This post is based on the article published by Mikaprok blog
On March 11th, Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein was sentenced to 23 years in prison, while a group representing his accusers said “no amount of jail time will repair the lives he ruined, the careers he destroyed.”
A jury convicted Weinstein last month of third-degree rape of Jessica Mann, a former aspiring actress, and a count of criminal sexual act in the first degree against Mimi Haley, a former “Project Runway” production assistant.
Weinstein was sentenced to 20 years for criminal sexual act in the first degree and three years for rape in the third degree to be served consecutively for assaulting the two women in New York. He was also sentenced to 10 years of post-release supervision for both charges.
The former producer could have got as little as five years, but the judge’s decision was much closer to the maximum 29 years he faced. The judge also said Weinstein must register as a sex offender.
Lead prosecutor Joan Illuzzi-Orbon also asked for a maximum or a near-maximum sentence, saying Weinstein “would never have been stopped from hurting more lives.”
“He has been using and abusing people his whole life,” she said.
Weinstein’s defense attorneys, for their part, requested that he be sentenced to five years. Damon Cheronis, one of the ex-producer’s lawyers, argued that his client deserved leniency because of the “collateral consequences” he has faced due to the wave of allegations against him and the New York trial.
“Weinstein cannot walk outside without being heckled, he has lost his means to earn a living, simply put, his fall from grace has been historic, perhaps unmatched in the age of social media,” Cheronis wrote in a letter.
In all, more than 80 women have accused the disgraced Oscar-winning producer.
He still also faces a sex crimes case in Los Angeles, where he is charged with raping one woman and sexually assaulting another in separate incidents on two consecutive days in 2013. He has yet to enter a plea in that case.
The 23-year prison sentence clearly takes none of this into account – the entire public being against him and Weinstein begin guilty even before the trials, his deteriorating health, and a sentence that goes far beyond his life expectancy, or that there are several cases.
Depending on the state in the US, first-degree murder can be a 20-year prison sentence. In collusion and the forming of an organized group one can get 25 years or even life. There is a further step – several, “consecutive” life sentences, or even in states like Texas – the electric chair.
Something 29-year sentences are given for tax crimes in terms of disposing of important property. For example, scapegoats in 2008 were sent to prison for 10-40 years.
There is no doubt that the extreme sentence was given to given a sense of legitimacy and justification for the #meToo witch hunt.
At the same time, some insight should be provided in Weinstein’s finances and his company and what could have potentially led to this backlash against him:
- The Weinstein brothers (Bob and Harvey) owned Miramax, which was sponsored, in particular, by one of the shareholders of the 20th century Fox and Disney.
- In 1993, Miramax was bought by Disney for $ 60 million, and 15% was left to the brothers.
- The two brothers, by 2005 sold their stake and departed the company.
- Immediately, the Weinstein Company was made, which actually duplicates Miramax and, in part, claims to be intellectual property of Miramax.
- Weinstein Company progressively developed until 2008, when the crisis ensued and a change in funding followed, in the way that it was significantly cut.
- From 2011 to 2017 inclusively, the Weinstein Company, in addition to its main activity, was involved in proceedings with rights to movies from 1993-2005 and commission fees from that activity.
What happened to Miramax?
- In 2010, the company was sold to the Qatari fund, judging by the structuring of the transaction, solely for shifting the cache from one pocket to another.
- In 2011, the happy-to-receive Miramax Qatar Investment Authority agreed to host films on online venues around the world, including Hulu, Netflix, etc.
- The cost of Miramax reached $1 billion, which is not bad for an organization with a staff of 5 lawyers, 1 general director and 1 accountant.
- In 2013, the Weinstein Company agreed to redistribute part of the profits from the rights to old films.
- It turned out that there are not so many films and the owner of the rights has a lot of obligations for its distribution.
- In 2016, the Weinstein Company entered into negotiations for a deal to buy Miramax with all of its films.
- Instead, it was re-sold to another Qatari foundation, this time under Al Jazeera.
Essentially, the money in Miramax was continuously hidden, due to the incomplete legal transparency of transactions with Disney.
Then Harvey Weinstein “was put in a cage”, Bob Weinstein was given a little money for the right to refuse his share in the deal being prepared. The Weinstein Company, with their rights to the Disney film collection, is declared bankrupt.
Out of the blue, having filed a lawsuit exceeding the company’s value against them, they passed it to a certain Lantern Entertainment, an intermediary who paid $289 million (in shares) for a gigantic collection of films and an exclusive Tarantino contract with the Weinsteins (among other things).
Then, several participants in the dispute enter into a dispute over the Lantern Entertainment (Weinstein Company) collection. All but one fall off. The only bidder is trading for several million dollars in cash to buy the entire Weinstein heritage. This is ViacomCBS.
Half of Miramax (the half that holds the rights to films, not equipment) is bought from the Qatari fund by the company, which as a result received all contracts with the platforms. Also by ViacomCBS.
At ViacomCBS, Sumner Redstone is the main shareholder and still managing director. He is 96 years old, he has lost his physical ability to speak, he has known, and very open ties to the Clinton family, as well as being one of the main supporters of the Democratic party in the US.
Both his daughter and son are on the ViacomCBS board of directors.
He owns the largest private cinema chain in the USA. He is a co-owner of the first of the Qatari intermediary funds.
Thus, Harvey Weinstein quarreled over approximately $900 million with Sumner Redstone.
Billionaires such as Redstone-Rothstein are the symbol of the #meToo movement, as it is becoming more and more apparent.
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