As Harvey Weinstein stood in court listening to prosecutors outline the charges against him Friday, the formerly powerful film producer mostly stood with his mouth open and his eyes low.
Then finally, as Manhattan assistant attorney Joan Illuzzi-Orbon crystalized the accusations against him, there was a change in expression. “This defendant used his position, money and power to lure young women into situations where he was able to violate them sexually,” she said, causing Weinstein to raise his brows, almost as though surprised to hear it.
Shortly afterwards Weinstein slipped out a rear entrance of the court as his attorney Benjamin Brafman came to the front to address reporters. He said his client would plead not guilty to the charges of rape, sexual abuse, sexual misconduct and a criminal sex act in relation to two different women.
Brafman called the charges “constitutionally flawed” and “not supported by the facts”, and he reiterated Weinstein’s claim that all the sexual activities he engaged in with his accusers was consensual.
Earlier in the morning Weinstein surrendered himself to police at Manhattan’s first precinct before being transferred a short distance to central booking in handcuffs. Stone-faced and sullen, Weinstein was marched into the court building with officers on either side, interlocking their arms with his.
From his surrender to his handcuffed “perp walk” to his quiet exit from the courthouse rear on bail, the first stage of Weinstein’s reckoning was only about a three-hour affair, but it played out in a drama watched by photographers and TV cameras and broadcast to the whole world.
It was a remarkable public denouement for a man once seen as a supremely influential figure in the global entertainment industry. It was also a costly one.
In the courthouse Weinstein and his attorney cut a $1m check to secure his bond, or 10% of the $10m bail that was set, as is customary in most US jurisdictions. Weinstein agreed to wear an ankle monitor and to not travel beyond New York and Connecticut as he awaits the next phase of the criminal proceedings.
Attorney Carrie Goldberg who represents Lucia Evans, one of the victims in the charges Weinstein faced today, called his arraignment “an emotional moment”.
“We are relieved and grateful that justice is coming, but we also mourn the cases where it didn’t,” she said.
Weinstein has been accused of sexual misconduct, assault, coercion and or rape by in excess of 50 women.
The Associated Press contributed to this report