Harvey Weinstein is leaving court in New York on February 10, 2020. - Mark Lennihan / AP / SIPA
Film producer Harvey Weinstein confirmed on Tuesday that he would not testify during his sexual assault trial, ending the depositions and paving the way for the final pleadings and jury deliberations, which promise to be complicated.
Even if no one expected the 67-year-old producer to testify, defense lawyers briefly hinted at the possibility on Tuesday. After having retired for a long time with their client, they however confirmed to the judge that he would not testify. Defendants in US criminal trials are not required to speak, by virtue of their right not to incriminate themselves.
"Mr. Weinstein was ready, willing and even very keen to testify," said one of his lawyers, Arthur Aidala, out of the Manhattan court. But his lawyers "told him it was not worth it" because "the prosecutors have miserably failed to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt," he added.
The notion of consent more vague than in most trials
Six women have, since January 22, testified for the prosecution in this emblematic trial of the #MeToo movement, claiming that the ex-Hollywood tycoon, who has become a pariah for public opinion, had sexually assaulted them.
If Harvey Weinstein has been accused of harassment or sexual assault by more than 80 women, he is only tried at this trial for two alleged assaults in New York: alleged rape of an aspiring actress, Jessica Mann, in 2013 , and forced cunnilingus on a former production assistant, Mimi Haleyi, in 2006. But in these two cases, the key notion of consent turns out to be more vague than in most trials for sexual assault, according to experts interviewed. by AFP. The two women admitted at trial that they had had at least one sexual relationship with Harvey Weinstein after the alleged assault.
- Sexual assault
- Harvey Weinstein