A man who once ruled over a showbusiness empire has now found himself paraded in front of the world’s cameras in handcuffs.
A former king of New York, Harvey Weinstein found himself subjected to this city’s standard but humiliating criminal and legal processes.
First, we saw him arriving to be booked at the NYPD’s first precinct in Manhattan, just as any other ordinary alleged criminal would be.
Then came the “perp walk” – Weinstein was marched past the assembled press with hands in cuffs behind his back, shuttled without ceremony straight to the nearby Manhattan Criminal Court.
There, a judge decided he would allow cameras to broadcast live as he read out the very serious charges against the former Hollywood mogul.
Throughout, Weinstein was pale, sombre and cowed as the wheels of justice turned.
For accusers who have spoken out against him, and for others who raised their voices as the #MeToo movement gathered momentum, this must have been a cathartic moment.
However, they will know Mr Weinstein isn’t going down without a fight.
He denies the charges against him, and his high-powered lawyer has already said he will plead not guilty.
As Benjamin Brafman previewed the arguments he would make on behalf of his client, they sounded like a manifesto for those who have failed to understand the huge cultural shift under way:
:: The women did not report their allegations immediately.
:: They will fall apart under cross examination.
:: You can’t be jailed for bad behaviour.
Weinstein’s accusers will hope Brafman’s assumptions are incorrect.
But there must be a fear he is in some ways right.
Historical alleged sex crimes are notoriously difficult to prosecute successfully.
Proving that something happened beyond a reasonable doubt when it is one person’s word against another is incredibly hard to do.
The NYPD and the Manhattan district attorney obviously believe they have a case.
But their victory, and the outcome of this litmus test in the era of #MeToo, is far from certain.