Harvey Weinstein Trial: Inside the Courtroom

Harvey Weinstein Trial: Inside the Courtroom

Weather: Increasing clouds, high around 40; later, a chance of rain and maybe snow.

Alternate-side parking: In effect until Jan. 20 (Martin Luther King’s Birthday).

A frail-looking Harvey Weinstein leaned on a walker yesterday as he passed a long stretch of cameras and sign-toting protesters, then hobbled into a courtroom in Manhattan for Day 1 of his rape trial.

Accompanied by his lawyers, he wore a loose black suit, black loafers that were kind of dirty and a monitor on his left ankle, according to my colleague Jan Ransom, who is covering the trial for The Times. He appeared to have a fresh haircut.

The trial of Mr. Weinstein, 67, once one of the most powerful producers in Hollywood, is one of the most anticipated proceedings in recent years. The allegations of sexual assault and harassment against Mr. Weinstein exploded in 2017, prompting the #MeToo movement.

As the trial began in State Supreme Court in Manhattan, the district attorney in Los Angeles County announced rape and assault charges against Mr. Weinstein. Now, even if he prevails in New York, he will face a second trial in California.

[Harvey Weinstein was charged with more sex crimes as his trial began in New York.]

Dozens of reporters, many from other states and countries, were in the gallery, staring at Mr. Weinstein’s back and listening intently to the proceedings. “I don’t remember seeing anyone from the public” in the courtroom, Ms. Ransom told me. “It was mostly reporters.”

Mr. Weinstein, who was at the defense table for about two hours, was dealt a setback: His lawyers were told they could not call as a witness a detective who was accused of withholding evidence from prosecutors that was favorable to the defense.

“He dropped his head in his hands in what appeared to be disappointment,” Ms. Ransom said, referring to Mr. Weinstein’s reaction to the judge’s ruling.

Protesters and curious New Yorkers, as well as several of Mr. Weinstein’s accusers, waited in the cold outside of the courthouse, hoping to look him in the eye, my colleagues Jodi Kantor and Emily Palmer said. Many later moved to Foley Square, two blocks from the building, for a news conference.

“I wish he would have turned around and faced us,” said the actress Rosanna Arquette, who had accused Mr. Weinstein of sexual harassment dating to the early 1990s.

Rose McGowan, an actress who has accused him of sexual assault, called the trial “a moment of justice,” even though most of his accusers “won’t have even one day in court.”

Mr. Weinstein is charged with raping one woman, who has not been identified in court documents, at a Midtown hotel in 2013 and forcing a second woman, Mimi Haleyi, to allow him to perform oral sex on her at his Manhattan apartment in 2006.

He faces one count of rape and one count of criminal sexual act in those cases and, if convicted, could be sentenced to a maximum of 25 years in prison.

The producer also faces a charge of predatory sexual assault for committing a serious sex crime against more than one person. If convicted of that charge, Mr. Weinstein faces a maximum of life in prison.

He maintains that his sexual encounters with the women were consensual.

The archive is in TriBeCa, a trendy Manhattan neighborhood with shiny high-rises, chic stores and, of course, rising rents. That has created a financial strain on the organization, according to Mr. George.

“I’ve never been in debt over these 35 years, but over these last three years, it’s just become overwhelming,” he said.

Mr. George said he was focused on finding an affordable space, preferably in New York City. But without support from new donors or cultural institutions like the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs, he said, that will be challenging.

“The rising rent, our share of the building’s taxes and donor fatigue has taken its toll,” he said.

It’s Tuesday — sound off.

Dear Diary:

I lived in the East Village for three months in the summer before I graduated from college, subletting a bedroom in a sixth-floor walk-up. One of the perks of the place was that it came with a big-screen TV and cable.

One lazy Saturday afternoon I was watching “The Best Thing I Ever Ate” on the Food Network. A new segment started, and the camera panned across building facades that were familiar to me, before eventually settling on the front door of my building.

I had failed to notice that I lived next door to a Vietnamese bakery that sold the best banh mi someone had ever eaten.

As the show’s hosts described the sandwich, I popped up, slipped on my sandals, hopped down the stairs and ordered a tofu banh mi for $6.

“I just saw you on TV,” I told the woman behind the counter as she handed me my change.

She pointed to the wall where a printed screenshot from the episode hung in a frame.

I trudged back upstairs and finished watching the show as I enjoyed the sandwich they were talking about. The crunchy baguette was still steaming.

It was a very satisfying lunch.

— Eden Weingart

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