New York (AFP)
Harvey Weinstein, the ousted film producer who has already been charged with two sexual assaults, pleaded not guilty to two new sexual assault charges in New York on Monday.
The beginning of the trial of the former Hollywood magnate, scheduled for early September, has been postponed until January 6, 2020, to give time to co-founder Miramax Studios and The Weinstein Company to prepare his defense.
Questioned by Judge James Burke asking if he wanted to go to trial, Harvey Weinstein laughed and answered "not really".
The Manhattan prosecutor's office said on Thursday that it had obtained a new indictment in this case, which became emblematic of the #MeToo movement, without disclosing its content.
The former 67-year-old film producer, who has always ensured that her sexual relations were granted, has already been accused of sexual abuse ranging from harassment to rape by more than 80 women, including many celebrities.
For a long time one of the powerful Hollywood figures, he was hitherto prosecuted only for two alleged assaults, a sexual assault in 2006 on a production assistant, and a rape in 2013 on a woman remained anonymous.
But the new indictment would include the testimony of actress Annabella Sciorra, known for the series "The Sopranos", according to some American media.
By October 2017, in a New Yorker article that helped trigger the #MeToo movement, she accused Weinstein of raping her in 1993 at her home in Manhattan.
Sciorra, however, reportedly contacted the prosecutor too late for her allegations - too old to be formally prosecuted - to be in the previous indictment, the prosecutor in charge of the case said in a letter to the judge quoted by the New York Times.
The judge, James Burke, refused at first, on the grounds that the actress had not previously testified before a grand jury, as is the American procedure.
The prosecutor would therefore hope, with the new indictment, to obtain a green light from Ms. Sciorra's testimony.
© 2019 AFP