US

NEW YORK (Reuters) – An “upbeat” Harvey Weinstein on Tuesday spent his first full day at a Manhattan hospital, his lawyer said, a day after the former Hollywood movie producer was convicted of sexual assault and rape.

Weinstein had been on his way to the Rikers Island jail complex following his conviction, but was instead admitted late Monday night to Bellevue Hospital a few miles away.

His lawyer Arthur Aidala told reporters after meeting Weinstein that his 67-year-old client “looked like he was in good shape,” but it was up to doctors when to release him.

“He is somewhat flabbergasted by the verdict,” and “cautiously optimistic” about his eventual appeal, Aidala said. “I almost feel emboldened by Mr. Weinstein’s spirits and his desire to continue to fight these charges.”

Weinstein was convicted of sexually assaulting former production assistant Mimi Haleyi in 2006, and raping former aspiring actress Jessica Mann in 2013.

The verdict was a milestone for the #MeToo movement, which Weinstein’s case fueled in late 2017 and inspired women to accuse hundreds of powerful men in entertainment, business, media, politics and other fields of sexual misconduct.

Weinstein faces up to 29 years in prison and is expected to be sentenced on March 11. His lawyers have said he will appeal.

The jury acquitted Weinstein on the two top charges, predatory sexual assault, which carried a maximum life sentence.

Aidala quoted Weinstein as saying after the verdict: “I’m innocent. I’m innocent. How can this happen in America?”

More than 80 women have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct. He has denied the accusations, and said any sexual encounters were consensual.

Actress Rose McGowan, who accused Weinstein of raping her, called the conviction “a huge step forward in our collective healing.”

Weinstein was a key force behind acclaimed films such as “The English Patient” and “Shakespeare in Love,” which both won Oscars for best picture.

He had been free on bail during the trial, and ate breakfast with his lawyers at a Four Seasons hotel on Monday morning.

But the trial judge, Justice James Burke of Manhattan state supreme court, ordered that Weinstein be jailed following the conviction, and court officers led him away in handcuffs.

Weinstein appeared frail and used a walker during the trial.

He was admitted at Bellevue to a unit that provides medical care for inmates, after media reports said he had experienced chest pain or heart palpitations.

A spokesman said earlier on Tuesday that Weinstein suffers from diabetes and high blood pressure.

The Rikers Island jail, whose main building went up in 1932, has long been plagued by violence and neglect, and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio vowed in 2017 to close it within a decade.

Jail officials could place Weinstein in a private or semi-private cell to help ensure his safety.

He would likely wear a tan jumpsuit, which indicates that he had yet to be sentenced, according to Malissa Allen, a mental health counsellor who has treated Rikers inmates.

Even before the trial got underway, defense lawyers accused Burke of bias against Weinstein and prosecutors of withholding evidence. They also said the trial should have been moved out of Manhattan after the media turned the case into a circus.

New York police officers stand outside Bellevue Hospital Center where film producer Harvey Weinstein is allegedly being held in Manhattan, February 25, 2020. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

Weinstein also faces several felony charges in Los Angeles in connection with his alleged sexual assaults against two women in 2013.

Those charges were announced on Jan. 6, the same day jury selection began in the Manhattan case.

Dozens of women have also filed civil lawsuits against Weinstein. His former film studio, Weinstein Co, filed for bankruptcy in March 2018 and is being liquidated.

Reporting by Gabriella Borter, Maria Caspani, Karen Freifeld, Brendan Pierson and Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Steve Orlofsky, Noeleen Walder and Marguerita Choy

Articles You May Like

Ex-White House candidate Buttigieg forms PAC to support ‘forward-thinking’ Democrats
United slashes New York-area flights due to coronavirus
Britain names new MI5 chief: the spy who investigated 2018 Novichok attack
Aprilia MotoGP boss slams ‘absurd’ Iannone doping ban
Time to take a break from tennis, says top U.S. group

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *