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Friday, 14 February 2020 11:29

Factbox: How powerful was Harvey Weinstein? His film legacy paints a picture

Written by Reuters
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(Reuters) - At the heart of Harvey Weinstein’s New York rape trial is a power dynamic between a producer of some of the biggest culture-defining films of the past 20 years and two women who accuse him of abusing that stature by sexually assaulting them.

Weinstein, 67, has pleaded not guilty to raping Jessica Mann, a onetime aspiring actress, and to sexually assaulting Mimi Haleyi, a former production assistant on the show “Project Runway,” for which Weinstein was an executive producer.

Since 2017, more than 80 women have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct. He has denied the allegations and said that any encounters were consensual.

During cross-examination, Weinstein’s attorneys questioned his accusers about whether they used Weinstein to land a Hollywood acting job, highlighting the influence he once wielded.

The power Weinstein had in Hollywood is reflected by the volume of films he produced through his two companies, Miramax and The Weinstein Company. Many of those films helped catapult actors to successful careers.

Weinstein and his brother Bob founded Miramax in 1979, selling it in 1993 to the Walt Disney Co for $80 million. (Disney later sold Miramax.) The men stayed on until 2005, when they left to start The Weinstein Company.

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