As of Tuesday night, Weinstein was still at the hospital for monitoring, according to his publicist, Juda Engelmayer. “I spoke to him, and he said that he’s physically not doing well and every day he’s feeling worse,” Engelmayer said.
If Weinstein’s two guilty counts stand, he will go to an Upstate prison for a minimum of five years and up to 29 years. But his lawyers are still fighting for his freedom in what could be a prolonged legal battle.
“Now, it’s just focusing on sentencing and then the appeal,” his lawyer Donna Rotunno said Tuesday.
In addition to preparing an appeal in New York, his lawyers are gearing up to fight pending charges in Los Angeles related to two women. An Italian actress he met at a Hollywood film festival alleges he raped her and forced her to perform oral sex on him on Feb. 18, 2013, after he showed up at her hotel room. The woman, who has not made her name public, told authorities that he threatened her life if she disclosed the incident to anyone. The next day, in a Beverly Hills hotel suite, he allegedly lured Lauren Young to a bathroom and trapped her, then masturbated while groping her.
Weinstein was convicted Monday of first-degree criminal sex act for forcing oral sex on former production assistant Mimi Haleyi in 2006 at his SoHo apartment, and for third-degree rape in an encounter with former aspiring actress Jessica Mann at a New York DoubleTree hotel in 2013. He was acquitted of enhanced predatory sexual assault charges that would have also included an accusation by “Sopranos” actress Annabella Sciorra, who testified that Weinstein raped her at her Gramercy Park apartment in late 1993 or early 1994.
Rotunno, Weinstein’s Chicago-based attorney who has made a specialty out of defending men accused of sex crimes, said the verdict came as a surprise. The hard-fought case featured intense cross-examination of Haleyi, Mann and Sciorra, as well as three accusers who were allowed to testify only as supporting witnesses, including Young.
Weinstein’s conviction can be appealed after he’s sentenced, but it’s rare for an appeals court to reverse a jury’s conviction and order a new trial. His attorneys are expected to argue that the trial had a number of issues, including what they believe was a pile-on of supporting accusers who should not have been allowed to testify.
They are also likely to argue that Juror No. 11 — an author whose novel relates to “predatory older men,” according to a description on the juror’s website — should have been thrown off the jury for cause, which Justice James Burke declined to do. The judge’s rulings, Rotunno said, were “very pro-prosecution.”
“If the jury was looking at evidence and evidence only, which is what they were supposed to do, I think this would have been not guilty on all counts,” the lawyer said.
The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office declined to comment on the appeals issues. Courts spokesman Lucian Chalfen, on behalf of Burke, simply responded that the defense is free to appeal.
Jurors have been largely elusive since the verdict. A notable exception is a Tuesday “Inside Edition” interview with Juror No. 2, who said that reaching a verdict was a very stressful event, and that “tensions were high” in the jury room.
“My hands were sweating. I felt like my heart was literally going to pop out of my chest,” she said, adding that she was “confident in my decision.”
She also said that many jurors believed Sciorra. “I feel like the way things went for her, it was wrong. It was very much so wrong and I just feel like that hopefully with the verdict that we gave she feels that she has some type of closure.”
Weinstein’s $2 million bail was revoked by Burke shortly after the verdict. His lawyers are looking at whether and when to appeal that decision to a higher court.
Weinstein, since his arrest in 2018, has spent no more than a few hours in custody — and only for processing. His breeze through the system was considered an anomaly, and seen as special treatment by courthouse regulars who typically see 24-hour turnaround times from arrest to arraignment.
When he gets to Los Angeles, he’ll have to be arraigned on the charges and a judge will determine bail. The L.A. district attorney’s office previously said it would ask for $5 million bail, but it’s unclear if that would change based on his new status as a convict on the East Coast.
Victim advocates and Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. have hailed the verdict as a historical moment. The conviction was the first to emerge from the dozens of sexual misconduct allegations against Weinstein, which were first reported in October 2017 and jump-started the #MeToo movement. In addition, Mann and Haleyi had an ongoing relationship with Weinstein after their assaults, a situation typically considered too problematic to prosecute. “This is the new landscape for survivors of sexual assault in America. This is a new day,” Vance said at a news conference Monday.
Vance has been criticized in recent years for his treatment of accusations against powerful men, including his 2015 decision to decline to prosecute Weinstein after Italian Filipina model Ambra Battilana Gutierrez accused him of grabbing her breasts during what she thought was a professional meeting at his Tribeca office.
Vance’s office said it did not have enough evidence, and Battilana Gutierrez later reached a settlement with Weinstein and signed a nondisclosure agreement. But she now may be a supporting witness in the Los Angeles case, said a source with knowledge of the arrangement, who was not authorized to speak about the proceedings.
On Monday, Battilana Gutierrez heard news of the verdict and raced down to the courthouse in a cab from her home in Midtown. She said she has no hard feelings about her case, and that her efforts helped get Weinstein to the place he is today. “Even at the start, I felt it was for someone else.”
“I felt like I didn’t have a life anymore,” she added. “Just the fact that he doesn’t even feel sorry for whatever he did — [jail is] what he deserved.”