Harvey Weinstein’s trial commences today in Manhattan Criminal Court, over two years since Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey published their report on the scores of women—now more than 80—he is alleged to have raped, assaulted, or otherwise harassed. For this particular trial, centering on two unnamed accusers, Weinstein is charged with five counts of predatory sex acts, criminal sex acts, and rape. He faces life in prison.
Gloria Allred, who represents some of Weinstein’s accusers (including actor Anabella Sciorra, who will testify in this trial), spoke to reporters outside the court Monday morning. “This is the age of the empowerment of women,” she said, “and we’re very happy that now Mr. Weinstein is going to have to confront the evidence against him and the witnesses. And we’ll see what his defense is.”
Actor Rosanna Arquette, who has said that her career was upended after she rejected Weinstein’s harassment attempt in the 1990s, waited outside the courthouse early Monday morning. She will not testify but will be present in the courtroom to show support for her fellow accusers. “I feel very protective,” she told the Guardian on Sunday. “Whatever happens, it’s still going to be hard for the people that came forward.”
Weinstein arrived at the courthouse using his walker—he underwent routine back surgery last month—and surrounded by his lawyers. In December, TMZ reported that “the surgery went well and he’s now recovering.”
Update, 10:03 a.m.: Rose McGowan spoke at a press conference outside the courthouse, addressing Weinstein directly. “Today, Lady Justice is staring down a super-predator,” she said. “You.”