Harvey Weinstein arrives to court for opening statements in rape trial
Harvey Weinstein — once one of the most powerful producers in Hollywood — tottered into Manhattan court Wednesday morning for opening statements in his closely watched rape trial.
The case, the most pivotal of the #MeToo movement, will unfold inside a 15th-floor courtroom at 100 Centre St., more than two years after bombshell news reports emerged about the filmmaker’s alleged serial sexual misconduct.
Weinstein arrived to court with his team of lawyers around 9:15 a.m. — and slowly walked up the flight of stairs sans his usual walker, which he’s been using following spinal surgery last month.
About a minute later, he entered the courtroom, in a black suit and loafers with no socks, as his handlers carried his walker, with tennis balls on the feet, behind him.
“You’re going too fast,” Weinstein barked to one of his lawyers, Arthur Aidala, as he dragged his right foot.
The jury of seven men and five women will hear opening statements that will likely go into early Wednesday afternoon.
Weinstein, a 67-year-old father of five, is charged with two counts of predatory sexual assault, two counts of rape and one count of criminal sex act stemming from the allegations of three women.
The most serious charge — predatory sexual assault — could put him away for life.
He is accused of forcing oral sex on a production assistant, Mimi Haleyi, in 2006 and raping another woman who has not been publicly named in 2013.
“Sopranos” actress Annabella Sciorra, who is expected to testify, said Weinstein raped her in her Manhattan apartment in 1993.
Weinstein, who stands accused of raping or sexually assaulting more than 80 other women, has denied the allegations, saying any sexual encounters he had were consensual.
His defense team is expected to reference loving emails his alleged victims sent the disgraced filmmaker to downplay their allegations. They’re also expected to argue that some of the witnesses who’ve accused Weinstein of sexual assault “also bragged about being in sexual relationships” with him.
The trial is expected to last about six weeks.
Weinstein faces separate criminal charges in Los Angeles for the alleged sexual assault of two women in 2013.
In an exclusive interview with The Post following spinal surgery, the fallen kingmaker groused about not getting enough credit for boosting the careers of women in Hollywood.
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