Moving beyond rote denials, Harvey Weinstein is playing a leading role in shaping what his lawyer said Monday will be an aggressive defense to sexual assault charges that could put him in prison for the rest of his life.
The 66-year-old disgraced Hollywood mogul was escorted by elbow into the court room in handcuffs, his face pasty and pale, and dressed in a dark suit, white shirt and dark tie.
Earlier charges included two counts of rape and one count of criminal sexual act.
An updated indictment unveiled last week alleges the former movie mogul performed a forcible sex act on a woman in 2006. Weinstein was charged after a months-long investigation by the New York Police Department.
Manhattan Supreme Court Justice James Burke said that bail conditions will remain the same and Weinstein will not be under house arrest. Weinstein's bail arrangement was not changed and he was allowed to return to his home in CT.
Weinstein previously forfeited his passport and is fitted with an electronic monitoring bracelet.
His career imploded in October in a blaze of accusations of sexual misconduct and abuse from dozens of women that triggered a major reckoning about harassment in the workplace and the #MeToo movement. Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzzi, the lead prosecutor, began the proceeding by asking that Weinstein instead be confined to house arrest in Manhattan given the more serious charges he now faces.
Brafman has said his client maintains all the allegations are false and he will be vindicated.
Haleyi said Weinstein forcibly performed oral sex on her in 2006 in what appeared to be a child's bedroom in his Manhattan apartment.
"He [has been] very helpful to the defense so far", his lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, told reporters outside the courtroom, after revealing that Weinstein has been working as a paralegal.
"Mr. Weinstein is not a predator, he is not a rapist and I believe that when this case is over, we will ultimately see him be exonerated", Brafman said.
"Proof beyond a reasonable doubt should be the only way someone gets convicted", he added.
Reporting by The New York Times and New Yorker that brought down Weinstein and spawned the sexual harassment watershed won the Pulitzer Prize for public service, the most prestigious award in USA journalism.
He did not provide any more details about Weinstein's involvement in the first, such as whether he is paid for his work or if he's assisting with cases other than his own. They include: the film actor Rose McGowan, who said Weinstein raped her in 1997 in Utah; the Sopranos actor Annabella Sciorra, who said he raped her in her NY apartment in 1992; and the Norwegian actor Natassia Malthe, who said he attacked her in a London hotel room in 2008.
The Associated Press generally does not identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they consent to being identified publicly.