The Weinstein scandal in five key dates
New York (AFP)
The scandal surrounding Harvey Weinstein erupted on October 5 last year, with the publication in The New York Times of a first series of accusations from women who claimed to have been harassed or assaulted by the movie mogul.
Since that time, more than 100 women -- A-list stars, aspiring actresses, filmmakers, models, massage therapists and more -- have accused Weinstein of everything from questionable comments to assault and rape.
But many of the cases date back more than a decade, meaning they are difficult or even impossible to prosecute.
Numerous civil suits have been filed against Weinstein and his production firm The Weinstein Company, which has been accused of facilitating his predatory behavior.
On Friday, the disgraced producer was arraigned in a New York court, charged with rape and a criminal sex act on two women.
The following are five key moments since the scandal broke:
- October 5, 2017: scandal erupts -
The New York Times publishes a bombshell investigative report featuring numerous on-the-record accusations against Weinstein over a period of nearly three decades. Actresses Ashley Judd and Rose McGowan are the highest-profile accusers.
The Times reveals that Weinstein reached non-disclosure agreements in exchange for money with at least eight women, to guarantee their silence.
In a statement, Weinstein says: "I appreciate the way I've behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologize for it." His lawyer adds that he "denies many of the accusations as patently false."
The board of The Weinstein Company, which he controls with his brother Bob, ousts him a few days later.
- October 10: First rape accusations -
Italian actress and filmmaker Asia Argento tells The New Yorker that Weinstein raped her in 1997. Two other women also accused him of sexual assault.
Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie and Rosanna Arquette join the list of women accusing Weinstein of harassment.
A spokeswoman for Weinstein says he denies all accusations of non-consensual sex.
- October 14: Academy expels Weinstein -
The board of governors of the Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences, the institution that awards the Oscars, votes to expel Weinstein, whose films had earned dozens of Academy Awards over the years.
As the weeks go by, more and more women go public with accusations against Weinstein, either on social media or directly to television cameras.
Other Hollywood celebrities come under a gloomy spotlight as well: actor Kevin Spacey and director/producer Brett Ratner are among those accused of sexual misconduct.
- November 3: 'actual case' in New York -
Criminal inquiries into Weinstein's behavior are carried out by police in London, New York and Los Angeles.
But on November 3, the New York Police Department confirms they are looking into a credible claim of rape made against Weinstein by actress Paz de la Huerta, who accuses the producer of raping her twice at her New York apartment in late 2010.
"We have an actual case here," NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce tells a news conference.
A few days later, The New Yorker reveals that Weinstein paid journalists and former spies including ex-agents of Israel's Mossad to keep his accusers from going public or to keep them quiet. Weinstein hires celebrity defense attorney Ben Brafman.
- May 25, 2018: Weinstein charged -
Weinstein is arraigned in a New York court, after surrendering to police before a mob of television cameras and photographers.
The Manhattan District Attorney's Office says he is charged with rape in the first and third degrees, stemming from an attack on a woman in 2013, and a criminal sex act against another woman in 2004. Neither victim is named.
During a fleeting court appearance, Weinstein agrees to post bail at $1 million cash and is ordered fitted with a GPS monitoring device, before being escorted out in handcuffs.
Weinstein's defense attorney says he will enter a not guilty plea.
© 2018 AFP