Harvey Weinstein will not take the stand at his sex crimes trial in Los Angeles, where he is charged with seven counts of rape and sexual assault, his lawyer said Monday.
The disgraced movie mogul also refused to testify at his 2020 trial in Manhattan, where he was convicted of two felonies: third-degree rape and one count of first-degree criminal sex act.
He has pleaded not guilty in both trials and denies all charges of non-consensual sex. He is currently serving a 23-year prison sentence in New York.
Weinstein’s attorney, Mark Werksman, told Judge Lisa B. Lench Monday morning that his client would not take the stand in his own defense.
Lench reminded Weinstein that he has the right to testify. Weinstein confirmed that he understood.
Los Angeles prosecutors rested their case before the Thanksgiving holiday, after nearly four weeks of testimony from 44 witnesses.
Jennifer Siebel Newsom, a documentary filmmaker and actress married to California Governor Gavin Newsom, offered the most harrowing testimony from the trial yet. She testified in graphic terms about the night he allegedly raped her in a hotel suite.
The Los Angeles trial posed greater risks for prosecutors after the New York State Court of Appeals agreed in August to allow Weinstein to appeal his conviction there.
If New York’s conviction is upheld, he would serve the remainder of his 23-year sentence. If overturned, his fate would depend on the outcome of his trial in Los Angeles. If he is convicted in Los Angeles, he could face life in prison in California.
The charges against Weinstein in Los Angeles are two counts of rape and five other counts of sexual assault.
In the 1990s and 2000s, Weinstein and his younger brother, Bob, were titans of the movie industry, producing seminal films like “Pulp Fiction” and distributing Oscar-winning dramas like “The English Patient,” “Shakespeare in Love” and “The King’s Speech.”
The stories inspired a broader recognition of abuses of power in entertainment and other high-profile industries that quickly became known as the #MeToo movement.