Where can Harvey Weinstein go for a peaceful retirement?

Plainly Harvey Weinstein is not going to be working in Hollywood again. In any event, at age 65 he has reached normal retirement age. If he stays in the U.S. he risks prosecution for whatever happened during meetings with actresses in California, Connecticut, New York, and perhaps some other states. Even if evidence against him is weak, what prosecutor could resist becoming famous by bringing charges? (See Window into American criminal justice system from the daycare sexual abuse trials of the 1980s for some stuff that influences prosecutors in deciding whether to pursue a case.)

Harvey could probably beat the “beyond a reasonable doubt” rap a few times, given that most of the situations were private encounters and there were no unbiased witnesses. Maybe he can beat the 51-percent rap of all of the civil suits that are likely to be filed? But if he doesn’t he might have to pay in the neighborhood of $32 million per successful plaintiff (see “Bill O’Reilly Settled a Sex Harassment Claim for $32 Million, Report Says” (NBC; Megyn Kelly wrote that this is more than a plaintiff in a wrongful death action would normally be able to obtain, noting in the nytimes that “O. J. Simpson was ordered to pay the Goldman and Brown families $33.5 million for the murders of Ron and Nicole.”).

Why would a 65-year-old with money want to stick around to spend the remaining years of his life as a defendant? As a thought-experiment, if Harvey doesn’t want to stick around, where can he go? What country would ignore any U.S. extradition requests while simultaneously providing Harvey with a reasonable-by-Western-standards lifestyle? And, in case he does want to continue working, what country meets the preceding criteria and also has a competent film industry?

27 thoughts on “Where can Harvey Weinstein go for a peaceful retirement?

  1. Serbia?

    1) No extradition treaty with America

    2) Allegedly you can more or less buy citizenship through their investment program

    3) Median incomes are low, but the standard of living for a rich person should be fine

    4) If he ends up divorced and wants to continue Harvey Style Casting Meetings in Hotel Rooms, he should have a worthwhile talent pool to draw from

    5) They have a film industry. Competent???

  2. Maybe he can tell the rabidly violent, anti-drug president of the Philippines that he’s going to make rabidly violent, anti-drug movies there for a little while.

  3. Doubtfully France. It is part of EU, as is Italy, and Italian actress accuses Weinstein. Unless Weinstein settles with all EU accusers.

  4. How about Israel? He would qualify as an immigrant under the Law of Return. The only person I’m aware of that they turned away was Meyer Lansky.

  5. #8, too late for Harvey. Israel already for a couple years has extradition treaty with the USA. If Weinstein can impress on Israel that he will be in danger in US prison system because he is a Jew or he will not be able to observer religious rites (he does not strike like an observant type) he can fly to Israel and sue so he could do time in Israel instead of US. Since he also pushed anti-Israel movie to UN his stay in Israeli prison may not be ver pleasant. If Harvey converted out of Judaism (for example for his marriage) he does not satisfy Israeli repatriation law.

  6. Come to Puerto Rico. Start a family office and enjoy tax free return on your capital. (bring a generator)

  7. No need to pick a country. He is very rich. He can just buy a 100+ foot yacht and live on it off shore of some nice places in the Med or the Caribbean. Then he will not come ashore except under disguise or unscheduled so no one knows he is ashore. He can move around as desired and work a little by having the script and production people come to him. He can still “interview actresses” as he likes on his boat. So no need to change his methods much.

    But we will see. I suspect his risk for lawsuits tying up his money is his real problem. So he will have to move his money off shore to some funny banks as well and that has other issues where the feds might get involved.

    It sure will be interesting how it plays out. Sort of like Bill Cosby. His strategy seems to be to make it a long drawn out affair and to never settle until he is gone. I wonder how his estate will be effected?

  8. Can someone explain this to me.

    Unless if there is hard evidence against Harvey, why his defense of “this was consensual sex” doesn’t hold?

  9. the other Donald: all the more reason for Harvey to make his move now! The government made Bill Cosby surrender his passport once they began prosecuting him criminally. So unless Harvey wants that job in the state prison it would make sense for him to wire his cash out and grab a flight to sanctuary while his passport is still valid and in his hand.

  10. It does make sense for H Weinstein to emigrate. It also would have made sense for Volkswagen to abandon the US market rather than paying all the penalties, but somehow they stuck around, even though I strongly doubt the US profits from now through 2050 will be sufficient to cover all penalties.

  11. @Neal #10: in my comment #12, I’m looking for “hard evidence” from witnesses.

    NYPD is now saying they have a case against Harvey — but my question is a general one and I will ask it again: are there any witnesses who came forward with any kind of hard evidence such as medical record or recording? If no, why then “consensual sex” isn’t a defense? Otherwise anyone can accuse anyone with sexual abuse / rape. No?

  12. George A: Anyone can accuse anyone of of any crime, and that accusation can result in a conviction. I don’t even think that this is particularly uncommon, especially for people without access to Harvey Weinstein style lawyers and especially for minorities without access to such lawyers. I’m not aware of any medical evidence which can indicate definitively whether or not a sex act was consensual. Requiring a recording would limit prosecution to perpetrators stupid enough to commit their crimes in front of a running video camera.

    The good news is you’ve probably found a good way to get yourself kicked off the jury at a rape trial.

  13. George: Indeed Neal is correct and in the current U.S. system it is possible to obtain a rape conviction and cash (in a civil court, a lot easier if there has been a conviction in criminal court) with the survivor’s testimony as the only evidence.

    See http://philip.greenspun.com/blog/2015/05/13/missoula-rape-and-the-justice-system-in-a-college-town-a-k-a-majoring-in-partying-and-football/ for a story about a football player who was denounced by a high-school classmate (“the survivor”). The rapist was imprisoned for five years and the survivor got paid $1.5 million by taxpayers (since the school district was not supposed to be running an unsafe environment). Nine years after the rape, the survivor recanted her story (but did not refund the $1.5 million) and the rapist’s conviction was reversed.

    This kind of conviction happened a lot less frequently in the Middle Ages due to a general requirement for eyewitness testimony from at least two eyewitnesses.

  14. Here’s the excerpt from the book: In 2002, [Brian] Banks was a junior at Polytechnic High School in Long Beach, California, a six-foot-four, 225-pound linebacker on an extraordinary football team. … Banks was aggressively recruited by some of the nation’s top college football programs and accepted a scholarship offer from the University of Southern California. … While attending summer classes before his senior year at Long Beach Poly, Banks had a chance encounter with a sophomore named Wanetta Gibson that, according to Banks, culminated in consensual sex. According to Gibson, Banks raped her. In a note Gibson wrote to a friend, which became a crucial piece of evidence, she said Banks “picked me up and put me in the elevator and he took me down stairs and he pulled my pants down and he rapped [sic] me and he didn’t have a condom on and I was a virgin and now Im [sic] not.” When interviewed by the police, Wanetta Gibson told a more detailed version of the same story, and Brian Banks, who was seventeen years old, was charged with forcible rape. Were he convicted, he could be sentenced to life in prison. Like thousands of other defendants ensnared in the criminal justice system, … Banks agreed to plead no contest to the rape charge, spend at least five years in prison, remain on probation for an additional five years, and register as a sex offender. While Brian Banks was serving his time, Wanetta Gibson and her mother filed a lawsuit against the Long Beach Unified School District, claiming that lax security at Poly High School created an unsafe environment that led to her being raped. The suit was settled out of court, with the school district agreeing to pay Gibson $1.5 million.

    … her conscience began to bother her. In March 2011, a few years after Brian Banks was released from prison, he logged onto Facebook and saw he’d received a friend request from Wanetta Gibson, his accuser. … Banks asked if she would meet with him in the presence of a private investigator, Freddie Parish, whose son had been a teammate of his at Poly. Gibson agreed, and during their meeting she admitted what Banks knew to be the truth all along: He had not raped her. Unbeknownst to Wanetta Gibson, Parish was secretly recording the conversation. … Brian Banks’s conviction was reversed in May 2012. Thirteen months later, the Long Beach Unified School District won a $2.6 million default judgment against Wanetta Gibson to recoup the settlement she had received, plus interest and damages.

  15. “This kind of conviction happened a lot less frequently in the Middle Ages due to a general requirement for eyewitness testimony from at least two eyewitnesses.”

    I’d bet unprosecuted rapes also happened a lot more frequently in the Middle Ages.

  16. @Philg #19 & #20 and that’s the scary part of it all.

    Example #1: Two teenagers have sex while in high school. Years later the women finds out the then teenager is now worth millions so she decides to sue him for rape that took place 5+ years ago.

    Example #2: Two adults are at a bar, after few drinks they meet up in her apartment and they have sex. Few days later, the woman finds out the man is worth millions. Few months pass by and she decides to sue him for rape.

    With the current system, in both examples, her words is, with no hard evidence, enough to rune a man’s life?! If so, why isn’t a man’s statement of it was “consensual sex” also hold?!

    @Neal #21: “I’d bet unprosecuted rapes also happened a lot more frequently in the Middle Ages.”

    So, are men now paying for their past generation men’s action or have we become so blind to common sense?

  17. Woman in Middle Ages in hotel room with guy = whore.

    Weinstein debate in Middle Ages terms = argument about how much whores should be paid.

  18. Not only did Harvey Weinstein rape Paz de la Huerta, he did it TWICE, on two different dates!

  19. Neil: Krakauer in the Missoula book is upset by unprosecuted and/or unconvicted rapists. He essentially suggests dispensing with the presumption of innocence, with the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard, and with the right of the accused to have an active defense lawyer (paid $1-2 million, of course!). While some folks want to see the university rape tribunals either shut down or run more like a criminal court in terms of rights for the accused, after studying the matter Krakauer essentially wants criminal rape prosecutions to be run more like university tribunals, with a 51 percent standard of proof, no right to cross-examine the prosecution witnesses, etc.

    I’m not sure that American women overall would be better off under Krakauer’s proposed system. Consider Woman A who has obtained the right to spend 95 percent of Man B’s income, either by marriage or via an alimony and/or child support lawsuit. Now Woman C comes along and wants to divert B’s income stream and A’s savings into her own pocket. She accuses B of raping her. Now she has a 51% chance of prevailing and obtaining the fruits of B’s labor for herself. So while the situation is portrayed as being Woman v. Man, the real conflict over who gets the cash may be Woman v. Woman or Woman v. Children of some other Woman. Don’t forget transaction costs. There will be a lot of legal fees as what had been Woman A’s cash gets transferred to Woman C. So the net cash available to women as a group will shrink. Also consider that foreign visitors can use the American rape courts to get cash transferred out of the U.S.

    [See also http://www.realworlddivorce.com/Litigation for “In the cases where anyone has enough money to hire me, the parties who are opposed are the plaintiff parent and the children. … You have to start by considering the interests of the children. From their parents they can get love, time, energy, devotion, necessities during childhood, money for college, wealth via inheritance. A divorce won’t help the children get any of these things”]

    Regarding the bad old days, https://www.publicmedievalist.com/got-rape-and-middle-ages/ is written by a PhD historian from the UK. He says

    Depicting the Middle Ages as bloody and brutal serves a purpose in our collective memories. We are conditioned to see ourselves as participating in a supposedly-enlightened post-modern age. The structural narratives of our age promote the idea of progress—which is as obvious in our technology as in our social ideals. Women achieved the right to vote a hundred years ago, the civil rights movement is turning 50, the gay rights movement has achieved successes at a rate that baffles even the justices of the supreme court. Our rights are getting righter—and our wrongs are being shoved into the past.

    This makes the origin of our society—the medieval world—logically the worst of all possible places; the very nadir of western society (whatever that is): “The Dark Ages”. It is little wonder that the two crimes that are, arguably, worse than death—rape and torture—are understood to have been common features of the age (though they’re not, but that’s another article).

  20. George A: How about this hypothetical; A man forces his way into a women’s apartment and rapes her at gunpoint. DNA is recovered but the medical evidence is otherwise unremarkable (she did not struggle because there was a gun pointed at her head the entire time). A suspect is caught and his DNA matches, but he claims the sex was consensual. By your logic, this statement is an automatic get out of jail free card; a card which does not exist for any other crime. For example, if your wallet was stolen from you at gunpoint and the person you identified as the perpetrator was later apprehended with your library card in their possession, their claim that you loaned them the card would not automatically shield them from prosecution.

    “Krakauer in the Missoula book is upset by unprosecuted and/or unconvicted rapists. He essentially suggests dispensing with the presumption of innocence, with the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard, and with the right of the accused to have an active defense lawyer (paid $1-2 million, of course!)”

    My understanding is that there is good reason to be concerned about unprosecuted and/or unconvicted rapists, but this doesn’t mean that the changes proposed above are good ideas. This is especially true if in fact the university rape tribunals (which tried these changes) have (as his been suggested in this blog) produced a disproportionate number of marginal sex regret cases (this is not necessarily inconsistent with the possibility that even with the Tribunals unprosecuted and/or unconvicted rapists remain a problem on campuses as well as elsewhere).

    “She accuses B of raping her.”

    Your hypothetical is completely irrelevant because you do not state if the rape actually occurred.

    “Now she has a 51% chance of prevailing and obtaining the fruits of B’s labor for herself.”

    No, this is simply an incorrect description of the situation which is: IF she can convince a judge or jury that the evidence indicates there is at least a 51% probability that he committed the rape, then she will prevail and obtain some fraction of B’s labor for herself. The probability of her prevailing is influenced by many factors including the strength of the evidence, but it is not directly related to the 51% (preponderance of evidence) standard the evidence needs to meet for her to prevail. For example, if the defendant could prove that he was in a different city than the women on the date of the alleged rape, the probability of her prevailing is likely to be far below 51%.

    “Depicting the Middle Ages as bloody and brutal serves a purpose in our collective memories.”

    It was not my intention to make a statement about the Middle Ages or our relationship with them. My point was that while requiring two witnesses could very well reduce the rate of false positives, it would also likely increase the rate of false negatives which is also an undesirable result.

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