Harvey Weinsten Loses His Appeal For Change Of Venue, Sexual Assault Trial Will Take Place In Manhattan
Harvey Weinstein’s legal team attempted to have his sexual assault trial moved out of Manhattan at the very last minute, but a New York appeals court has turned them down.
According to Page Six, the Appellate Division First Department made a decision about Weinstein’s trial venue just hours before opening statements are scheduled to begin.
The disgraced Hollywood producer’s lawyer, Arthur Aidala, filed an emergency motion last Thursday to request the change of venue. He argued that there was a “carnival-like atmosphere” outside of the courtroom after supermodel Gigi Hadid was summoned for jury duty. Even though Hadid was ultimately dismissed as a possible juror for the trial, Aidala claimed that her temporary involvement caused negative publicity for Weinstein.
“Ms. Hadid attracts her own press and her presence also increases the number of spectators and protesters outside of the courthouse,” Aidala wrote in the filing.
Aidala also argued in his motion that at least three-quarters of potential jurors summoned for the case admitted they couldn’t be fair and impartial during the proceedings.
This isn’t the first time Weinstein’s legal team has attempted to get his trial moved to a different location. They filed a motion last August for a change of venue, but the appeals court rejected that request, too.
Harvey Weinstein is facing two counts of predatory sexual assault, two counts of rape, and one count of criminal sexual act based on the allegations of three women, including former Sopranos actress Annabella Sciorra.
If he’s convicted, Weinstein will most likely end up spending the rest of his life in prison. After his New York trial comes to an end - the expectation is that the trial will last at least a couple of months - Harvey Weinstein will be facing similar charges in California based on the claims of two other women.
Opening arguments in Harvey Weinstein’s rape case will begin on Wednesday morning, January 22nd. His defense team says they will refer to “dozens and dozens of loving” emails from women who Weinstein allegedly assaulted to help them win the case.
New York State Supreme Court Judge James Burke ruled on Tuesday that he will allow the defense team to reference the emails in an opening PowerPoint presentation.