Disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, who was previously indicted on charges involving two women, was released on bail Monday while fighting sex crime accusations that now include a third woman.
“We fight these battles one day at a time, and today we won this round,” defence attorney Ben Brafman said outside court in Manhattan.
Brafman said during the arraignment that he expects more charges.
Weinstein pleaded not guilty after he was brought into the courtroom with his hands cuffed behind his back. He was then uncuffed for the proceeding.
An updated indictment unveiled last week alleges the movie mogul performed a forcible sex act on a woman in 2006.
The new charges include two counts of predatory sexual assault, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison upon conviction.
“Mr. Weinstein maintains that all of these allegations are false and he expects to be fully vindicated,” Brafman said.
Attorney Gloria Allred, who is representing the third woman, said outside court that her client will testify if the case goes to trial. She said she doubts Weinstein’s lawyer would allow him to do the same because it would subject him to cross examination by prosecutors.
Manhattan district attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. said Weinstein, 66, is charged with “some of the most serious sexual offences” that exist under state law.
Courthouse guards told people arriving for jury duty to wait or use a different entrance as Weinstein arrived for his court appearance.
More than 75 accusers
One of the other two accusers has not been identified publicly, but told investigators that Weinstein cornered her in a hotel room and raped her in 2013. The other, former actress Lucia Evans, has gone public with her account of Weinstein forcing her to perform oral sex at his office in 2004.
More than 75 women have accused Weinstein, who was one of the most powerful men in Hollywood, of wrongdoing as allegations detailed in Pulitzer Prize-winning stories last October in the New York Times and the New Yorker magazine swelled into the #MeToo movement.
Several actresses and models accused Weinstein of criminal sexual assaults. They include:
- Film actress Rose McGowan, who alleged Weinstein raped her in 1997 in Utah.
- Sopranos actress Annabella Sciorra, who alleged he raped her in her New York apartment in 1992.
- Norwegian actress Natassia Malthe, who alleged he attacked her in a London hotel room in 2008.
A former Weinstein Co. production assistant, Mimi Haleyi, last October made allegations against Weinstein that align with the charges in the updated indictment.
Haleyi said Weinstein forcibly performed oral sex on her in 2006 in what appeared to be a child’s bedroom in his Manhattan apartment. Neither the district attorney’s office nor Haleyi’s attorney, Gloria Allred, would confirm that Haleyi is the accuser in the new charges.
New York police said in early November that they were investigating allegations by another Weinstein accuser, Boardwalk Empire actress Paz de la Huerta, who alleged to them in October that he raped her twice in 2010.
Vance urged other accusers to come forward, saying the investigation continues.
If you are a survivor of the predatory abuse with which Mr. Weinstein is charged, there is still time to pursue justice.– Cyrus R. Vance Jr., Manhattan District Attorney
“If you are a survivor of the predatory abuse with which Mr. Weinstein is charged, there is still time to pursue justice,” he said.
Weinstein, who produced movies including Pulp Fiction and Shakespeare in Love, has denied all allegations of nonconsensual sex, with his lawyer challenging the credibility of his accusers.
The Associated Press generally does not identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they come forward publicly.