Harvey Weinstein's Attorney Ben Brafman Could Face "Impossible" Task: Lawyers

Harvey Weinstein's Attorney Ben Brafman Could Face

Disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein was charged with rape and a sex crime in NY on Friday, in what was hailed a landmark for the #MeToo movement, almost eight months after his career imploded in a blaze of accusations of misconduct.

Weinstein, 66, has been accused by dozens of women of sexual misconduct and has been investigated by the New York Police Department, the Manhattan District Attorney's Office, the New York Attorney General's Office, the Los Angeles Police Department and United Kingdom authorities.

Disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein has been released on a $1 million bond.

The criminal sex act charge involves then aspiring actress Lucia Evans, who confirmed to the New Yorker on Thursday that she was pressing charges. "I thank the courageous survivors who have come forward, and my Office's prosecutors who have worked tirelessly on this investigation".

Harvey Weinstein Turns Himself in to Police to Face Sex Crime Charge in NYC

A smirking and handcuffed Weinstein was led from the precinct house past a phalanx of photographers and into an unmarked police SUV for the short ride to the courthouse for his arraignment.

"Mr Weinstein did not invent the casting couch".

The rape charge relates to a woman who has not spoken publicly or been identified, the official said. Investigators have reportedly been interviewing witnesses and combing Weinstein's financial records (ostensibly for evidence of payoffs); it's unclear what, if anything, they've found. Film actress Rose McGowan said Weinstein raped her in 1997 in Utah, "Sopranos" actress Annabella Sciorra said he raped her in her NY apartment in 1992 and Norwegian actress Natassia Malthe said he attacked her in a London hotel room in 2008.

Law enforcement sources tell us, the U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of NY is looking to see if Weinstein violated the Mann Act.

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Asked about the raft of other allegations against Weinstein, Brafman said the case was a question of crime, not bad behaviour. "As actress, activist and alleged victim Rose McGowan said on "Good Morning America", "'I have a visceral need for him to have handcuffs on". Argento and McGowan accused Harvey Weinstein of rape previous year and have been at the forefront of the crusade for justice against him.

After talking and writing about the case for so long, including in a recent memoir, "Brave", McGowan, 44, said it came as a huge surprise when news of the legal case finally came.

NY police previously confirmed another credible rape allegation after "Boardwalk Empire" actress Paz de la Huerta accused the former producer of raping her twice at her NY apartment in late 2010.

Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzzi said, "The defendant is charged with two violent felonies. for two separate forcible sexual assaults against two women", and noted that the charges were the result of "months of investigation". The news came seven months after he was first accused of sexual harassment and assault in back-to-back exposés published by The New York Times and The New Yorker.

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Shortly before a grim-faced Weinstein appeared before the judge to face charges against two women, in a momentous day for the more than 70 who have accused him.

The New York charges are the first against Weinstein, even though several other cities opened up investigations into the producer in the wake of the reporting on the allegations.

Weinstein, 66, has consistently denied any allegations of nonconsensual sex.

She said the play-book had not changed in the #MeToo era, and Brafman might argue that the accusers and other women coming forward were motivated by fame or money.

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