Where Harvey Weinstein’s Cases, Trials & Convictions Stand Now
Former film producer Harvey Weinstein appears in court on October 4, 2022, in Los Angeles, California. (Etienne Laurent-Pool/Getty Images)
Since FRONTLINE first aired its documentary on Harvey Weinstein, the former movie mogul has been tried, convicted and sentenced to a combined 39 years in prison on multiple criminal charges in New York and Los Angeles.
The story began in October 2017, when The New York Times and The New Yorker reported that numerous women had accused Weinstein of sexual harassment, assault and misconduct over nearly three decades. The reporting helped spark a social movement, called #MeToo, against sexual violence and harassment and led to more than 200 other high-profile men being accused of sexual misconduct.
FRONTLINE’s 2018 documentary Weinstein investigated the allegations against the disgraced Hollywood producer and examined the tactics he and his supporters used to silence his accusers, including non-disclosure agreements, legal threats and private investigators.
The allegations against Weinstein prompted authorities in New York and Los Angeles to open criminal investigations. British prosecutors also announced in June 2022 that they authorized police to charge Weinstein with two counts of indecent assault against a woman in London regarding incidents that happened in 1996, but it’s not yet clear if Weinstein will be extradited for a trial in the U.K. Dozens of women have also filed civil lawsuits against Weinstein regarding his conduct.
As we rebroadcast Weinstein on March 21, here is a look at where the cases against Weinstein stand today.
The New York Trial
Weinstein’s first criminal trial began in Manhattan in January 2020. He pleaded not guilty and maintained that all his sexual encounters were consensual.
The charges relied on the complaints of two women — a former production assistant and a former actress — regarding incidents from 2006 and 2013, respectively. Testimony from a third woman supported a predatory sexual assault charge and three additional women served as “prior bad acts” witnesses, testifying that Weinstein sexually assaulted them to show a pattern in his behavior. By the end of February 2020, the jury found Weinstein guilty of third-degree rape and first-degree criminal sexual act. He was acquitted of first-degree rape and two counts of predatory sexual assault.
On March 11, 2020, Weinstein was sentenced to 23 years in prison. His sentences are consecutive, meaning he has to serve 20 years in prison for the criminal sexual act conviction and then three years in prison for the rape conviction. Each sentence includes five years of supervised release, and Weinstein also has to register as a sex offender.
Weinstein’s lawyers have been trying to appeal his conviction. They first filed an appeal in April 2021, arguing that the judge made mistakes that denied Weinstein’s right to a fair trial, but the five-judge panel of the New York Supreme Court’s Appellate Division, First Department unanimously rejected it. New York’s highest court, the Court of Appeals, agreed in August 2022 to hear Weinstein’s appeal.
Extradition for a Los Angeles Trial
Weinstein was indicted in early 2021 on multiple counts of sexual assault in Los Angeles County, and he was extradited to California a few months later to stand trial. He pleaded not guilty and again maintained that any sexual activity was consensual. The trial began in October 2022. It initially revolved around incidents related to five alleged victims between 2004 and 2013, though the judge dismissed charges related to one victim who was unable to testify. Four additional women testified to demonstrate a pattern in Weinstein’s behavior.
On December 19, 2022, Weinstein was convicted of rape, sexual penetration by a foreign object and forcible oral copulation — charges that were all tied to one woman, a model and actress who testified that he assaulted her in a Beverly Hills hotel room in February 2013. He was acquitted of one count of sexual battery by restraint, and the jury was hung on a separate count of sexual battery by restraint, one count of forcible oral copulation and one count of rape.
Last month, Weinstein was sentenced to 16 years in prison. His sentence in California also has to be served consecutively, which means that it will only start after Weinstein completes his 23-year sentence in New York.
Weinstein’s lawyers said last month that they planned to file an appeal against his LA convictions as well.
In addition to criminal charges, multiple civil lawsuits have been filed over Weinstein’s conduct since 2017.
On January 25, 2021, a bankruptcy court judge in Delaware confirmed a settlement deal for dozens of women who allege that Weinstein sexually assaulted or harassed them. The settlement would allow women to receive a portion of the $17 million victim fund using a point system based on their claims. Those who choose to sign a waiver absolving Weinstein of any further liability will get their full share of the settlement, whereas those who leave open the possibility of suing the former movie mogul would only get 25%. As part of the agreement, these women won’t be able to hold the Weinstein Company and its directors and executives liable. Some women who voted against the settlement said they plan to appeal the court’s approval of the settlement so they can pursue their own claims.
The woman whose testimony was key to Weinstein’s Los Angeles convictions also recently filed a civil suit against him, seeking compensation for pain and suffering, loss of earnings and the cost of treatment as a result of what she went through.