, a former production assistant on a Weinstein Company television show, has said that Weinstein forcibly performed oral sex on her in his Manhattan home in July 2006.

Actress Annabella Sciorra, best known for her role on HBO’s The Sopranos, has said Weinstein raped her in her Manhattan apartment in 1993.

Prosecutors have accused Weinstein of raping another woman in March 2013 in Manhattan. She has not been publicly identified.

Weinstein has said that any sexual encounters he had were consensual.

WHAT ARE THE CHARGES?

Weinstein is charged with a criminal sexual act in the first degree against Haleyi, and with rape for the 2013 allegation. He is charged with predatory sexual assault over both allegations.

Sciorra’s allegation is too old to be the basis of a separate charge, but is a crucial part of the predatory sexual assault charges, which require prosecutors to establish a pattern of serious sex crimes against multiple women.

Predatory sexual assault is the most serious charge against Weinstein, carrying a maximum sentence of life in prison.

WHO WILL TESTIFY AGAINST WEINSTEIN?

Haleyi, Sciorra and the 2013 accuser are almost certain to testify in a trial that is expected to last up to eight weeks.

Prosecutors may also call three other women to testify about encounters with Weinstein, even though he is not formally charged with crimes against them. Their testimony is intended to bolster the charges by showing that Weinstein had a consistent pattern of behavior.

Prosecutors have also said that they expect to call Barbara Ziv, a professor at Temple University in Pennsylvania, to testify as an expert on the trauma resulting from sexual assault.

WHAT IS WEINSTEIN’S DEFENSE?

While criminal defendants and their lawyers typically avoid revealing their strategy before trial, Weinstein has dropped some hints.

Weinstein’s lead lawyer, Donna Rotunno, told Reuters that Weinstein had a ‘slew of witnesses ready to go.’ She has said the defense would be introducing emails and text messages to prove that Weinstein’s accusers maintained relationships with him after his alleged assaults.

His lawyers have also said they plan to call psychologist Deborah Davis, of the University of Nevada, Reno, to testify as an expert on memory, suggesting that Weinstein may try to call his accusers’ recollections into question.

Harvey Weinstein was pictured smiling as he arrived at a New York court on January 6 as his lawyers and a judge handle the final preparation for his trial on charges of rape and sexual assault

Harvey Weinstein was pictured smiling as he arrived at a New York court on January 6 as his lawyers and a judge handle the final preparation for his trial on charges of rape and sexual assault

Harvey Weinstein was pictured smiling as he arrived at a New York court on January 6 as his lawyers and a judge handle the final preparation for his trial on charges of rape and sexual assault

WHAT OTHER LEGAL RISKS DOES WEINSTEIN FACE?

Even if he is acquitted in Manhattan, Weinstein faces separate criminal charges announced on Monday by prosecutors in Los Angeles. Lawyer Rotunno declined immediate comment on those charges.

Weinstein was charged with sexually assaulting two unidentified women in 2013, said Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey. He was charged with raping one woman and sexually assaulting the other.  

Lacey said the timing of the charges was unrelated to the New York trial.

But there is some connection between the cases. One of the Los Angeles accusers is expected to testify in the New York case to help prosecutors establish what they say was Weinstein’s pattern of forcing himself on young actresses and women trying to break into Hollywood.

Weinstein is expected to appear in court in California after his New York trial, Lacey said.

The Hollywood mogul stumbled up the stairs as he arrived at a Manhattan courthouse on January 8

The Hollywood mogul stumbled up the stairs as he arrived at a Manhattan courthouse on January 8

The Hollywood mogul stumbled up the stairs as he arrived at a Manhattan courthouse on January 8

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