Entertainment mogul Harvey Weinstein pleaded not guilty on Monday to new charges that he sexually assaulted a woman in 2006. New York (Manhattan) Supreme Court Justice James Burke released Weinstein on $1 million bail.
The new charges, levied by an unidentified woman, include two counts of predatory sexual assault, one of the most serious sexual offenses, punishable by a maximum sentence of life in prison. Weinstein also faces charges from two other women.
Weinstein’s lawyer, Ben Brafman, said the #MeToo offender is moving beyond denying the accusations and has stacked up “overwhelming evidence” from emails and witness accounts that discredits the three women who have pressed criminal charges.
Weinstein has already forfeited his passport, has an ankle monitor, and has to stay away from the three women. He’s due back in court Sept. 20.
On Wednesday, a Delaware judge gave private equity firm Lantern Capital the green light to buy Weinstein’s bankrupt movie company for $289 million.
Attorneys negotiated the price down from $310 million after concerns over millions of dollars still owed on contracts threatened to halt the deal. Lantern agreed to set aside $8.75 million to satisfy outstanding contracts and to cover the company’s operating expenses since June 29 if the Weinstein Company reduced the price. It is unclear whether this new sale has a designated victim compensation fund.
Actors such as Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Brad Pitt, and Bradley Cooper filed an objection to the sale Monday, claiming the contract gives no guarantee they will be paid money they are owed. The claims will be resolved after the sale closed Friday. —Harvest Prude