Weinstein trial to kick off in New York

Harvey Weinstein New York trial begins Monday.
Harvey Weinstein New York trial begins Monday.

Disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein is set to go on trial in New York to face rape and sexual assault charges.

More than two years have passed since US media detailed numerous allegations against Weinstein, triggering a cascade of accusations against other powerful men and the spread of the #MeToo movement.

The trial, which could last around six weeks, is set to be closely followed around the world as the highest-profile #MeToo case to be put before a criminal court jury.

It kicks off in New York State Supreme Court on Monday with jury selection, a process that could take two to three weeks.

Weinstein, 67, faces five charges stemming from allegations he raped a woman in 2013 and performed a forcible sex act on another woman in 2006.

The two accusers are set to take the stand during the trial, as well as a third woman who is expected to testify that Weinstein raped her in 1993.

If convicted of predatory sexual assault, the former movie producer could face life in prison.

Weinstein, who was arrested in May 2018, has pleaded not guilty to all charges and has been free on bail.

In all, more than 80 women, including A-list stars such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie, have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct. He has denied all allegations of non-consensual sex.

In December, Weinstein and his former film studio reached a tentative $US25 million settlement with 30 accusers, US media reported.

The deal would end nearly all civil lawsuits against Weinstein, who would not have to admit any wrongdoing.

Australian Associated Press