Prosecutors in Los Angeles charged Harvey Weinstein on Monday with raping one woman and sexually assaulting another in separate incidents over a two-day period in 2013.
Weinstein, who appeared in a New York court earlier Monday for the start of his criminal trial on similar charges in a separate case, faces new felony charges of forcible rape, forcible oral copulation, sexual penetration by use of force and sexual battery by restraint, Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey said in a statement.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office had previously said that eight cases against Weinstein were being reviewed.
Once one of Hollywood’s most powerful producers and gatekeepers, Weinstein’s career collapsed in October 2018 after The New York Times and The New Yorker published stories detailing numerous accusations of sexual harassment and assault against him.
Since then more than 80 women have come forward with similar stories of Weinstein using his power and influence to take advantage of young female assistants and actresses over several decades. The reporting, which garnered the two outlets the Pulitzer Prize, also showed how Weinstein used his powerful team of attorneys and media allies to pressure the women into staying silent.
Weinstein, 67, arrived to court in Manhattan using a walker on Monday to begin his trial for allegedly raping a woman in 2013 and forcibly performing oral sex on another in 2006.
He faces five felony charges based on the claims by two women, one of whom remains anonymous. Several other women who say he assaulted them will also testify, including “The Sopranos” actress Annabella Sciorra, as prosecutors seek to prove he committed sex crimes against multiple women.
Weinstein has denied all allegations of “nonconsensual sexual activity” related to the New York case and other claims made against him.
Jury selection in the New York case is expected to begin Tuesday and last for two weeks, followed by arguments and testimony expected to last another 8 weeks.
In emails to CNN prior to the trial, Weinstein said that he has learned to self-reflect over the past two years.
“The past two years have been grueling and have presented me with a great opportunity for self-reflection,” Weinstein wrote. “I realize now that I was consumed with my work, my company and my drive for success. This caused me to neglect my family, my relationships and to lash out at the people around me. I have been in rehab since October 2017, and have been involved in a 12-step program and meditation. I have learned to give up my need for control.”
By Eric Levenson and Stella Chan, CNN