Manhattan Judge Rules That Harvey Weinstein Case Will Proceed To March 7 Pre-Trial Hearing

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Disgraced Hollywood media mogul Harvey Weinstein, a key catalyst behind the widely-revived #MeToo movement, will be going to trial. On Thursday Judge James Burke rejected Weinstein’s legal request to dismiss the remaining five counts of sexual misconduct and rape charged by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office. The case is scheduled for a pre-trial hearing on March 7. The judge previously dismissed one of the initial sex counts involving allegations by Lucia Evans.

Vanity Fair writes that the courtroom was packed with reporters and supporters of the Time’s Up movement. Actors Marisa Tomei, Kathy Najimy, and Amber Tamblyn joined Time’s Up President and CEO Lisa Borders, who said that she was “relieved that Harvey Weinstein failed” in his efforts to have the charges dismissed.

The case remains complicated, especially after the dismissal of one count against Weinstein. With the case proceeding, Judge Burke’s rulings around evidence will heavily influence the case.

Attorney Alan Dershowitz, who was brought on by Weinstein’s lead attorney Ben Brafman as a consultant, says defense emails contradict claims that the sexual encounters were forced.

The Hollywood Reporter wrote this week that Brafman has already presented a series of emails to Weinstein from accuser Miriam "Mimi" Haleyi, who wrote endearments like "Miss you too," "Lots of Love" and "xxxxx" in the years after a 2006 encounter in New York in which she says she was sexually assaulted by the producer. In October 2017, Haleyi made one of the most salacious accusations against Weinstein when she said during a press conference, with attorney Gloria Allred at her side, that the Oscar winner pulled out her tampon and orally forced himself on her.

“You can’t both accuse someone publicly and then hide behind privacy to keep highly relevant evidence out,” says Dershowitz. “The evidence I’ve seen doesn’t embarrass anyone. It suggests a loving relationship that seems fairly commonplace. For people who say, ‘This is the way that people behave [after an assault] and you can’t make judgments on these things,’ well that’s for the public to judge and for courts to judge.”

Dershowitz adds, “I believe that if a grand jury and the public were to see these emails, they would come to a very different conclusion about what happened. The emails show consensual relationships between Weinstein and his accusers both before and after the alleged crimes allegedly occurred.”

It must also be noted that lawyer Brafman represented Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who won a high profile New York legal case involving a maid at his hotel.

"Credibility and reliability of the government's witnesses is obviously an essential consideration for any good prosecutor," says Greenberg Traurig's Mathew S. Rosengart, himself a former prosecutor. "This was particularly true in this matter because Brafman is masterful at picking apart witnesses and creating reasonable doubt based upon law enforcement or other errors. He did that in the Dominique Strauss-Kahn case against this very same DA's office."

November 1 Google Global Walkout Demands End To Sexual Harassment and Systemic Racism In 'Destructive' Corporate Culture

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At 11:10 am, Thursday morning November 1, thousands of Google employes worldwide stood up and walked out of their offices as participants in the Google Walkout. The global demonstration was triggered over their employer’s mishandling of sexual-misconduct allegations that surrounded Android creator Andy Rubin.

The Rubin case is not new. On October 25, the New York Times publishing a damning exposé that revealed Google had paid a shocking $90 million to Android creator Andy Rubin, who resigned in 2014 following a sexual-misconduct investigation. Per the report, Rubin “coerced [a female co-worker] into performing oral sex in a hotel room” in 2013 — allegations she reported a year later, which Google investigated and found credible.

Beyond the $90 million payout, Google’s then chief executive Larry Page celebrated Rubin’s career, without making public the reason for his departure. Page demanded Rubin’s resignation, after details of the situation between two Google execs was revealed. Rubin’s case is one of three high-profile Google executives accused of sexual misconduct charges.

The bottom line of the Times article isn’t that Google took no action in dealing with the sexual misconduct claims. Rather, the inference is that Google prioritized its own interests in not having the employee be fired without a payout and join a competitive company.

Google’s Thursday strikers demanded that the company enact a handful of specific changes that address larger topics in the days of #MeToo. The umbrella of changes coalesce under the overarching demand for an “end to the sexual harassment, discrimination, and the systemic racism that fuel this destructive culture.”

“All employees and contract workers across the company deserve to be safe,” reads an open letter they published on the Cut. “Sadly, the executive team has demonstrated through their lack of meaningful action that our safety is not a priority. We’ve waited for leadership to fix these problems, but have come to this conclusion: no one is going to do it for us. So we are here, standing together, protecting and supporting each other.”

New York Magazine’s The Cut also shows pics of demonstrations from Mountain View to Dublin, Cambridge, New York City, Seattle, Tokyo, Zurich and more.

Related: We’re the Organizers of the Google Walkout. Here Are Our Demands New York Magazine

Ana Juan's New Yorker Cover Targets America's Onslaught Against Women's Voices

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I am among the women REALLY STRUGGLING with this blackout concept on FB. Apparently, another one is in effect today. I just don't get it. We're living in a moment when large #s of American men want us to shut up -- and these American women are happy to comply, thinking we will be missed.

We won't be missed, sillies. I'm shocked you can't see that. If this is your vision of political power, we are really sunk. Did people of color go black in the Civil Rights movement? Feminism is so messed up in this country.

At any rate, this new cover of The New Yorker by Ana Juan of Charlie Hebdo fame might be a compromise position. I resist changing my profile pic on a rotating basis, but I could go with this new visual to describe the coming onslaught against women worldwide and that includes America.

In a moment of irony, Ana Juan originally submitted a version of this cover as a request for one about the #MeToo movement. After careful consideration, the New Yorker passed on the cover idea. And then Christine Blasey Ford happened, telling her story about how Judge Brett Kavanaugh, most probably our next Supreme Court justice, sexually assaulted her in 1982.

The New Yorker reached out to Ana Juan, asking her for the original submission below. Unable to find it, Ana Juan asked for 30 minutes to create a new version, one that is a much stronger graphic treatment from the original. It seems very appropriate in this moment.

Women who suggest the best forms of political action on Facebook are blackouts frighten me almost as much as the men who are determined to put American women in our places. Yet, I’m a dreaded compromise-seeker trying to hold America together from opposing forces wanting to rip her in two. Ana Juan has given me a visual lifeline for my own Facebook profile picture.

Bottom line, though, silence is not golden at this moment. And the disappearance of American women from the public sphere is just fine with Republican men, as far as this woman perceives the situation.

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