Harvey Weinstein surrendered to authorities on Friday morning at 7:25 a.m. ET, arriving at a New York City police station carrying reading material (three books on theater and film) and seeming somewhat jovial (there were smiles) despite his reported overwhelming worries about the impact of his arrest on his family.
That wasn’t the only glimpse we were given of the disgraced movie mogul. After being arrested inside on rape, criminal sex act, sex abuse, and sexual misconduct charges for encounters with two women, including former actress Lucia Evans (the other victim hasn’t been identified publicly), he was then given a so-called perp walk, when police walk the accused perpetrator out in cuffs as the press snaps pictures. (Weinstein has consistently denied any allegations of nonconsensual sex.)
The perp walk has a long history — you’ll remember that after Lee Harvey Oswald was accused of assassinating President John F. Kennedy, he was murdered by Jack Ruby in front of the press while being walked through the Dallas Police headquarters. Perhaps because the NYPD doesn’t publicly release mug shots, the practice has become known as “New York’s ultimate walk of shame,” according to the New York Post, “a rite of passage for criminal suspects that a fat bankroll, A-list status, or friends in high places can rarely help to escape.” Despite the efforts of French politician Dominique Strauss-Kahn to bring an end to the controversial practice (many argue that it goes against the U.S.’s fundamental principle that one is innocent until proven guilty), it continues.
According to the All Things Considered show on NPR, the walk of shame is “a staple of the law enforcement system around the country,” and in New York City it’s been done for more than 100 years. New York Daily News special correspondent David Krajicek explained how it works: “The press office at police headquarters will notify reporters the time and place that the perp walk is going to occur.” And while police “will neither impede nor promote photos,” it’s used “as kind of an atta-boy for cops” to pat themselves on the back for working a case to the arrest phase. Often the cops walking the accused perp aren’t random — they’ve played large roles in investigating a case. Krajicek said that perp walks trace back to former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, who knew “that it was great PR for citizens of America to see one of his public enemies in handcuffs.”
Weinstein has certainly been a public enemy since the publication last fall of back-to-back articles in the New York Times and the New Yorker accusing him of sexual misconduct — and the list of accusers just exploded after that, growing to more than 70. (Accuser Rose McGowan, who has accused him of rape, has said the number she is aware of is closer to 100.) For his perp walk, leaving the precinct in handcuffs on the way to court, he was surprisingly jovial under the circumstances. He could not carry his books, though, due to the handcuffs.
A clip of Weinstein walking gives a better view of the scene. There was a massive crowd of onlookers outside, many of whom called him by name, hoping to get him to look up for a photo — as if he were at a premiere. After hearing stories about his infamous temper, however, we can’t help but imagine what he said when he got in the car with police, where he couldn’t be photographed.
Weinstein’s handcuffed parading continued — into court. After being arrested and processed, he was taken to Manhattan Criminal Court — again smiling — for his arraignment.
Inside, his attorney Benjamin Brafman said that the movie mogul vehemently denied the charges and would ultimately be exonerated of the rape and other sex charges. His client appeared decidedly less happy inside court.
Then, after being released on $1 million bail and agreeing to electronic monitoring, Weinstein left the courthouse — sans cuffs — through a back door.
As you know, Weinstein isn’t the first celebrity to be arrested (oh, the list is long) or subjected to the perp walk. There have been many before him — including people he’s worked with — who have walked the same path, but with decidedly less severe charges against them.
For instance, Russell Crowe had a look that could kill after he left the same police station in 2005. If you remember, he threw a phone at a SoHo hotel concierge.
Johnny Depp’s troubles have been well documented over the last few years, but in his early days he found himself in the custody of the NYPD, in 1994, after trashing his $1,200-a-night hotel room amid a dispute with then-girlfriend Kate Moss.
And Christian Slater was perp-walked uptown after he was arrested for drunkenly grabbing the buttocks of a 52-year-old stranger on New York’s Upper East Side in 2005. He had major troubles in his early years — from coast to coast.
Weinstein’s accusers have been reacting to finally seeing him in cuffs. McGowan, who gave several interviews on Friday, said, “I have to admit I didn’t think I would see the day that he would have handcuffs on him. I have a visceral need for him to have handcuffs on.”
And it’s not just the alleged victims who are cheering this moment. Ronan Farrow, whose New Yorker article told the stories of many of the accusers, was also in amazement over the moment.
Read more from Yahoo Entertainment: