Tuesday, 26 October, 2021


Jury selection begins for Weinstein rape trial after new charges laid

The astonishing request came a day after Justice James Burke threatened Harvey Weinstein with prison for apparently using his mobile phone in court The astonishing request came a day after Justice James Burke threatened Harvey Weinstein with prison for apparently using his mobile phone in court
Melba Vasquez | 09 January, 2020, 16:40

"Mr. Weinstein, I can not implore you more to not answer the following question - that means don't say anything", Burke reportedly Weinstein, according to The Post.

They cited Burke's refusal on Tuesday to adjourn the NY case for a "cooling off period" after felony sex crimes charges were filed against Weinstein in California the previous day, his decision not to allow a change of venue to another jurisdiction, and his refusal to allow Weinstein's jury consultant to sit at the defense table during jury selection.

The motion refers to remarks made by Judge James Burke Tuesday morning, after Weinstein, 67, was caught using his cell phone by a court bailiff inside the courtroom.

Burke on Tuesday threatened to revoke Weinstein's bail after catching him using his cellphone in court, asking him, "Is this really the way you want to end up in jail for the rest of your life, by texting and violating a court order?"

"In New York County, Mr Weinstein faces a daily gauntlet of reporters, gawkers, and negative backlash as he makes his way to court each day", they write.

After jury selection, Mr Weinstein's NY trial is expected to begin in about two weeks' time.

The recusal request came during a second day of jury selection that ended with 30 people invited back next week for additional questioning. He's accused of raping a woman in a Manhattan hotel in 2013 and forcibly performing oral sex on another woman in NY 2006. He is also facing more sexual assault charges in the state of California, but that case won't move forward until his trial in NY is over.

The former studio boss behind such Oscar-winning movies such as Pulp Fiction and Shakespeare in Love has said any sexual activity was consensual.

Danny Frost, a spokesman for the New York District Attorney's Office, told CNN that prosecutor Joan Illuzzi told the judge she needs to read the motion first and will tell the court whether she needs to respond.

In the Los Angeles case, which will be tried at a later date, he is accused of sexually assaulting two women on back-to-back nights in 2013. On both Tuesday and Wednesday, more than one-quarter of each group was dismissed swiftly after telling the judge that they could not be fair and impartial in Weinstein's case. They were also told testimony will last about six weeks. It is, however, not confirmed if Theron, Hayek and Perez will be called in for the final hearing from a list of 90 potential witnesses.

Harvey Weinstein, followed by his attorney Donna Rotunno (right) today.

Earlier on Wednesday, Weinstein's lawyers asked to bar high-profile lawyer Gloria Allred from attending the trial, saying they might call her as a witness, but Justice James Burke denied the request.

Allred represents one of the accusers in the criminal case, Haleyi, and two other women who are expected to testify, including actress Annabella Sciorra.

The court is now having a hard time to put together a bench of jurors.

A third woman said she had "a very close friend who had an encounter with the defendant".

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