Film producer Harvey Weinstein sits next to his lawyer Benjamin Brafman inside Manhattan Criminal Court during an arraignment in New York July 9, 2018. — Jefferson Siegel/Pool pic via Reuters

How powerful was Harvey Weinstein? His film legacy paints a picture

LOS ANGELES, Feb 14 — At the heart of Harvey Weinstein’s New York rape trial is a power dynamic between a producer of some of the biggest culture-defining films of the past 20 years and two women who accuse him of abusing that stature by sexually assaulting them.

Weinstein, 67, has pleaded not guilty to raping Jessica Mann, a onetime aspiring actress, and to sexually assaulting Mimi Haleyi, a former production assistant on the show Project Runway, for which Weinstein was an executive producer.

Since 2017, more than 80 women have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct. He has denied the allegations and said that any encounters were consensual.

During cross-examination, Weinstein’s attorneys questioned his accusers about whether they used Weinstein to land a Hollywood acting job, highlighting the influence he once wielded.

The power Weinstein had in Hollywood is reflected by the volume of films he produced through his two companies, Miramax and The Weinstein Company. Many of those films helped catapult actors to successful careers.

Weinstein and his brother Bob founded Miramax in 1979, selling it in 1993 to the Walt Disney Co for US$80 million (RM331.2 million). (Disney later sold Miramax.) The men stayed on until 2005, when they left to start The Weinstein Company.

After reports of misconduct against Weinstein surfaced in October 2017, Weinstein took an indefinite leave from The Weinstein Company, from which he was later fired.

The company filed for bankruptcy protection in 2018.

Weinstein’s current net worth is difficult to determine — in 2015 Forbes valued his stake in The Weinstein Company at US$130 million.

Here are the top-grossing films from each of his production companies:

Top five worldwide-grossing films from Miramax

Chicago (2002) — US$306,776,732

Shakespeare in Love (1998) — US$289,317,794

Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001) — US$281,929,795

The English Patient (1996) — US$231,976,425

Life is Beautiful (1997) — US$230,098,753

Top five worldwide-grossing films from The Weinstein Company

Django Unchained (2012) — US$425,368,238

The King’s Speech (2010)- US$423,999,102

Inglourious Basterds (2009) — US$321,455,689

Silver Linings Playbook (2012) — US$236,412,453

The Imitation Game (2014) — US$233,555,708

Source: Box Office Mojo — Reuters