The times, they are a changin’. Or at least so it seemed when on Friday morning, the disgraced film producer, Harvey Weinstein, turned himself in at the first precinct police station near his former office in Tribeca, NY. Shortly after, the 66 year-old mogul was arrested by the New York City police, according to multiple sources. The arrest follows 7 months after the initial wave of sexual allegations about the producer began to arise, jump starting a series of criminal investigations of sexual misconduct of many Hollywood insiders and urging for a culture change in the industry, so far lead by the powerful and continuously spreading #MeToo movement.
Today, Weinstein is official charged with first-degree rape, second-degree rape and a criminal sexual act in the first degree. All of the charges are for forcible acts against two women in 2013 and 2004, respectively, although in the months since last October when the original investigation report on Weinstein appeared in the New York times, over 80 women have come out against Weinstein, claiming various sorts of sexual abuse from the man who used to be one of the most powerful players in the industry. The mounting charges even lead to the claim that Weinstein had invented “the casting couch” culture in Hollywood, which he and his lawyer in the case in New York, Benjamin Brafman, deny. In a statement, Brafman said that Weinstein will not plead guilty and “vehemently [denies]” all the accusations. In Weinstein’s version, all the sexual acts were consensual, and the charges are “constitutionally flawed.”
Released on a $1 million dollar bond, Weinstein is scheduled to next appear in court on July 30th. His passport was taken away and a restraining bracelet will monitor his movements, prohibiting him from exiting the state lines of New York and Connecticut. Although the arrest caused a wave of hopeful emotions online, with Rose McGowan, who was one of Weinstein’s accusers, tweeting “we got you, Harvey Weinstein, we got you,” the termination of Weinstein’s case stills remains questionable. The smiling Weinstein was arrested at about 7am and was out of the court before lunch at around 10am, and Brafman stated that, “we believe that at the end of the process Mr. Weinstein will be exonerated.” Indeed, if Weinstein does lose, he faces a prison term of about 25 years.