Former top entertainment executive and producer Harvey Weinstein was found guilty of rape in the third degree and a criminal sexual act in the first degree Monday in New York.
The jury convicted Weinstein of third degree rape of Jessica Mann, a former aspiring actress, as well as a count of criminal sexual act in the first degree against Mimi Haley, a former production asst. on Project Runway.
However, the jury found Weinstein not guilty on two counts of predatory sexual assault, which each carried a sentence of up to life in prison. He was also acquitted on a count of first degree rape against Mann.
Nevertheless, Weinstein is expected to spend a minimum of 5 years in jail and a maximum of 25 years. He’s also still facing a sex crimes case in Los Angeles, where he is charged with raping one woman and sexually assaulting another in separate incidents in 2013. He has yet to enter a plea in that case.
That means it’s very possible Weinstein could end up going to jail for the rest of his life, considering his age of 67. He is heading to jail to await his sentencing on March 11.
Many are touting this result as a win for investigative journalism in the #MeToo era. The allegations against Weinstein were first reported in Oct. 2017 by The New York Times investigative reporters Megan Twohey and Jodi Kantor.
Then, of course there were Ronan Farrow’s series of stories for the New Yorker on Weinstein, stories which actually began when Farrow was a correspondent for NBC News. He’d been assigned to look into allegations against the Hollywood mogul in late 2016. By the summer of 2017 he was close to being able to report what he had, but NBC brass claimed there wasn’t enough, and gave him the go-ahead to take his reporting elsewhere.
However, Farrow’s producer at NBC News Rich McHugh told the New York Times in Aug. 2018 that NBC blocked Farrow’s investigation into Weinstein, and said the move was “a massive breach of journalistic integrity.” The Times and The Daily Beast reported NBC News threatened to “smear” Farrow if he continued reporting on Weinstein, even after he left the network.
NBC News ended up pushing back against McHugh and the reports, and denied his characterization of what happened. The network maintained its long-held stance that Farrow’s story was not ready to go to air when he brought it to NBC brass in July 2017.
So Farrow took the reporting to the Condé Nast magazine, and From Aggressive Overtures to Sexual Assault: Harvey Weinstein’s Accusers Tell Their Stories hit NewYorker.com on Oct. 10, 2017.
The rest is history. Farrow’s series on Weinstein went on to win multiple prizes, including a 2018 Pulitzer.
McHugh was overjoyed at the outcome, tweeting earlier today:
Sitting in court just now, hearing that guilty verdict, watching Harvey be remanded—absolutely gratifying. #WeinsteinTrial
— Rich McHugh (@RichMcHugh) February 24, 2020
Fox News’ Martha MacCallum had McHugh on her show, The Story, Monday night. The conversation focused on McHugh’s allegation that NBC spiked their story. MacCallum went so far as to ask McHugh if he thinks “there any repercussions for them” (meaning NBC News chairman Andy Lack and NBC News president Noah Oppenheim) given the outcome of the case.