Harvey Weinstein says he is innocent in sentencing for rape End-shutdown

Harvey Weinstein made a final statement in court on Thursday, just before a judge sentenced him to 16 years in prison.

“I maintain that I am innocent,” he said. “I have never raped or sexually assaulted Jane Doe 1. I have never met this woman, and the fact is, she does not know me. It’s about money and chasing me.”

Weinstein did not rise to address the court, saying he had a spinal condition. From his chair, he took aim at a “cottage industry of lawyers” that “puts victims on the stand” and then files civil lawsuits.

“I did not rape this woman. I did not see this woman. She perjured herself,” Weinstein said. “This is a made-up story. With all due respect, Jane Doe 1 is an actress and can bring tears to your eyes.”

Weinstein also said that he does not intend to cause harm and that he is “here to bring joy.” He said that he spent many years bringing happiness to people.

“Please don’t sentence me to life in prison,” he said. “I do not deserve it. There are so many things wrong with this case. There is no evidence.”

Weinstein also noted that a couple of jurors had shown up for sentencing, which he said “says a lot.” The defense had argued that the jurors would not have voted to convict if they had been given all the facts.

“There are too many loopholes,” he said. “Too many things wrong with this case. This is not true… I was not there. This is a configuration. This is not the way to act in this situation. I beg your mercy.

Weinstein was found guilty of three counts of rape and sexual assault by a Los Angeles jury in December. He is already serving a 23-year sentence, after being convicted of rape and sexual assault in 2020 in New York. He has also maintained his innocence in that case, which is on appeal before the state supreme court.

Prosecutors argued that Weinstein was a predator who used his power to lure and attack women in hotel rooms under the guise of a business meeting or audition. His defense argued that women willingly engaged in “transactional sex” because Weinstein was influential in the entertainment industry. Each of Weinstein’s legal teams has stated that he unfairly became the face of the #MeToo movement after his downfall in 2017.

Weinstein’s Los Angeles lawyers, Mark Werksman and Alan Jackson, requested a new trial, arguing that information was withheld from the jury that would have impugned the credibility of Jane Doe #1. The judge denied that request Thursday morning, before Weinstein made his closing statement.

Jurors returned a split verdict after deliberating for 10 days in December. They acquitted him of one count and were deadlocked on three others, though they voted for a conviction on each of those three counts.

After he was convicted in Los Angeles, a spokesman for Weinstein said he was “disappointed” with the verdict but vowed to “prove his innocence,” alluding to a future appeal.

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