Harvey Weinstein taken to hospital after being moved to a New York jail | Ents & Arts News

April 28, 2024
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The lawyer for Harvey Weinstein says the former film producer has been taken to hospital after being moved to a New York jail.

It comes days after the movie mogul’s 2020 conviction for rape was overturned, with a New York court ordering a new trial in the landmark “MeToo” case.

Arthur Aidala, Weinstein’s lawyer, said his client was moved to Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan for tests after his arrival on Friday at a New York City prison.

“They examined him and sent him to Bellevue. It seems like he needs a lot of help, physically. He’s got a lot of problems. He’s getting all kinds of tests. He’s somewhat of a train wreck health-wise,” Mr Aidala said.

The hospital did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

Mr Aidala said he is still “sharp as a tack” mentally, and his health problems are physical.

Weinstein has had cardiac issues, diabetes, sleep apnea and eye problems for some time.

He was moved on Friday to the Rikers Island jail complex, in The Bronx’s East River, from the Mohawk Correctional Facility, in Oneida County, upstate New York, where he had been since 2023.

“He was not treated well. They refused to give him even a sip of water, no food, no bathroom break,” said Mr Aidala.

“He’s a 72-year-old sickly man.”

Aerial photo shows New York's biggest prison, Riker's Island jail. Pic: AP
Image:
Aerial photo shows New York’s biggest prison, Riker’s Island jail. Pic: AP

Frank Dwyer, a spokesperson with the New York City Department of Correction, said Weinstein remains in custody at Bellevue Hospital.

The disgraced producer has been in prison since 2020 and on Thursday, the New York Court of Appeals overturned his first rape conviction.

He has been serving a 23-year sentence after being accused of sexually assaulting ex-production assistant Mimi Haley in 2006 and raping former aspiring actress Jessica Mann in 2013 following the landmark 2020 trial in New York.

The state’s highest court found the judge at the trial prejudiced Weinstein with “egregious” improper rulings, including a decision to let women testify about allegations that were not part of the case.

Read more: Harvey Weinstein: The fall of the king of Hollywood

In a 4-3 decision, the court’s majority said it was “an abuse of judicial discretion to permit untested allegations of nothing more than bad behaviour”.

Mr Aidala said the decision was a victory for the defendant and any American charged with a crime, “no matter how popular or unpopular they are”.

“You can’t convict someone based on their entire life,” he said.

“You can’t allow more witnesses to testify against the defendant than the defendant is actually charged with.”

“You can’t throw out a hundred years of legal precedent because someone is unpopular.”

Weinstein remains in jail despite the recent ruling because he was convicted in Los Angeles in 2022 of another rape, against which he is also appealing. He was sentenced to 16 years in prison for that crime.

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Me Too founder ‘devastated’ by Weinstein decision

Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg – who is already involved in a hush money trial against former president Donald Trump – will now decide whether Weinstein will face a retrial for his 2020 conviction.

A spokesperson for Mr Bragg said in an email: “We will do everything in our power to retry this case, and remain steadfast in our commitment to survivors of sexual assault.”

Weinstein is scheduled to appear in Manhattan Criminal Court at 2.15pm (local time) on Wednesday in a hearing that will set a timetable for future appearances, assuming the retrial goes ahead.

Deborah Tuerkheimer, a professor at Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law and former assistant district attorney in Manhattan, said whether there is a second trial will “hinge on the preferences of the women who would have to testify again and endure the ordeal of a retrial.”

“I think ultimately this will come down to whether they feel it’s something they want to do, are able to do,” she said.

Demonstrators outside court ahead of first day of Harvey Weinstein's sexual assault trial
Image:
Demonstrators outside court ahead of first day of Harvey Weinstein’s sexual assault trial in 2020. Pic: Reuters

Once considered the most powerful man in Hollywood, Weinstein was accused by dozens of women who claimed he bullied, pressured, coerced, or overpowered them while demanding sexual favours.

Gwyneth Paltrow, Salma Hayek, and Lupita Nyong’o all accused Weinstein of sexual harassment, while actresses Asia Argento and Rose McGowan were among others who accused him of raping them.

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He was also accused of reaching settlements to keep the stories quiet.

Weinstein had admitted his behaviour had “caused a lot of pain”, but has maintained his innocence throughout, saying any sexual activity was consensual.



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