For years, Democrats like Hillary Clinton could count on monster checks from one of Hollywood’s biggest producers: Harvey Weinstein. But after Weinstein was caught up in the country’s first major #MeToo scandal, he’s been whitewashed out of Democrat politics, out of his company, and out of Hollywood’s power circles.
And, as of Friday, he’s been taken into custody.
Weinstein turned himself in to the New York Police Department on Friday morning, where he is expected to be charged with the sexual assault of at least two women. News cameras were on the street as the once-untouchable power broker was escorted into the NYPD’s 1st Precinct in Lower Manhattan; Weinstein ignored shouts and taunts from paparazzi and assorted tourists gathered to watch the spectacle unfold. The surrender capped what can only be termed a total fall from grace for the mogul, who, at this time last year, was still viewed as one of the most influential producers in Los Angeles.
With a resume filled with hits like Pulp Fiction and Oscar successes like Shakespeare in Love, his pull at the box office was only matched by his pull within the Democratic Party. Weinstein has been active in politics since his Miramax production studio began churning out the hits that made Hollywood take notice in the mid-1990s. He has contributed to some of the biggest campaigns in the party’s history, he regularly held fundraisers that drew movie stars out in force, and he recruited stars and directors like Ben Affleck and Matt Damon to be just as involved in liberal politics as he was. To say that he was a megadonor for the party is almost an understatement.
Now, for Weinstein at least, the party seems to have come to an abrupt end. Following an explosive report by The New Yorker’s Ronan Farrow last fall (an investigation that NBC News, notably, passed on in the meantime), Weinstein watched his career go into freefall. As of today, he has been publicly accused of sexually aggressive misbehavior by at least 75 women, some of them prominent actresses like Rose McGowan and Annabella Sciorra. In some cases, those accusations went beyond mere misbehavior and into the realm of outright rape.
It’s not clear the exact nature of the charges Weinstein will face at the NYPD, but the AP reports that “the case will include allegations by Lucia Evans, an aspiring actress who has said the Hollywood mogul forced her to perform oral sex on him in his office. She was among the first women to speak out about the producer.”
The AP went on to report that “Weinstein was expected to be charged at least with criminal sexual act, a crime that carries up to 25 years in prison.”