/Timeline: Harvey Weinsteins path to his New York City rape and sexual assault trial

Timeline: Harvey Weinsteins path to his New York City rape and sexual assault trial

It’s been more than two years since bombshell reports from the New York Times and The New Yorker magazine detailed a raft of sexual harassment and assault allegations against Hollywood movie producer Harvey Weinstein and kicked the #MeToo movement into high gear.

Since then, numerous high-profile titans of industry have stepped down or been forced from their positions, the use of non-disclosure agreements to silence victims of sexual assault has been re-examined and high-profile convictions of men like comedian Bill Cosby and gymnastics coach Larry Nassar have changed the way Americans think about sexual harassment, gender and power.

As Weinstein, who pleaded not guilty to all charges and has denied ever engaging in non-consensual sex with anyone, heads to trial in New York City this week for rape and sexual assault, here’s a look back at how this pivotal case unfolded:

2015

March 27, 2015: Italian model Ambra Battilana Gutierrez reports to New York Police Department (NYPD) detectives that Weinstein groped her during a business meeting at his office in Manhattan earlier that day. After Weinstein contacts her to request a second meeting the following evening, Gutierrez agrees to a police request to wear a wire.

March 28, 2015: During a dinner meeting at the Tribeca Grand Hotel, Weinstein asks the young actress to accompany him to his hotel room to pick something up. Reluctantly, she agrees, according to a subsequent interview with ABC News, but stops at the door and refuses to enter his room. She captures Weinstein on tape appearing to admit groping her breasts the previous day, but he dismisses his actions as meaningless. “Oh please, I’m sorry … I’m used to that. Come on, please.” he tells her, according to audio later published by Ronan Farrow in The New Yorker magazine and later released by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office.

“You’re used to that?” she replies incredulously.

“Yes,” he replies. “I won’t do it again.”

Gutierrez’s account marks the first public accusation of sexual assault against Weinstein.

Following a subsequent investigation, Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance declines to prosecute Weinstein over the incident — a decision he would be forced to defend two years later.

Oct. 6, 2015: Actress Ashley Judd claims that she was sexually harassed by a boss during the filming of 1997’s “Kiss The Girls.” Without naming the person she is accusing, who she later reveals to be Weinstein, Judd tells Variety that the man invited her her to his hotel room ostensibly to talk about her career and then tried to get her to watch him shower.

2016

Oct. 13, 2016: In a series of tweets, actress Rose McGowan alleges that she was raped by the head of a movie studio, without naming her alleged rapist. She later tells Robin Roberts on “Good Morning America” that she was referring to Weinstein.

2017

Oct. 5, 2017: In an explosive New York Times story headlined “Harvey Weinstein paid off sexual harassment accusers for decades,” reporters Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey report that Weinstein has reached at least eight settlements with women who accused him of sexual misconduct over decades. The story, which featured Judd publicly accusing Weinstein of propositioning her in 1997, sparked an avalanche of accusations from women who came forward with similar accounts and ultimately numbered 80. The story broke on a Thursday and by Monday the legendary Hollywood producer had been fired from his own company.

Oct. 6, 2017: In an appearance on “Good Morning America,” Weinstein’s then-lawyer Lisa Bloom acknowledges to ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos “yes, that there was misconduct over a period of years,” but described the behavior not as “sexual harassment” but “workplace misconduct.”

Describing Weinstein’s past actions as bad behavior and claiming he was remorseful, Bloom urged women with accusations against her client to come forward.

“I encourage them to come forward,” she told Stephanopoulos. “Harvey has authorized me to say that. This is a very different day. What do you do if you have behaved badly for 30 years? Are you going to continue or are you going to start a different approach? That’s what he’s doing.”

Bloom would resign from his legal team a day later. Meanwhile, Democrats begin announcing they would give away past contributions from Weinstein, and three members of the Weinstein Co. board resign.

Oct. 7, 2017: Lanny Davis, another prominent Weinstein lawyer, announces that he will no longer represent the Hollywood mogul.

Oct. 8, 2017: Harvey Weinstein is terminated from his own company.

Oct. 9, 2017: Oscar winner Meryl Streep, who once referred to Harvey Weinstein as “God” in an acceptance speech, says in a statement that she is “appalled” by the “disgraceful news” about him.

Oct. 10, 2017: An equally explosive story by Ronan Farrow is published in The New Yorker magazine, detailing additional sexual misconduct allegations against Weinstein by numerous women, including actresses Rosanna Arquette, Mira Sorvino and Asia Argento. The New Yorker piece also includes previously unpublished audio of Weinstein appearing to verbally pressure Gutierrez to accompany him into his New York hotel room in 2015. In a follow-up piece in the New York Times, actresses Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie also accuse Weinstein of past sexual misconduct.

Pressure on the increasingly-embattled producer skyrockets. Actors George Clooney, Kate Winslet, Jennifer Lawrence and Ben Affleck speak out publicly against Weinstein, with Clooney calling Weinstein’s behavior “indefensible” and Winslet terming it “without question disgraceful and appalling, and very, very wrong.” Democrat Hillary Clinton says in a statement that she is “shocked and appalled” by the allegations against her longtime political supporter and fundraiser. Before the month is out, 85 women will publicly accuse Weinstein of a range of sexual misconduct ranging from sexual harassment to rape.

Oct. 10, 2017: Vance’s office claims in a statement that NYPD investigators conducted a sting operation without the prior approval of Manhattan prosecutors. “While the recording is horrifying to listen to, what emerged was insufficient to prove a crime under New York law, which requires prosecutors to prove criminal intent,” Vance’s office said in a statement.

Oct. 11, 2017: Bob Weinstein calls his brother Harvey a “very sick man.”

Oct. 12, 2017: Harvey Weinstein’s wife of 10 years, Georgina Chapman, announces she is leaving him. “My heart breaks for all the women who have suffered tremendous pain because of these unforgivable actions. I have chosen to leave my husband,” she writes in a statement.

Oct. 17, 2017: Weinstein resigns from the board of Weinstein Co., days after the board had terminated him as co-chairman of the company. In a statement, a spokesman for the producer asserts that “any allegations of nonconsensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein.

“Mr. Weinstein has further confirmed that there were never any acts of retaliation against any women for refusing his advances,” the statement continued. “Mr. Weinstein obviously can’t speak to anonymous allegations, but with respect to any women who have made allegations on the record, Mr. Weinstein believes that all of these relationships were consensual,” the spokesperson said in a statement. “Mr. Weinstein has begun counseling, has listened to the community and is pursuing a better path. Mr. Weinstein is hoping that if he makes enough progress, he will be given a second chance.”

Oct. 18, 2017: Bob Weinstein again seeks to distance himself from his brother. An attorney for Bob Weinstein says on “Good Morning America” that his client couldn’t be more different from his brother Harvey. The appearance followed an allegation a day earlier from a female executive producer on a TV series produced by the Weinstein Co. Producer Amanda Segel told Variety that Bob Weinstein repeatedly made unwanted romantic overtures toward her, including asking her out to dinner. Attorney Bert Fields disputed that claim, telling “GMA,” “It is absolutely not true. What she is claiming is bogus.”

Oct. 19, 2017: Then-New York Police Department (NYPD) Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce — now an ABC News contributor — reports that the NYPD has referred allegations against the disgraced film mogul to other police departments. By this point more than three dozen women have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct, though he has yet to be charged with any crime.

Dec. 6, 2017: Six women file a federal lawsuit against Weinstein, saying his alleged efforts to conceal sexual assault allegations against him amounted to racketeering. The alleged activity was carried out by what the lawsuit called the “Weinstein Sexual Enterprise,” a group of people and entities the women say combined “to facilitate and conceal his pattern of unwanted sexual conduct.”

The lawsuit names the Weinstein Co., current and former members of its board of directors, and others “currently unknown but discoverable.” Weinstein will ultimately reach a tentative settlement for several pending cases against him in Dec. 2019 for $47 million, a source briefed on the deal confirmed to ABC News. After attorneys’ fees, roughly $31 million will be split among more than 30 of his accusers. According to the source, Weinstein’s insurance company will pay out the settlement money, and the producer will not be required to admit any wrongdoing.

2018

Jan. 25, 2018: Weinstein’s former assistant Sandeep Rehal sues him for sexual harassment, claiming in a lawsuit filed in federal court in Manhattan that she “was forced to work in a pervasive and severe sexually hostile work environment at The Weinstein Company LLC.” Rehal worked for Weinstein for two years before quitting in February 2015, according to the lawsuit.

In response Weinstein’s representative released a statement that said, “Mr. Weinstein categorically denies these claims and his lawyers will respond in the appropriate legal forum with evidence proving they are untrue. “

Feb. 22, 2018: Streep issues a statement blasting Weinstein for using her name in a bid to get a sexual misconduct class-action suit against him dismissed. “Harvey Weinstein’s attorneys’ use of my (true) statement — that he was not sexually transgressive or physically abusive in our business relationship — as evidence that he was not abusive with many OTHER women is pathetic and exploitive,” Streep writes. In response, a Weinstein spokesperson issued a statement saying that “Mr. Weinstein acknowledges the valuable input … Meryl Streep … [has] contributed to this conversation and apologizes … moving forward, Mr. Weinstein has advised his counsel to not include specific names of former associates; and to avoid whenever possible, even if they are in the public record.”

April 16, 2018: The New York Times and The New Yorker share the Pulitzer Prize in the public service category for reporters Kantor, Twohey and Farrow’s investigations into Weinstein.

April 30, 2018: Ashley Judd sues Weinstein, claiming that her “career was damaged” because she rebuffed his sexual advances. “I lost career opportunity. I lost money. I lost status and prestige and power in my career as a direct result of having been sexually harassed and rebuffing the sexual harassment,” Judd told ABC News in an interview. “My career opportunities, after having been defamed by Harvey Weinstein, were significantly diminished. … My career was damaged because I rebuffed Mr. Weinstein’s sexual advances. I know it for a fact.”

In response, a spokesperson for Weinstein tells ABC News, in part, “The most basic investigation of the facts will reveal that Mr. Weinstein neither defamed Ms. Judd nor ever interfered with Ms. Judd’s career, and instead not only championed her work but also repeatedly approved her casting for two of his movies over the next decade.”

Earlier this year, a federal judge in California dismissed Judd’s sexual harassment claim against Weinstein, but allowed her claim that he damaged her career to go forward. The case remains ongoing.

May 25, 2018: Weinstein is arrested on charges of first and third degree rape for one victim, and first-degree criminal sex act for another, later revealed to be marketing executive Lucia Evans. The woman who claims she was raped by Weinstein in 2013 has not been publicly identified. Weinstein is released after appearing in Manhattan Criminal Court and handing over his passport and a $1 million cashier’s check to cover his bail.

May 29, 2018: Weinstein attorney Ben Brafman calls the rape charges against his client “absurd,” claiming that Weinstein carried on a 10-year consensual sexual affair with the woman both before and after she says he raped her in a Manhattan hotel room in March 2013.

May 30, 2018: Weinstein is indicted on those charges of first- and third-degree rape and first-degree criminal sexual act for forcible sexual acts against two women in 2013 (the unnamed woman) and 2004 (Evans).

June 5, 2018: Weinstein pleads not guilty to all charges against him.

July 2, 2018: A Manhattan grand jury returns a superseding indictment that charges Weinstein with additional sex crimes, including one that could land him in prison for life. In the updated indictment, Weinstein is charged with two counts of predatory sexual assault and one count of criminal sexual assault, for allegedly forcibly performing oral sex on an unnamed woman in 2006. The woman subsequently identified herself publicly as former Weinstein production assistant Mimi Haleyi.

July 9, 2018: Weinstein pleads not guilty to the additional charges against him, including the new charge stemming from Haleyi’s allegations.

Oct. 11, 2018: In a stunning development, prosecutors in the Manhattan DA’s office drop one of six charges against Weinstein, after discovering that NYPD investigator Nicholas DiGuadio failed to inform them of a witness who cast doubt on Evans’ account that Weinstein forced her to perform oral sex on him during a meeting at his former production company, Miramax, in 2004. According to a letter prosecutors sent to defense attorneys in September 2018, the friend said Evans told her that Weinstein told her he would arrange an acting job for her in exchange for oral sex. “According to the Witness, the Complainant told her that she thereupon performed oral sex on the defendant,” the letter stated.

Evans lawyer blasted the DA’s office for its decision to “abandon” the woman. “The decision to throw away my client’s sexual assault charges says nothing about Weinstein’s guilt or innocence. Nor does it reflect on Lucia’s consistent allegation that she was sexually assaulted with force by Harvey Weinstein,” the attorney wrote. “It only speaks volumes about the Manhattan DA’s office and its mishandling of my client’s case.”

Oct. 17, 2018: In the second blow within a week to the case against Weinstein, Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzi-Orbon notifies defense lawyers in a letter that one of the two remaining alleged victims in the case was told by DiGuadio, the lead police investigator, to delete from her phones any information she didn’t want prosecutors to see when she turned the devices over to them. According to the letter, the detective said “we just won’t tell Joan,” referring to Illuzi-Orbon.

A representative for the NYPD’s detectives union defends DiGuadio in a statement, saying that the woman was concerned about sharing personal information on her phone unrelated to the case with prosecutors. “A woman should not have to surrender confidential intimate information that’s immaterial to the case to defend herself against a sexual predator,” Detectives Endowment Association president Michael Palladino says in the statement, adding that “our detective was neither trying to influence nor compromise the investigation.”

Dec. 7, 2018: Weinstein defense attorneys claim “startling new information” about one of his accusers in a bid to get the charges against him dismissed. Brafman submits an email from the unnamed accuser’s friend appearing to indicate that she attended a movie screening at Weinstein’s invitation the same day she alleges he raped her in March 2013. “Why would an alleged rape victim go out of her way to spend time with her ‘rapist’ merely hours after she was allegedly attacked?” Brafman wondered in a letter to the judge in the case, seeking to have the entire case dismissed. Defense attorneys also charged that prosecutors withheld emails between Weinstein and his accuser which would have demonstrated her “multi-year, consensual sexual relationship” with Weinstein, before and after the alleged 2013 attack.

Dec. 20, 2018: Judge James Burke denies the defense team’s bid to have the case thrown out, saying the prosecutors were “not obligated to search for evidence favorable to the defense or to present all evidence in their possession favorable to the accused. The Grand Jury is not an adversarial proceeding and the People do not have the same obligation of disclosure at the Grand Jury stage as they have at the trial stage.”

2019

Jan. 25, 2019: Attorney Jose Baez, best known for defending Casey Anthony in her murder case, replaces Brafman as Weinstein’s lead defense attorney. Baez previously represented Weinstein accuser Rose McGowan in a cocaine possession case (she ultimately pleaded no contest to a reduced charge and served no jail time). Judge James Burke warns Baez that he cannot use any information obtained in the course of representing the actress in Weinstein’s defense. Baez’ law partner, Harvard University professor Ronald Sullivan, joins the defense team as well.

May 12, 2019: Following months of protests from Harvard students, the school removes Sullivan from a long-held dean’s post, despite Sullivan having already withdrawn from the Weinstein defense team.

July 11, 2019: Weinstein’s third team of defense lawyers speak at a press conference outside a Manhattan courtroom. Chicago-based defense attorney Donna Rotunno claims that the movie mogul has been “railroaded” by the #MeToo movement, and suggests that “movements allow emotion to take over.”

“You’re not seeing the full picture,” Rotunno tells ABC News’ Amy Robach in a Nightline interview.

Earlier in the year, Weinstein dismissed Brafman and turned to Jose Baez. Baez, however, said that he and Weinstein developed “fundamental disagreements” about his representation, and at the July court appearance Baez asked the judge for permission to leave the case.

Aug. 21, 2019: Weinstein’s defense attorneys seek a change of venue for the trial, calling Manhattan “ground zero” for #MeToo activism and referencing more than 11,000 mentions of Weinstein in the New York Post’s popular Page Six gossip column, which the defense called “a mainstay of local New York City news.”

Oct. 23, 2019: Appearing at a private event meant to support up-and-coming artists at a bar in New York City’s East Village, Weinstein is confronted by a patron and two comediennes outraged by the producer’s appearance at the event. Video of the incidents go viral.

Dec. 11, 2019: Judge Burke raises Weinstein’s bail following claims that he violated his ankle bracelet monitoring requirements dozens of times. Defense attorneys argued that the violations were “technical” in nature, not intentional — a claim prosecutors disputed.

Dec. 15, 2019: Weinstein claims in an interview that his years of work in support of women in the film industry has been forgotten amidst a flood of allegations that he sexually assaulted dozens of women over many years. “I feel like the forgotten man,” he tells the Post’s Page Six from a Manhattan hospital room where he is recovering from back surgery. “I made more movies directed by women and about women than any filmmaker, and I’m talking about 30 years ago. I’m not talking about now when it’s vogue. I did it first! I pioneered it!”

Weinstein’s critics and accusers are swift to response. “He is not forgotten,” attorney Gloria Allred, who is representing some of Weinstein’s accusers, said in a statement. “He is a defendant in a high profile criminal case in which he is charged with serious crimes against women including rape, criminal sexual assault, and allegations of predatory sexual assault.”

A group of 23 of his accusers, including actresses Ashley Judd and Rose McGowan, concur with Allred. “He won’t be [forgotten],” the group says in a statement. “He will be remembered as a sexual predator and an unrepentant abuser who took everything and deserves nothing. He will be remembered by the collective will of countless women who stood up and said enough.”

Dec. 19, 2019: A woman claims in a lawsuit that Weinstein sexually assaulted her in 2002 in New York City, when she was 16-year-old aspiring model from Poland. Kaja Sokola argues that the case should be able to go forward because of a new New York law that eliminates the statute of limitations on child sex abuse lawsuits for a period of one year, according to the civil complaint. Sokola had originally sued Weinstein under a pseudonym but withdrew from the global settlement and filed the lawsuit independently. The lawsuit names Weinstein, his brother Bob Weinstein, Miramax, and the Walt Disney Company — the parent company of ABC News — which acquired Miramax in 1993.

Sokola filed her original claim in 2018 under a pseudonym as part of a class action, but is now filing separately to avoid the proposed global settlement. Brafman, Weinstein’s lawyer at the time, called her accusation “patently false” at the time it was filed, according to The New York Times.

Dec. 24, 2019: Two years after the Los Angeles and Beverly Hills Police Departments launched probes into Weinstein, a spokesperson for the Los Angeles DA’s office says that prosecutors there are reviewing eight allegations against the embattled movie producer for sexual assault, according to Variety, which first reported the DA’s statement. In a follow-up story, the LA Times reports that two of the cases involve women who claim they were sexually assaulted by Weinstein during the same week in February 2013 in LA.