Harvey Weinstein accusers have warned that the #MeToo movement will be at stake during the movie mogul’s Los Angeles trial, which is set to begin Monday October 10.
Weinstein, 70, will face 11 counts of sexual assault, including forcible rape, sexual penetration with a foreign object by force, and sexual battery by restraint.
The second trial comes just two months after a New York court granted the disgraced producer an appeal of the 2020 conviction which landed him with a more than 20-year prison sentence for sex crimes.
Accusers are holding their breath as his LA trial begins, including actress Caitlin Dulany, who said Weinstein harassed and assaulted her in the 1990s.
‘It is disturbing and shocking that Harvey was allowed to continue his New York appeal, and so we – survivors, supporters – are paying very, very close attention to the Los Angeles trial,’ she told The New York Times.
‘There’s obviously a lot at stake for the women who are testifying, but there is also a lot at stake for all of us,’ she said. ‘If it goes the wrong way, it will be a step backwards. I think it will make it harder for women to come forward in the future.’
Accusers also feel the location of the trial in LA – the home of the American movie industry in Hollywood – adds an air of significance to the implications of the trial’s verdict.
Weinstein faces life in prison if he is convicted in LA.
Weinstein has previously pleaded not guilty to his LA charges, which include forcible rape and forcible oral copulation, two counts of sexual battery by restraint, and one count of sexual penetration by use of force, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
‘The defendant is charged with raping a woman at a hotel between September 2004 and September 2005,’ the DA’s office said. ‘He also is accused of raping another woman on two separate occasions in November 2009 and November 2010 at a hotel in Beverly Hills.’
The trial begins tomorrow after a judged rejected Weinstein’s bid to delay until after the release of the film She Said – based on the investigation which revealed Weinstein’s criminal sexual behavior – in November.
Weinstein’s attorney, Mark Werksman argued that a ‘firestorm of publicity’ caused by the film could ‘prejudice the jury’ his client.
LA Superior Court Judge Lisa Lench ruled that the Weinstein trial should go ahead as planned.