Harvey Weinstein, the former Hollywood mogul already serving a 23-year prison sentence in New York, was sentenced in Los Angeles Thursday to an additional 16 years in prison for charges of rape and sexual assault.
Prior to the sentence, Weinstein spoke in court and continued to deny any wrongdoing, calling the case a “setup.”
“I maintain that I’m innocent. I never raped or sexually assaulted Jane Doe 1. I never knew this woman, and the fact is she doesn’t know me. This is about money,” he said.
“Please don’t sentence me to life in prison,” he added. “I don’t deserve it.”
His attorneys asked the judge for a sentence concurrent with his ongoing 23-year sentence, saying he was a 70-year-old man in bad health.
Jane Doe 1, the model and actress whose testimony formed the crux of the convictions, also told the judge how the assault had changed her.
“Before that night I was a very happy and confident woman. I valued myself and the relationship I had with God. I was excited about my future,” she said. “Everything changed after the defendant brutally assaulted me.
“I thought I did something wrong because he chose me that night. I thought I did something wrong for him to do that to me. I soon became invisible to myself and to the world. I lost my identity. I was heartbroken, empty and alone.”
Weinstein, 70, was convicted in December on charges of rape, sexual penetration by a foreign object and forcible oral copulation after Jane Doe 1 testified he assaulted her in a Beverly Hills hotel room in February 2013.
Weinstein was also acquitted of one charge, and the jury could not come to a unanimous decision on three other charges, including one related to Jennifer Siebel Newsom, a filmmaker and the wife of California Gov. Gavin Newsom. Four counts connected to an unnamed woman who did not testify were also dropped during the trial.
The sentencing was the second for Weinstein on sexual assault charges since reporting by The New York Times and The New Yorker in 2017 revealed his alleged history of sexual abuse, harassment and secret settlements as he used his influence as a Hollywood power broker to take advantage of young women.
At the time, Weinstein was one of the most powerful men in Hollywood and helped produce movies such as “Pulp Fiction,” “Clerks” and “Shakespeare in Love.” The revelations led to a wave of women speaking publicly about the pervasiveness of sexual abuse and harassment in what became known as the #MeToo movement.
The disgraced movie producer is several years into a 23-year prison sentence issued in New York in 2020 after he was found guilty of first-degree criminal sexual act and a third-degree rape. He has appealed the conviction.
What happened at the Los Angeles trial
Like in the New York trial, prosecutors in the Los Angeles trial said Weinstein was a powerful figure in Hollywood who used his influence to lure women into private meetings, assault them and then silence any accusations.
The trial featured emotional testimony from Weinstein’s accusers – a model, a dancer, a massage therapist and Siebel Newsom – all of whom were asked to recount the details of their allegations against him, provide details of meetings with the producer from years ago, and explain their reactions to the alleged assaults.
Jane Doe 1, whose testimony was tied to the convictions, said that Weinstein came to her hotel room and tried to rape her.
“I wanted to die. It was disgusting. It was humiliating, miserable. I didn’t fight,” she testified in court. “I remember how he was looking in the mirror and he was telling me to look at him. I wish this never happened to me.”
In all, eight women testified they were assaulted during the trial. Four women testified about their alleged assaults, and four other women testified as “prior bad acts” witnesses, meaning their testimony wasn’t directly connected to a charge but could be considered as prosecutors tried to show Weinstein had a pattern in his behavior.
Weinstein had pleaded not guilty, and his defense attorneys maintained the allegations were fabricated or occurred consensually as part of a “transactional relationship” with the movie producer.
“Regret is not the same thing as rape,” defense attorney Alan Jackson said. “And it’s important we make that distinction in this courtroom.”
After convicting him, the jury deadlocked on aggravating factors that could have increased his sentence.
In a statement after Thursday’s sentencing, an attorney representing Siebel Newsom and Ashley Matthau, who both testified at the trial, praised the sentence and their decision to testify.
“Their testimony gave them the power to reclaim their voices, both for themselves and on behalf of the many other women who were abused by Harvey Weinstein,” attorney Elizabeth Fegan said. “It can’t erase the trauma they’ve endured, but it can serve as a catalyst for change and provide hope to other survivors.”
Weinstein maintained his innocence in a statement released by his publicist on Thursday.
“It is incredible to be convicted for a crime I wasn’t even present for,” he said in the statement, adding that he was never with her. “I never raped or assaulted anyone.”