Jury selection in Harvey Weinstein’s trial is officially underway.

Weinstein, who was convicted of rape and sexual assault in his New York trial in 2020, faces 11 new charges in Los Angeles in a trial that began Monday morning at the criminal courthouse in downtown L.A. Nine women are expected to testify in a trial that could effectively put Weinstein behind bars for life, if convicted.

Weinstein — whose monumental fall was the fuse the ignited the #MeToo movement — is already serving a 23-year sentence from his 2020 conviction where Weinstein was found guilty of third-degree rape and a first-degree criminal sexual act. The New York Court of Appeals, which is the highest court in that state, has agreed to hear his case. Weinstein was extradited in July 2021 to L.A. from N.Y., where he was serving his sentence.

Weinstein was present at the courthouse on Monday where his lawyers, Alan Jackson and Mark Werksman, and deputy D.A.’s Marlene Martinez and Paul Thompson, addressed a 67 potential jurors. Weinstein, wearing a blue suit, was wheeled into the courtroom in a wheelchair and had difficultly standing for the jurors when they were being seated. He did not speak to the jurors, but he waved from his seat.

“As Mr. Weinstein sits before you, he is innocent,” Judge Lisa B. Lench said to the potential jurors. “If someone were to ask you for your vote right now, you would have to vote not guilty,” she said.

The judge gave an outline of the right to a fair trial and the general legal principles surrounding a criminal case. She explained the charges as “essentially sexual assaults, or assaults of a sexual nature.” She also told the jurors that she does not know if Weinstein is going to testify, and noted that he has pleaded not guilty.

Weinstein has been accused of sexual harassment, abuse and assault by more than 100 women, including actresses Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, Mira Sorvino, Lupita Nyong’o, Ashley Judd and Rose McGowan. He has maintained his innocence and said that all interactions were consensual. Many women who have accused Weinstein alleged he coerced them into hotel rooms under the false promise of business meetings.

On Monday, Judge Lench told the jurors that they would be filling out questionnaires that would reveal what information they may have been exposed to, given the public nature of Weinstein’s case. She urged them not to expose themselves to news reports or internet activity about Weinstein. “I expect this case to get a fair amount of media attention and you are going to have to be vigilant,” the judge said.

The courthouse on the first day of jury selection was sparse of media attention on Monday with only a small handful of reporters present, including Variety. In comparison, the history-making New York trial was a media circus for the entire two months.

The trial revolves around new charges, which span from 2004 to 2013, stemming from five women. The four additional women testifying are supporting witnesses, known as “prior bad acts” witnesses also taking the stand, in order to establish a pattern of abuse for the prosecution.

The accusers who will testify will all be referred to as “Jane Doe,” though their identities won’t be disguised when they take the stand in court. On Monday, the L.A. Times revealed that one of the star witnesses, who is known as “Jane Doe 4,” is Jennifer Siebel Newson, the actress, director and wife to California governor Gavin Newsom. Siebel Newsom — who directed the 2011 Sundance documentary, “Miss Representation,” which explores sexism in American society and media — accused Weinstein of abuse in an essay she penned for Huffington Post in 2017.

“Like many other women, my client was sexually assaulted by Harvey Weinstein at a purported business meeting that turned out to be a trap. She intends to testify at his trial in order to seek some measure of justice for survivors, and as part of her life’s work to improve the lives of women. Please respect her choice to not discuss this matter outside of the courtroom,” said attorney Elizabeth Fegan, who is representing Siebel Newsom.

Barbara Schneeweiss, an executive producer from The Weinstein Company’s “Project Runway,” was in the courtroom and could be called as a witness. Schneeweiss began as Weinstein’s assistant and worked for him for 20 years.

The judge dismissed 11 jurors on Monday, leaving 56 prospective jurors. Jury selection will continue on Tuesday with another jury panel of up to 75 people being brought in, following by another 75 on Wednesday. Jury selection will run for roughly two weeks, and opening statements are slated to begin on Oct. 24. The trial is expected to last two months, making its way into December.

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