In October 2017, Hollywood movie mogul Harvey Weinstein was accused of sexual harassment in reports from The New York Times and The New Yorker, which soon grew into allegations from more than 100 women. Several Hollywood celebrities, like Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek, Cara Delevingne and Kate Beckinsale, also came forward with their stories about harassment from Weinstein.
In May 2018, Weinstein was arrested by the NYPD and indicted on charges from two women for rape, criminal sex act, sex abuse and sexual misconduct. Ken Auletta, a journalist from The New Yorker who nearly broke the Weinstein story several years earlier, says abusive behavior is no surprise in Hollywood, but Weinstein’s actions were unprecedented.
“If you go back in movie history, Hollywood history, there are untold examples of abusive behavior by studio heads,” Auletta told Variety. “Very rare were the incidents of these studio heads raping women and doing some of the things Harvey Weinstein is accused of doing, so that’s different.”
According to Auletta, the entertainment industry has never seen a criminal trial like Weinstein’s.
“The consequences of losing that trial is life in prison. The minimum sentence for rape is 20 years to life. It’s unheard of,” said Auletta.
Last week, Weinstein was charged in Los Angeles with raping one woman and sexually assaulting another in 2013. His trial in New York is expected to last two months.