Entertainment

Harvey Weinstein pleads not guilty to sex charges as his lawyer ‘begins fight'

The film producer has faced numerous allegations of sexual misconduct since October.

Harvey Weinstein’s lawyer has said he is ready to “begin our fight” as the film producer pleaded not guilty to rape and criminal sex act charges.

Weinstein appeared at a Manhattan court for a hearing on Tuesday in his first public appearance since he was first charged less than two weeks ago.

He wore a black suit and tie, and was accompanied by his lawyer Benjamin Brafman as he arrived at the court to a crowd of reporters and photographers.

Sexual Misconduct Harvey Weinstein
Harvey Weinstein arrives at court in New York. He pleaded not guilty to rape and criminal sex act charges in New York (Seth Wenig/AP/PA)

Inside the court, the 66-year-old entered his plea of not guilty against the charges, which related to two separate women.

Speaking outside the court shortly after, Mr Brafman said: “Today is the first day of this process, we begin our fight now. We will fight this case in the courtroom.

“I am pleased with what happened today, we were given enough time to do our job and do it hopefully well.”

Mr Brafman said they are “going to file a series of legal motions that will get us more information and may impact the process.

He added that if they are successful, “there may not be a trial”, and that if there is, they will proceed “vigorously to try and clear Mr Weinstein’s name”.

He said he believes the two charges are “eminently defensible”, and that Weinstein will appear in court again on September 20.

Mr Brafman previously said that Weinstein intended to enter a plea of not guilty against the charges when he was first charged on May 25 in New York.

Sexual Misconduct Harvey Weinstein
Harvey Weinstein and his attorney Benjamin Brafman leave court (Seth Wenig/AP/PA)

Weinstein’s not guilty plea comes after he was indicted by a grand jury on the charges – rape in the first and third degrees, and a criminal sexual act in the first degree – last Wednesday.

He was due to face the grand jury, the panel convened by the Manhattan District Attorney, at the time, but he did not attend on the advice of his lawyers.

They said the former movie mogul did not have enough time to prepare to testify, and that he only learned on the day he was charged of the identities of the two women relating to the charges.

The day he was charged was Weinstein’s first public appearance since facing numerous allegations of sexual misconduct.

He is out on a one million dollar (£751,060) bail, and must wear an electronic tracking device at all times.

He has also surrendered his passport and has agreed to stay within the states of New York and Connecticut.

Weinstein denies all allegations of non-consensual sex.

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