When the jury is dismissed each day in Harvey Weinstein’s trial, before they exit the courtroom, the judge reminds the jurors not to consume any media or read any news reports surrounding the high-profile case.
On Friday, Judge Lisa B. Lench added one extra reminder to her parting words, instructing the jury not to watch the trailer for “She Said,” Universal’s upcoming film about the journalists who broke the story that ignited Weinstein’s downfall and the #MeToo movement.
“She Said,” which hits theaters on Nov. 18, is based on the book by New York Times reporters Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, about their bombshell investigation into Weinstein’s alleged pattern of sexual harassment and assault. Zoe Kazan and Carey Mulligan play the two journalists in the movie that is getting strong reviews and even early Oscars buzz.
This is not the first time “She Said” has come up in Weinstein’s case. Before the trial began, Weinstein’s attorneys tried to delay the trial to avoid the publicity surrounding the film. His lawyer Mark Werksman argued that jurors are likely to see billboards, social media and other press for the film, which would “dramatically prejudice the ability to get a fair trial.” In August, Judge Lench denied the defense’s request to postpone the trial, stating, “We’ll just have to deal with it.”
This week, Variety spoke with the New York Times journalists, whose book and reporting inspired “She Said.” When asked about Weinstein’s current trial, Kantor said, “As reporters, we can never tell what the verdict will be. But part of why we’re so appreciative of this film is that it takes us back to the beginning…that’s why we wrote our book, because we felt that the story belonged to everybody…And so regardless of the outcome of this trial, we do feel that at least journalistically, Weinstein has been held accountable and we’re so grateful to Carey [Mulligan] and to everybody who worked on the film, because we feel like you’re helping others — and us — remember what really happened.”
After the 2017 bombshell investigations about Weinstein, more than 100 women accused him of sexual harassment or assault. In 2020, he was convicted of rape and sexual assault in his New York criminal trial for which he is currently serving a 23-year sentence. Earlier this year, the New York Court of Appeals agreed to hear his appeal on that conviction. In Los Angeles, he is facing 11 counts of rape and sexual assault, and up to 140 years behind bars — should he be convicted, this trial will effectively guarantee that he never goes free.