NewsBirthday in prison: ex-mogul Weinstein turns 70

Birthday in prison: ex-mogul Weinstein turns 70

From Hollywood producer to convicted sex offender: The allegations against Harvey Weinstein sparked the global MeToo movement. Now he is celebrating his 70th birthday in prison.

Los Angeles/New York – It’s not a fancy address where Harvey Weinstein will celebrate his 70th birthday on Saturday (March 19).

Only about ten kilometers east of Hollywood, but infinitely far from his former glamor world, the ex-film producer is currently being held in the “Twin Towers” prison in a seedy neighborhood of Los Angeles. According to official information, a total of around 2,800 prisoners are currently housed behind the seven-storey, windowless facade.

Relief over Weinstein verdict

The once rich and powerful Hollywood mogul, who produced hit films such as “The English Patient”, “Pulp Fiction”, “Good Will Hunting” and “Gangs of New York” with his company and himself won an Oscar for “Shakespeare in Love”. , has fallen deeply. In March 2020, a New York judge sentenced Weinstein to 23 years in prison for sex crimes after a jury found him guilty of charges including rape and sexual assault. The sentence was a “warning to all sex offenders and violent partners in all sectors of society,” said then-district attorney Cyrus Vance. Many of the more than 80 women who accuse Weinstein of sexual assault were grateful and relieved.

The allegations against Weinstein, first published in the fall of 2017 by the New York Times and New Yorker magazine, sparked the MeToo movement. Around the world, many women, and some men as well, recognized their own stories in those of the alleged Weinstein victims – they began collecting these stories under the catchphrase “Me too.” In the course of the MeToo movement, other prominent and influential people have already lost their jobs or have been accused, such as comedian Bill Cosby.

Company broke, divorced and friendless

Weinstein, who was born into a wealthy family in the New York borough of Queens in 1952 and now mostly uses a wheelchair due to health problems, has rejected many of the allegations and also emphasized his sense of guilt in court in New York. “I feel great remorse for all women.” The father of five could save little with it. His second wife, the fashion designer Georgina Chapman, has divorced him, the many celebrity friends with whom the ex-producer once appeared publicly have almost all distanced themselves from him, and his company is broke.

In addition, his legal battles are not over yet. In Los Angeles, he was also charged with rape and sexual assault. In July 2021, he was transferred from a New York State prison to the Los Angeles facility where he is currently being held. He is waiting there for his next trial, his lawyer Mark Werksman told the German Press Agency.

Inmate number 6217733

There are 11 charges, including rape. Overall, the case revolves around allegations by five women relating to the period from 2004 to 2013. The ex-producer has pleaded “not guilty” – but has already been dismissed with a motion to drop the charges. The next hearing is scheduled for early May. The start of the process could follow this year.

Until then, Weinstein will remain number 6217733 on the inmate register of the Twin Towers prison: gray hair, 1.82 meters tall, and weighs 113 kilograms, according to the agency’s website. Little is made public about his condition. At the request of the German Press Agency, the prison management said that each person in their custody was entitled to medical care, exercise in the yard, calls, showers and food. Two half-hour visits per week are allowed.

Bringing along gifts such as sweets is strictly prohibited. But that’s exactly what made Weinstein the headlines recently when guards found and confiscated caramel-filled chocolate candies from the ex-film producer after a lawyer’s visit, according to Variety. “It won’t happen again,” Weinstein apologized. He follows the rules and regulations and is a “model prisoner”. dpa

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