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harvey weinstein trial

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Former Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein has been threatened with jail for using his phone in a New York City court where a jury is being picked for his rape trial.

Judge James Burke asked 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?”

The judge instructed Harvey Weinstein, who is out on bail, not to answer the question.

He faces five charges and possibly life in jail if convicted.

The allegations include rape and assault relating to two unnamed accusers. He is charged with raping one woman in a Manhattan hotel room in 2013, and performing a forcible sex act on the second woman in 2006.

On January 6, Harvey Weinstein was charged with an additional two counts in Los Angeles: rape and assault.

He has denied all charges and insists any encounters were consensual.

According to local media, on January 7, Harvey Weinstein, 67, was caught using two mobile phones in court. He had already been admonished by Judge Burke at previous court appearances for using a handset.

Judge Burke said: “What did I say would happen if he so much has a cellphone or electronic device since there have been repeated violations of this, including some on the record?”

“I believe you said remand,” Harvey Weinstein’s lawyer replied after a heated exchange, meaning to put his client in jail.

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Lead prosecutor Joan Illuzzi urged Judge Burke to jail Harvey Weinstein, who is out on $5 million bail. He is required to wear an electronic tracking device.

“There is a grave risk that this defendant at some point will realize that the evidence against him is imposing and overwhelming” and he will try to escape, Joan Illuzzi said.

Judge Burke ultimately declined to revoke Harvey Weinstein’s bail, but told the former movie mogul he would not get any further warning.

“I’m not looking for apologies,” Judge Burke said.

“I’m looking for compliance.”

In court, Harvey Weinstein’s lawyer, Arthur Aidala, asked Judge Burke to delay jury selection, arguing that the jury pool had been tarnished by the extensive press coverage of the Los Angeles charges filed on January 6.

Judge Burke rejected the defense request.

After jury selection, Harvey Weinstein’s New York trial is expected to begin in around two weeks.

Image source Wikimedia

Harvey Weinstein has reached a tentative $25 million settlement with dozens of women who have accused him of misconduct, lawyers have said.

Some 30 actresses and ex-employees would share the payout in the deal.

However, it still needs signing off by all parties, Harvey Weinstein’s lawyers have not commented and some say the deal will punish those holding out.

The Hollywood mogul faces a separate criminal trial next month on rape and assault charges, which he denies.

Harvey Weinstein could face life in jail if convicted.

On December 11, the Hollywood producer’s bail sum was raised from $1 million to $5 million for the alleged mishandling of an electronic ankle monitor.

Harvey Weinstein’s Accuser Told by Police to Delete Phone Files

Annabella Sciorra Accuses Harvey Weinstein of Rape and Daryl Hannah Shares a Story

Natassia Malthe Accuses Harvey Weinstein of Raping Her after BAFTA Awards Ceremony

Harvey Weinstein attended the court hearing in New York using a walking frame. His lawyers said he was undergoing surgery on December 12 for injuries suffered in a car accident in August.

The $25 million settlement is part of a larger $47 million package intended to close the Weinstein Company’s liabilities, including legal fees. Harvey Weinstein would not pay personally, the sum would come from insurance companies representing the Weinstein Company.

A group lawsuit had been brought by dozens of women who accuse Harvey Weinstein of harassment and abuse, though high-profile figures who have also made allegations, such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie, are not part of the action.

Genie Harrison, a lawyer for one of the plaintiffs, told the New York Times: “I don’t think there’s a markedly better deal to be made.”

She said other alleged victims who hold out could end up with nothing, and that they should “come forward and be able to get the best level of compensation we were able to get”.

One plaintiff backing the deal, Louisette Geiss, told Associated Press: “This settlement will ensure that all survivors have the chance for recovery and can move forward without Harvey’s damaging lock on their careers.”