Five years later, he is still there. No, I’m not talking about Petit Biscuit’s Sunset Lover sound (although), but about Harvey Weinstein, the worst producer in Hollywood history whose second trial for rape and sexual assault of five women is being held in this month of October 2022 in Los Angeles. And as in five years, our memory easily zaps some important information, we have prepared a good recap for you to know everything about this despicable character that is Harvey Weinstein. If there’s anyone to really hate on this planet, it’s him.
1. He was nicknamed “Harvey Scissorhands” and abused his power
Even before the scandals over his sexual predatory behavior exploded, Harvey Weinstein was known for his abusive acts with all of Hollywood. A very powerful producer at the head of the famous company The Weinstein Company, he was known for his ability to bring a film to success at his whim. He had the final say on film editing, could replace actors and directors as he saw fit, and had a knack for plotting dirty tricks and manipulating people to get his way (hence his nickname). For example, he allegedly harassed executive producer Sydney Pollack on his deathbed so that the latter would join his strategy of releasing the film The Reader as soon as possible, according to accusations led by producer Scott Rudin who also worked on the project.
2. He is accused of sexual violence by 93 women
On October 5, 2017, the New York Times published the testimonies of several actresses claiming to have been harassed and raped by the producer over a period of 30 years, including actresses Ashley Judd and Rose McGowan. Five days later, Ronan Farrow, journalist for the New Yorker, released an edifying investigation into the terrible sexual violence perpetuated by the producer and other women who declared that they had also been victims of Harvey Weinstein. As of October 31, 2017, no fewer than 93 women accused the producer of harassment, sexual assault and rape, including Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow, Uma Thurman, Léa Seydoux, and Salma Hayek. Yes, it’s crowded.
3. One of the first to speak out was Courtney Love
As early as 2005, the singer and actress of Man on the Moon had launched a warning cry about the behavior of the producer. This is how, when asked for advice to give young girls to succeed in Hollywood, she replied: “If Harvey Weinstein invites you to a private party at the Four Seasons Hotel, do not go there” . But her accusations weren’t taken seriously and Courtney Love was kicked out of acting agency Creative Artists Agency for her remarks. 12 years later, we very much regret that no one listened to it at the time.
4. He has absolutely horrible excuses to justify his actions.
When it came to accountability to society, here’s what Harvey Weinstein said: “I grew up in the 1960s and 1970s, when the rules for behavior in the workplace were different.” A real good excuse from a man deeply remorseful, of course. He also cited a sex addiction to justify asking his actresses for massages, forcing some of them to watch him naked, and offering to get their careers off the ground in return for sexual favors (among other things). A most likeable man (it’s not true, he’s filthy filth, a big son of a dog as my colleague Emma would say).
5. He has already been sentenced to 23 years in prison
After being charged with rape and sexual assault in May 2018, Harvey Weinstein was tried in New York from January to February 2020 for these facts. Found guilty, he was sentenced to 23 years in prison and was permanently imprisoned on March 11 of the same year. The producer had however succeeded in buying the silence of certain complainants before his trial by offering 25 million dollars to a dozen women accusing him. If the producer did try to appeal his conviction in April 2021, his request was rejected in June 2022.
6. A second trial is underway which could lengthen his prison sentence to 140 years
In October 2020, three years after the first revelations about him, Harvey Weinstein was again charged by the Los Angeles courts this time. He thus appeared in preliminary hearings in July 2021 on five counts of sexual assault and pleaded not guilty, arguing that all the complainants were consenting (yes, of course). The rest of this second trial, which began Monday, October 10, 2022 in Los Angeles, should last two months. Harvey Weinstein faces up to 140 years in prison for raping and sexually assaulting five women in hotels between 2004 and 2013.
7. Because of him, actresses have been unfairly blacklisted and had their careers ruined.
To make it right until the end (you feel the irony in this sentence?), Harvey Weinstein had his little techniques which consisted in ruining the acting career if they did not do what he wanted. This is how Ashley Judd, in 1998, was ousted from the Lord of the Rings trilogy in which she was to play, because she had refused the sexual advances of the producer a year earlier. Harvey Weinstein also blacklisted her, causing the actress’ Hollywood career to decline. Yes, we are on a very moldy person to the ass. Hopefully he loses his case again.
8. The revelation of his acts has given rise to numerous denunciations concerning sexual violence committed by other influential men in the world
A “chance”, if we can say that: the denunciation of the actions of Harvey Weinstein has made it possible to free speech around the world on the sexual violence committed by men in different circles, in particular thanks to the hashtags #BalanceTonPorc and #MeToo . In light of these events, other trials have caused a stir, such as that of Larry Nassar, coach of the American gymnastics team who sexually assaulted nearly 265 victims (including minors) or that of actor Bill Cosby, accused of sexual assault by nearly 60 women. Other celebrities have also been implicated for their behavior, such as actor Kevin Spacey, British Defense Minister Michael Fallon, and Franco-Swedish photographer Jean-Claude Arnault.
9. He received plenty of accolades despite his actions
During his career and while everyone knew he was a beautiful piece of garbage, Harvey Weinstein received many awards. In 2012, for example, he received the Legion of Honor from President Nicolas Sarkozy for distributing The Artist. In 2004, he was also awarded the rank of Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II. He even received an award straight from the Simon-Wiesenthal Center, an institution that prosecuted former Nazi criminals (so a nickel thing, normally), for his humanitarian actions. While many of those accolades were stripped from him as the revelations broke, it still hurts my heart to know that he was praised like this when many people knew about his sexual predatory behavior.
10. Harvey Weinstein’s face was used on an orc in Lord of the Rings by Peter Jackson as revenge on the director
While he was to make the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Peter Jackson was threatened with being replaced by Quentin Tarantino by Harvey Weinstein because of his refusal to make a two-hour film instead of a trilogy. Peter Jackson was also denied the right to pass the casting to certain actresses like Ashley Judd (whom we talked about above) or Mira Sorvino. Luckily, the director of the saga is a man with a pronounced taste for revenge, which is why he used the face of Harvey Weinstein to create one of the orcs in the films. And it must be said that in addition to not seeing the difference, it makes us very happy.