Harvey Weinstein may have grown accustomed to media gauntlets as a Hollywood megaproducer, but it’s the first perp walk he’s ever done. He might need to get used to it, too, as it may not be the last. The disgraced mogul surrendered to the NYPD — not the DA as first reported yesterday — this morning, with all networks covering the moment live on television.
— ABC News (@ABC) May 25, 2018
Oddly, the perp walk produced a strange kind of red-carpet-flavored coverage:
Movie mogul Harvey Weinstein surrendered at a Manhattan police station on Friday morning ahead of arraignment on sex charges — opening a new chapter in the downfall of a man whose behavior sparked the #MeToo movement.
Reporters and cameras flanked Weinstein as he got out of a black SUV just before 7:30 a.m. and walked into the precinct to be fingerprinted and photographed.
He wore a blue sweater, dark blazer and a weak smile as he took his first steps toward the 1st Precinct stationhouse, but looked somber as he strode through the door, surrounded by detectives, ignoring shouted questions.
Was he wearing Pierre Cardin or Christian Dior? Enquiring minds want to know.
Weinstein brought some reading material for his adventure in the court system today, but he won’t need it for long. NBC reports that his attorneys have been busy negotiating his bail ahead of the arraignment, and he’s expected to be free by the end of business today on $1 million bond. He’ll have to wear an ankle monitor, but he won’t be spending the weekend in the hoosegow. For now, anyway. He may have lots of weekends and weekdays there in the not-so-distant future.
CBS provided live coverage of the perp walk, as did the other networks, but this clip is worth watching on its own. New York Times journalist Jodi Kantor, who finally broke the story in parallel with Ronan Farrow at New York Magazine, gets to the heart of why Weinstein has become an object of fascination and revulsion, and why his arrest attracted live perp-walk coverage:
CBS News Legal Analyst Rikki Klieman and @nytimes correspondent and CBS News contributor @jodikantor both join @CBSThisMorning. Jodi co-wrote the first story of allegations against Weinstein. The reporting earned a Pulitzer prize. https://t.co/oEeQhrwpRN pic.twitter.com/TLD43VYKQl
— CBS News (@CBSNews) May 25, 2018
KANTOR: … Harvey Weinstein always had his own private system of justice. He would hire private investigators, he would hire fancy lawyers to settle allegations that, it turns out, nobody knew about for years and years afterwards. There was an NYPD inquiry into his behavior in 2015 that mysteriously disappeared. So this is kind of the first time he’s facing the same justice system as the rest of us.
That’s not entirely true, as we have learned during this saga. Weinstein appeared to have part of the public justice system on his side, too, which may be why Weinstein had to surrender to police rather than the district attorney, as would normally be the case. Governor Andrew Cuomo ordered the state Attorney General to open a probe into DA Cyrus Vance Jr’s handling of previous Weinstein cases, especially Ambra Battilana, whom police had to hide from Vance’s office at one point due to suspicions that Vance was trying to sink any potential prosecution of his campaign donor. Small wonder, then, that the NYPD might have insisted that Weinstein get arraigned at a precinct rather than in Vance’s offices.
Overall, though, Kantor’s correct. There are lots of reasons for the overwhelming focus on Weinstein — celebrity, obnoxiousness, his political activism, and most of all the breadth and disgusting depth of his alleged actions. But it’s the arrogance behind Weinstein’s attempts to carve out an immunity from police and prosecution that offends our civic virtues, and why the perp walk may be the most satisfying aspect of the Weinstein story we’ve seen so far. It’s so satisfying, in fact, that we may be clamoring for an open-ended series of them.
Update: The charges involve two women and multiple counts. We’ll get the indictment after today’s arraignment, but his perp walk out of the police station shows that Big Harv picked up some jewelry while inside — a nice set of handcuffs:
JUST IN: Harvey Weinstein was just led out of a NYPD precinct in handcuffs. The disgraced Hollywood producer turned himself in this morning, charged with rape, a criminal sex act, sex abuse and sexual misconduct for incidents involving two separate women https://t.co/zMCnykf1yc pic.twitter.com/QbUJlDmvRL
— CNN (@CNN) May 25, 2018