Why is Harvey Weinstein trying to appeal his #MeToo case decision?
Ever since Harvey Weinstein was accused of sexual assault & rape back in 2018, his case has been at the heart of the #MeToo movement. And with many twists & turns in his case, some are wondering if he’ll ever get out of prison. Now, Weinstein is attempting to appeal the case decision itself. Here’s everything we know about the new developments.
A possible mistrial
On Monday, ex-film producer Harvey Weinstein filed an appeal of his recent conviction of sexual assault & rape, claiming the appeal is on the basis his trial was rigged. According to Weinstein’s attorney, Barry Kamins, the judge should have replaced Juror 11, as she had previously written a novel with themes of sexual exploitation, and was therefore biased.
According to the mistrial brief, the juror had, in her novel, perpetuated what Kamins interpreted as “myths” about subject matter close to the trial. The brief explains: “Perhaps most troubling, defense counsel discovered an article in The Atlantic in which Juror No. 11 had, herself, characterized [her book] Age of Consent as a ‘deeply personal story,’ suggesting that the book was, at least in part, autobiographical.”
The brief continues: “This admission raised even more questions about whether Juror No. 11 had concealed information about her own experiences with ‘sexually predatory men’ that might affect her ability to serve as a fair and impartial juror and whether she had answered other questions on the juror questionnaire honestly.”
Are there other potential examples of mistrial in the case?
Harvey Weinstein’s lawyer is also complaining that a number of women were brought in to testify against the ex-producer, despite their allegations not having been charged. Among the women who testified were Dawn Dunning, Tarale Wulff, and Lauren Young.
Dunning told the court that Weinstein had non-consensually touched her genitals during a work meeting, and later, had offered her film work if she promised to participate in a threesome with him.
Wulff also had a number of allegations against Weinstein. She told the court that the business mogul had masturbated in front of her at the restaurant she worked in, and raped her in his New York apartment.
But Weinstein’s attorney did not seem to think that these allegations should be taken seriously in a court of law. “Mr. Weinstein was tried not only for alleged criminal acts charged in the indictment, but also for his alleged propensity to behave in ways that evinced licentiousness in his relationships with women.”
Will Harvey Weinstein be released on bail?
When the appeal for Harvey Weinstein’s case was filed, Barry Kamins argued that Weinstein should be released on bail while everything was being sorted out. Unfortunately for Weinstein, though, this request was denied.
Kamins argued that Weinstein be released on the basis that Juror 11 was dishonest when she answered selection questions. He argued that she “effectively became the People’s stealth expert on the jury, an uncross-examined front of information about how women behave after being sexually abused by older men.”
He added that “Allowing Juror No. 11 to participate in the deliberations did not merely obstruct the judicial process, it single-handedly obliterated it.”
What else is Harvey Weinstein’s defense team saying?
Harvey Weinstein’s defense team claimed he is not only a victim of a mistrial, but also of character assassination. “Sadly for Mr. Weinstein,” argued the team in a statement, “the trial court’s sentence reflects not on Mr. Weinstein, the man, and the conduct for which he was convicted, but on Mr. Weinstein the media villain.”
The statement asks people “whether a [then] 68 year-old man by any other name, with no criminal record, a lifetime of professional contributions to his field; an unparalleled history of charitable work; and serious medical conditions would have been sentenced so harshly for acts that involved no violence and no injury to the complainants, and where both complainants continued to have voluntary sex with the defendant.”