Harvey Weinstein’s lawyers want to move his trial to another city because of what they describe as a “carnival-like” atmosphere: Supermodel Gigi Hadid, who’s friends with one of Weinstein’s accusers, was selected as a potential juror. Another potential juror tweeted about using the trial to promote their book. And a flash mob even broke out at one point.
But so far, the judge hasn’t granted a new venue for the disgraced megaproducer, who’s been accused of sexual misconduct by more than 80 women but faces only five charges of assault and rape. Just days before opening arguments are set to begin on Jan. 22, multiple jurors have already been selected.
Weinstein has pleaded not guilty to the charges, one of which stems from allegations made by Mimi Haleyi, a production assistant who accused him of forcibly performing oral sex on her in 2006. The other woman, who’s unnamed, accused the 67-year-old of raping her in a hotel room in 2013. Weinstein has long denied all allegations of nonconsensual sex.
Here’s what you might’ve missed from the early days of what Weinstein’s lawyers are calling a “media and entertainment circus.”
Weinstein’s camp argues jurors may be “tainted”
Weinstein’s attorneys filed an appellate motion Wednesday arguing the trial should be moved out of New York City due to the crush of reporters and activists outside the courthouse.
The attorneys also noted that potential jurors were posting on social media in violation of court rules. One potential juror even tweeted: “If anyone knows how a person might hypothetically leverage serving on the jury of a high-profile case to promote their new novel, dm me please.” (That man was hauled before Judge Burke Thursday and threatened with 30 days in jail.)
Plus, Weinstein’s attorneys said, there had been loud “flash mob” protests in the streets outside, which could apparently be heard in the courtroom 14 stories away, and potential jurors might’ve been “tainted” by “pretrial publicity.” Judge Burke had denied Weinstein’s previous request to move the case out of his hometown last year.