Supermodel Gigi Hadid was in the Manhattan Supreme Court on Thursday, as she had been summoned for jury duty and was a potential juror in the Harvey Weinstein sexual assault trial. However, on the 8th day of jury selection, both the prosecution and defense agreed to dismiss Hadid as a potential juror.
According to Page Six, the 24-year-old was summoned on Monday, and she told the court that she had met Weinstein. However, she said that she could keep an open mind and be a fair juror.
— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) January 16, 2020
“I think I’m still able to keep an open mind on the facts,” said Hadid.
After she filled out a juror questionnaire, the court told Hadid to return on Thursday for more questioning. In the meantime, Weinstein’s lawyers were putting together a last-minute motion to ask an appeals court for a change of venue, and in their list of concerns about Weinstein getting a fair trial in Manhattan they cited the negative publicity from Hadid being a possible juror.
Weinstein’s lawyer Arthur Aidala wrote the motion for change of venue, and he cited Hadid’s friendship with accuser Cara Delevingne as reason for Hadid to be dismissed and Weinstein’s trial venue to be changed.
“The presence of Ms. Hadid, who informed the trial court that she is able to be a fair juror even though she has met Mr. Weinstein before and is a noted friend of Weinstein accuser Cara Delevingne, only contributes to the carnival-like atmosphere,” wrote Aidala. “Ms. Hadid attracts her own press and her presence also increases the number of spectators and protesters outside of the courthouse.”
Gigi Hadid leaving the Manhattan courthouse in New York pic.twitter.com/No8b9mRP7N
— @𝓰𝓲𝓫𝓮𝓵𝓵𝔁𝓴 (@gigibellakenda1) January 13, 2020
Aidala also argued that the majority of prospective jurors have been “tainted” because of the publicity surrounding the case. So far, out of 600 possible jurors, only 142 said on their questionnaire that they could be fair and impartial. Aidala said that 130 of them were already aware of the allegations against Weinstein before being summoned to court.
Aidala also voiced his concerns about jurors not being completely truthful on their questionnaires.
After Gigi Hadid filled out her questionnaire and returned to the court on Thursday, she was dismissed and excused as a potential juror, along with approximately 60 others.
Harvey Weinstein is facing charges that include two counts of predatory sexual assault, two counts of rape, and one count of criminal sex act after three women accused him of misconduct. Jury selection is still underway, and the trial is scheduled to begin on January 22nd. If he is found guilty, Weinstein could end up spending the rest of his life in prison.