Culture&Arts

Harvey Weinstein pleads not guilty to third sexual assault charge

Harvey Weinstein pleads not guilty to third sexual assault charge

"He is Harvey Weinstein and despite what you may find to be his flaws, he is a brilliant maker of movie", Brafman said just after Weinstein pleaded not guilty in Manhattan Supreme Court to an additional indictment that could land him up to life in prison.

The 66-year-old disgraced Hollywood mogul was escorted by elbow into the court room in handcuffs, his face pasty and pale, and dressed in a dark suit, white shirt and dark tie.

Lawyer Ben Brafman said Mr Weinstein maintains all the allegations are false and he will be vindicated.

A grand jury had previously indicted Mr Weinstein on charges involving two women.

Weinstein's storied career as one of the most powerful men in Hollywood was torpedoed a year ago following an avalanche of sexual assault and harassment allegations by some 80 women. The debate about bail took up most of the 15-minute arraignment.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance has said Weinstein is indicted "on some of the most serious sexual offenses" under NY penal law and has urged other potential victims to come forward.

Gloria Allred, who said she represented the unnamed third alleged victim in Weinstein's case, challenged Brafman to put Weinstein on the witness stand to defend himself.

Former actress Lucia Evans told The New Yorker that Weinstein forced her to perform oral sex and is thought to be one of the women.

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Reporting by The New York Times and New Yorker that brought down Weinstein and spawned the sexual harassment watershed won the Pulitzer Prize for public service, the most prestigious award in United States journalism.

Weinstein is now facing nine counts of sexual assault in his criminal case, which was continued until September 20, at which time the judge will decide on any motions submitted by the prosecution and defense teams.

None of the three women have been named, but Brafman says the 2013 rape complaint comes from a woman who had a long affair with Weinstein.

Sopranos actress Annabella Sciorra, who alleged he raped her in her NY apartment in 1992.

Haleyi said Weinstein forcibly performed oral sex on her in 2006 in what appeared to be a child's bedroom in his Manhattan apartment. In addition to the NY criminal proceedings, authorities in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles and the United Kingdom are also pursuing potential criminal charges.

Vance urged other accusers to come forward, saying the investigation continues.

Weinstein, who produced movies including Pulp Fiction and Shakespeare in Love, has denied all allegations of non-consensual sex, with his attorney challenging the credibility of his accusers.

"If you are a survivor of the predatory abuse with which Mr. Weinstein is charged, there is still time to pursue justice", he said.


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