Harvey Weinstein, whom has been convicted of three counts of rape and sexual assault in Los Angeles, filed an appeal for an earlier New York City case.
Weinstein’s attorneys have attributed his conviction to the “inflammatory” and “prejudicial” atmosphere surrounding the trial. Weinstein’s legal representative, Arthur L. Aidala, stated that Weinstein maintains his innocence and will continue to fight for a fair and just outcome in the appeals process.
“The day I met Harvey in 2019 he told me ‘I was innocent,’” Aidala says. “Despite all the negative things that have happened from 2019 to today, the one thing that hasn’t been diminished is his powerful defense of himself and his proclamations of innocence. He has not given up.”
Weinstein’s lawyer Arthur says Weinstein was “actively involved in the appeal, in the drafting and approving and editing of it.”
Aidala told Page Six that the appeal is “a trial of the trial judge,” James Burke, and whether he “ruled fairly and accurately, whether he followed the law in his rulings about what could and couldn’t go into evidence.”
On Tuesday, Weinstein’s legal team filed an appeal in the State of New York Court of Appeals, stating that the “intense and pervasive” media coverage, pressure from advocacy groups, and public condemnation that surrounded his trial resulted in an unfair and prejudiced atmosphere that hindered his right to a fair and impartial trial.
“Against this backdrop, Weinstein was stripped of the presumption of innocence and subjected to a process that bore little resemblance to the fair and impartial trial demanded by the Constitution. Put bluntly, the court of public opinion became the court in this case,” Aidala says.
The new filing also claims that the judge succumbed “to the pressure of an influential social movement determined to punish centuries of male misbehavior by setting an example in convicting one man.”
The claim also suggests that he should be “entitled to a new trial as the jury was clearly overwhelmed by excessive prior bad act evidence, none of which shed light on disputed issues relevant to the charged offenses.”
It was allege that “Weinstein was tried not only for alleged criminal acts charged in the indictment, but also for his prurient interest in women.”
The appeal also claims there was an problem with the jury. It was claimed that one jurors failed to disclose “that she was publishing a ‘highly personal’ book about the sexual predations of older men against young women,” says the filing.
Weinstein’s legal team was granted the opportunity to bring the case to the Court of Appeals in August, following a denial from a lower appeals court to overturn his conviction.
Back in February 2020, a jury found Weinstein guilty of forcibly performing oral sex on former “Project Runway” production assistant Miriam “Mimi” Haleyi in 2006, and of raping Jessica Mann in 2013. Weinstein was acquitted of two counts of predatory sexual assault, after it was claimed that he raped actress Annabella Sciorra in the 1990s.
It will be interesting to see what happens with Harvey Weinstein next. Keep checking back to Thirsty for News for the very latest.