Harvey Weinstein is out on bail. Incredible.
The allowances made at Friday morning’s arraignment — Weinstein turning himself in looking clean and bookish, rather than be taken into custody in a 4 am bust — may set the tone for the entire trial. No detail is too small, as the press, prosecutors and Weinstein himself, the ultimate showman, knows.
It’s why the New York Times gleefully noted that upon turning himself in, cops used “three sets of handcuffs to accommodate his girth.” It’s why Weinstein toted two books into the police precinct as if leisurely overseeing some busywork. It’s why one of those books was a biography of director Elia Kazan, whose testimony before the House Committee on Unamerican Activities in 1952 rendered him a Hollywood pariah or martyr, depending on your view. It’s why one of the officers leading Weinstein through his perp walk was a woman.
And it’s why Harvey Weinstein, on that very perp walk, looked down and smirked.
Really, why shouldn’t he? What consequence has truly befallen him? Let’s not forget that in 2015, police were ready to arrest Weinstein for sexual assault until Manhattan D.A. Cy Vance put a stop to it. And shortly thereafter, Vance took a $10,000 donation from Weinstein’s defense attorney.
Vance, incredibly, remains the Manhattan D.A. investigating other claims against Weinstein.
How is this possible?
Weinstein’s criminal defense attorney in this case, Benjamin Brafman, infamously and successfully defended former IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn against charges he sexually assaulted a hotel maid in New York in 2012. (That case ended in a reported $6 million settlement to the alleged victim.)
Brafman felt emboldened enough to imply that Weinstein’s arraignment is a result of “the movement” — too insignificant and hysterical to name — “that seems to have overtaken this case.”
Brafman was equally comfortable implying that the 80-plus women who have accused Weinstein of threats or assault are simply overreacting to boorish behavior — behavior in which they are complicit.
“Mr. Weinstein did not create the casting couch in Hollywood,” Brafman told the judge.
It’s why Weinstein strode into court knowing he’d stride right back out, handing over $1 million in bail and his passport — even though deep reporting in the New Yorker and the New York Times revealed Weinstein as a serial predator and rapist who has hired ex-Mossad to spy on his alleged victims. And even as one alleged victim has an order of protection against Weinstein in this case, he is allowed to move freely between New York and Connecticut.
Sure, he has to wear an ankle bracelet, but are investigators tapping his phones? Monitoring his email? If we’ve learned nothing, isn’t it how diabolical, vengeful and outright dangerous Harvey Weinstein truly is?
“I’m the f—king sheriff of this f—king lawless piece of s—t town,” Weinstein once told reporter and author Rebecca Traister. In her recollection, Weinstein followed up that declaration by pushing her then-boyfriend down a flight of stairs and dragging him on to Sixth Avenue in a headlock. The problem? Weinstein didn’t like a question she’d posed about “O,” a Miramax production lost to the dustbin of history.
Harvey Weinstein should find no haven here. Like his disgraced compatriots Charlie Rose, Matt Lauer et. al, he clearly believes he’s done nothing wrong. It’s bad enough that Rose and Lauer still walk among us, heads held high as they dine at Michael’s or loll about the Hamptons.
Harvey Weinstein should be treated as the utter pariah he is. He should be unwelcome at every door and shunned at every event, just another sleazy character this f—king lawless f—king piece of s—t town can’t wait to put away.
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