AceShowbiz - Shamed Hollywood titan Harvey Weinstein has been sentenced to another 16 years in jail for rape and sexual assault after he begged the judge for "mercy." He additionally insisted he was the victim of a "set-up" and branded his actress accuser an expert at turning on "the tears."
The 70-year-old former power-player, who produced classics including "Pulp Fiction" and "Good Will Hunting" and who is currently serving 23 years behind bars for a 2020 conviction for raping an aspiring actress and sexually abusing a TV and film production assistant, was handed the term at a Los Angeles courthouse on Thursday, February 23, which has been branded a life sentence given his age and frail health.
After a trial in December, a jury found him guilty on three counts, rape, forced oral sex and sexual penetration by a foreign object, at the Mr C Hotel in Bevely Hills, L.A., in 2013. All charges related to a single victim, a European model and actor who testified anonymously as "Jane Doe One" during hearings.
The woman said she was assaulted after Weinstein turned up uninvited at her hotel room during a L.A. film festival. Jurors remained undecided on two counts related to accusations made by Jennifer Siebel Newsom, a documentary filmmaker and the wife of California Governor Gavin Newsom, according to the New York Times.
The publication also stated they could not agree on one count stemming from allegations by model and screenwriter Lauren Young. Jane Doe One said in a statement, "Harvey Weinstein forever destroyed a part of me that night in 2013, and I will never get that back."
While begging judge Lisa Lench for "mercy" on Thursday, Weinstein told her he "didn't deserve" to spend the rest of his life locked up, and insisted the allegations against him were part of a "set up." The former mogul pleaded to the judged in front of a packed court after being wheeled in for sentencing in a grey Los Angeles County jail uniform, "Your Honor... I maintain that I am innocent. I never raped or sexually assaulted Jane Doe One. I don't know that woman and she doesn't know me. This is a made-up story. With all due respect, Jane Doe One is an actress... Jane Doe One can turn on the tears. Please don't sentence me to life in prison, I don’t deserve it. I beg your mercy."
A representative for dad-of-five Weinstein, whose fashion designer wife Georgina Chapman, 46, walked out on him in 2017 before their divorce was finalised in 2021, said the verdict was "cruel" given his age and deteriorating physical condition.
Juda S Engelmayer told Page Six on Thursday, "It's not justice, but a pile-on for a man many people just decided should be cast off and discarded regardless of facts. It will be appealed."
Weinstein's lawyers used the L.A. trial to attack the #MeToo movement sparked by Weinstein's abuse, urging jurors to forget it and focus on the case. His attorney Alan Jackson told the jury, "The truth is immutable. It's not a feeling. It's not a whim. It's not a hashtag."
Thursday's sentencing had been delayed from 9 January to allow for a retrial motion to be entered by Weinstein's lawyers, which was rejected by Judge Lench.