Disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, jailed for 16 years for rape and sexual assault, is pleading “please don’t give me a life sentence, I shouldn’t”.
Weinstein, 70, will serve his 23-year sentence in New York in 2020 on a sexual misconduct conviction.
Therefore, it is highly likely that he will spend the rest of his life in prison.
Weinstein pleaded for clemency as he was sentenced to his latest sentence in a Los Angeles court on Thursday.
In 2013, he was sentenced for raping an actress, named in court only as Jane Doe 1, at a Los Angeles hotel.
A jury found him guilty of rape, forced oral sex and sexual assault with a foreign object in December.
Weinstein said: “It’s a made-up story. Doe is an actress. She can bring tears to your eyes.
“Please don’t give me a life sentence. I don’t deserve it. There are many problems with this case.
“There are too many loopholes. There are too many problems with this case.
“It’s a trap. It’s not the way to do things in this situation.”
He finally added: “I beg your mercy.”
Dave Ring, Jane Doe 1’s attorney, said after the sentencing: “Today’s sentence provides closure and relief to Jane Doe 1, knowing that Weinstein will spend the rest of his life in the prison to which he belongs.
“It took tremendous courage for Doe and the other victims to come forward and testify…Weinstein had no choice.”
Weinstein spokesman slams ‘brutal sentencing’
The disgraced producer will now spend the rest of his life in prison “where he belongs,” a lawyer for another of Weinstein’s victims said afterwards.
Weinstein, once one of the most powerful figures in Hollywood, said all of his sexual encounters were consensual and pleaded not guilty in the Los Angeles case.
Prosecutors are asking for a 24-year “high” sentence because of the previous conviction, rather than the 18-year “intermediate” sentence under California law.
Louisette Gass, one of Weinstein’s plaintiffs, said after the verdict: “While I am disappointed that Judge Lankey did not sentence Harvey Weinstein to the maximum 18 years, no amount of prison time Erase the damage Weinstein has done to life and society. The careers of his survivors, including me.”
Weinstein’s team opposed the district attorney’s recommendation for a lengthy, serial sentence against his “advanced age and deteriorating health.”
A spokesman for Weinstein said after the sentencing: “Given his age, health and the conditions of his conviction in Los Angeles, it was a brutal sentence when the only charge came from a liar, judge and prosecutors. The judge is well aware of it and allows it, on key elements of her own claim.
“It’s not justice, it’s a bunch of people who a lot of people have just decided should be cast aside and discarded regardless of the facts.”
The women who fought Harvey Weinstein in court
The jury acquitted Weinstein of charges related to the second alleged victim, but failed to reach a unanimous verdict on the charges of the other two accusers.
One of them is documentary filmmaker Jennifer Siebel Newsom, now the wife of California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who has revealed she was the rape victim known in court records as the Doe Four.
Weinstein appeals New York conviction
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Lisa Lench declared a mistrial on the stalled charges.
Defense attorneys argued that the women voluntarily had sex with Weinstein because they believed Weinstein would advance their careers, in part because of what they said was the “casting couch” culture that prevailed in the film industry.
In two of the cases, they said the alleged sexual encounters were fabricated.
Weinstein was convicted of sexual misconduct in February 2020 in New York.
He was extradited from New York to a Los Angeles prison in July 2021.
Weinstein is appealing his conviction and prison sentence in New York.
The allegations against Weinstein fueled the #MeToo movement, which encourages women to speak out about sexual harassment and abuse by powerful men in certain industries.
The movement, which went viral on social media in 2017, aims to break a culture of silence that has long allowed such behavior to go unchallenged.