HARVEY WEINSTEIN SPENDS 1ST NIGHT IN PRISON AFTER CONVICTION
NEW YORK (AP) – In the fall of 2017, Harvey Weinstein was known as one of the kingpins of Hollywood and co-founder of his own movie company. Now, he’s known as a convicted rapist. Weinstein was led out of court in handcuffs after a New York City jury convicted him of rape and sexual assault – ending a trial that marks the biggest victory to date in the (hash)MeToo reckoning. Weinstein had a look of resignation on his face as the verdict was announced. He was convicted on two charges, while the jury acquitted him on two more serious charges. The charges carry up to 29 years in prison, which means it’s possible Weinstein, who’s 67, will spend the rest of his life behind bars. Sentencing is set for next month.
NEW YORK DISTRICT ATTORNEY HAILS “NEW DAY” WITH CONVICTION
NEW YORK (AP) – New York District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. says the women who testified against Harvey Weinstein have “changed the course of history in the fight against sexual violence.” Speaking after a jury convicted Weinstein of rape and sexual assault, Vance said those who dared to come forward despite the former Hollywood studio head’s clout brought about a legal victory which he says, “pulled our justice system into the 21st century” – and has created what he says is a “new landscape for survivors of sexual assault in America.”
HARVEY WEINSTEIN TO APPEAL CONVICTION
NEW YORK (AP) – Lawyers for Harvey Weinstein say the legal battle won’t end with his conviction on rape and sexual assault charges. Attorney Donna Rotunno “this is not over” and there will be an appeal. Another lawyer, Arthur Aidala, says Weinstein said after the verdict, “I’m innocent. I’m innocent. I’m innocent. How could this happen in America?” The verdict happened after a jury of seven men and five women took five days to find Weinstein guilty of raping an aspiring actress in 2013 – and sexually assaulting a production assistant at his apartment in 2006. He could get up to 29 years behind bars.
HARVEY WEINSTEIN LED OUT OF COURT IN CUFFS
NEW YORK (AP) – He walked into court as a defendant. But after a jury found him guilty of rape and sexual assault, Harvey Weinstein was led out as a convict. Court officers surrounded him and led him out of court in handcuffs through a side door. Left behind was a walker he’d been using during the trial. Weinstein was taken from court in an ambulance, strapped to a stretcher – still in his suit. He was taken to a locked unit at Bellevue Hospital, with an eventual move to Rikers’ Island, located off Manhattan.
HARVEY WEINSTEIN – THE ACCUSERS
UNDATED (AP) – For years, there were whispers about how Harvey Weinstein treated women. Those whispers became shouts in late 2017 as the (hash)MeToo movement took hold. And now that the Hollywood bigwig has been convicted and jailed, his accusers are rejoicing that they have finally been heard. Among those who have accused Weinstein of misconduct or worse include Gwyneth Paltrow, Salma Hayek, Ashley Judd, Uma Thurman and Mira Sorvino. While most of Weinstein’s critics were disappointed by his acquittal on the most serious charges, they were happy about his conviction. Speaking on a conference call, Sorvino said Weinstein “will rot in jail as he deserves.” Judd thanked the women who testified in the case that put Weinstein behind bars, saying they “did a public service to girls and women everywhere.”
PLACIDO DOMINGO – (hash)METOO
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – An investigation into opera star Placido Domingo has turned up evidence of inappropriate behavior. The U.S. union representing opera performers has found more than two dozen people who say they were sexually harassed or saw inappropriate behavior by the tenor. The incidents allegedly took place when Domingo held top management jobs at Washington National Opera and Los Angeles Opera. The probe by the American Guild of Musical Artists found the accounts from 27 people showed a clear pattern of sexual misconduct and abuse of power by Domingo spanning at least two decades. Asked to comment, Domingo issued a statement to The Associated Press saying he has “taken time over the last several months to reflect on the allegations” made against him. He says he wants the women to know he is “truly sorry for the hurt” he caused – and accepts “full responsibility” for his actions.
KOBE BRYANT MEMORIAL PRODUCES TEARS, WARM MEMORIES
LOS ANGELES (AP) -Michael Jordan says when Kobe Bryant died, a piece of him died with him. The basketball legend’s tearful comments were among the more poignant moments from yesterday’s public memorial for Bryant and his daughter Gianna. Bryant’s widow says she didn’t see her husband as a ballplayer or a celebrity – but as “my sweet husband and the beautiful father of my children…He was my everything.” The ceremony at the Staples Center in Los Angeles was punctuated by musical performances by Beyonce, Alicia Keys and Christina Aguilera. It ended with a screening of “Dear Basketball,” Bryant’s Oscar winning short film about leaving the NBA upon his retirement in 2016.
VIRUS AFFECTING HOLLYWOOD
NEW YORK (AP) – Fear of the coronavirus is starting to affect the way Hollywood does business. Paramount Pictures has halted production on a major film due to the new virus. “Mission: Impossible 7” was set to shoot for three weeks in Venice. But more than 200 people have tested positive for coronavirus in Italy – the largest number outside of Asia. And while most of the cases aren’t in Venice, the government has halted public gatherings – and Paramount says it is canceling shooting “out of an abundance of caution.” Also, Paramount has postponed the Chinese release of “Sonic the Hedgehog,” which had been set for Friday. Movie houses in China have been shut down because of the outbreak – shuttering the world’s second largest box-office market.
NASA MATHEMATICIAN PORTRAYED IN “HIDDEN FIGURES” DIES
UNDATED (AP) – The mathematician who calculated rocket trajectories and earth orbits for NASA’s early space missions – and was portrayed in the movie “Hidden Figures” – has died. Katherine Johnson was 101 when she died of natural causes at a retirement community in Newport News, Virginia. NASA says in a statement that Johnson “helped our nation enlarge the frontiers of space even as she made huge strides that also opened doors for women and people of color.” In 2015, Barack Obama awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor. She was portrayed by Taraji P. Henson in “Hidden Figures,” which was nominated for a Best Picture Oscar and grossed more than $200 million worldwide.
JUSSIE SMOLLETT PLEADS NOT GUILTY TO RESTORED CHARGES
CHICAGO (AP) – Former “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett has pleaded not guilty to restored charges accusing him of staging a racist, homophobic attack against himself last year in Chicago. His lawyer entered the pleas for him yesterday. The actor faces six counts of felony disorderly conduct. She also told the judge she’s asked the Illinois Supreme Court to torpedo the case. His attorneys have claimed the re-filing of charges amounts to double jeopardy, a protection that prevents a person from being charged twice for the same crime. Prosecutors disagree.
by Oscar Wells Gabriel II
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