Weinstein sexual assault trial opens in LA with jury selection
Published: Oct 11, 2022 09:20 PM
Jury selection began on Monday in the Los Angeles trial of disgraced Hollywood movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, with five alleged victims expected to take the stand during the 2-month case.

The 70-year-old Pulp Fiction producer is already serving 23 years in jail in New York after being convicted there of a series of sex crimes.

He now faces 11 more charges, including sexual battery by restraint, forcible rape and forcible oral copulation against women in Beverly Hills and 

Los Angeles hotels between 2004 and 2013.

If convicted, Weinstein - who has pleaded not guilty to all counts - could be sentenced to more than 100 additional years behind bars.

The potentially lengthy task of selecting a jury got underway on Monday with Judge Lisa Lench overseeing proceedings.

Widespread sexual abuse and harassment allegations against Weinstein exploded in October 2017, and his ­conviction in New York in 2020 was a landmark in the #MeToo movement.

In June, he lost a bid to have that sex crimes conviction overturned. He has also been separately charged by British prosecutors with the 1996 indecent assault of a woman in London.

In total, nearly 90 women, including Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow and Salma Hayek, have accused Weinstein of harassment or assault.

The Los Angeles Times on Monday quoted Weinstein's attorney Mark Werksman as saying there would be testimony from well-known figures.

"Some of these victims, people will recognize them. Some of these women, you've seen them in movies, they've been in ad campaigns, a couple of them have achieved some success as actresses or models," Werksman said, according to the paper.

Before the allegations against him emerged, the producer and his brother Bob were Hollywood's ultimate ­power players. They cofounded Miramax Films, a distribution company named ­after their mother Miriam and father Max, in 1979. It was sold to Disney in 1993.

Their hits included 1998's Shakespeare in Love, for which Weinstein shared a best picture Oscar. Over the years, Weinstein's films received more than 300 Oscar nominations and 81 statuettes.