Harvey Weinstein’s L.A. Rape Trial Still On Track For October Despite ‘She Said’ Movie Debut

·3 min read

Harvey Weinstein failed today to get his Los Angeles trial on multiple sex crimes pushed back over an upcoming festival premiere and fall wide release of a movie about the investigation into his decades of abuse and sexual assaults.

In a downtown pre-trial hearing Monday morning, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Lisa Lench rejected a move by the defense to delay the incarcerated producer’s October trial start over the Maria Schrader-directed She Said. In a somewhat ironic scenario, the architect of the modern cutthroat awards campaign claimed that the marketing and publicity of the film based on the acclaimed journalism of The New York Times’ Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey would prejudice any City of Angels jury against him.

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Lench wasn’t buying it, and she put pedal to the metal for the commencement of jury selection on October 10.

“Harvey and his attorneys will be prepared for trial,” Weinstein rep Juda Engelmayer told Deadline after today’s hearing. “The timing of the movie makes it hard to assure a fair trial that is judged by the facts and not the emotions of those who see the film or who recall the weight of the book when it came out initially,” the NYC-based publicist added. “It’s another challenge, and it isn’t right.”

She Said, based on Kantor and Twohey’s 2019 nonfiction best seller about how they cracked the Weinstein scandal story, is making its world premiere at the New York Film Festival next month. We hear the film is still in post-production with a film score by Nicholas Britell. The picm which stars Carey Mulligan as Twohey and Zoe Kazan as Kantor, is going wide from Universal on November 18 before Thanksgiving. It is executive produced by Megan Ellisonm who made a number of pics with Weinstein including The Master, Killing Them Softly, Lawless and The Grandmaster, to name a few.

Facing up to 140 years behind bars if found guilty in Los Angeles, convicted sex offender Weinstein is facing grand jury indictments of four counts of rape, four counts of forcible oral copulation, one count of sexual penetration by use of force, plus one count of sexual battery by restraint and sexual battery in incidents involving five women in L.A. County over a nine-year period.

Initially charged and arrested for rape in May 2018 back East after detailed revelations by The New York Times in October 2017 into the decades of abuse and alleged assaults, the Oscar-winning Weinstein was sentenced to 23 years in prison just over two years ago by a Manhattan jury. After a prolonged legal battle over jurisdictions during the heart of the Covid-19 pandemic, Weinstein was flown out to LA in July 2021.

Last week, Weinstein was granted the right to appeal his New York case. Janet DiFiore, the chief judge of the New York State Court of Appeals, allowed 2023 oral arguments before the entire court on whether the now-70-year-old producer received a fair trial in NYC.

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