Harvey Weinstein is going “stir crazy, just staring at the emptiness” as he waits under guard in a New York City hospital to begin his sentence for sexual assault and rape, a spokesman says..
The disgraced Hollywood producer was admitted late on Monday to a Bellevue Hospital unit for inmates, hours after a Manhattan jury found him guilty of sexually assaulting former production assistant Mimi Haleyi in 2006 and raping former aspiring actress Jessica Mann in 2013.
He had been en route to New York City’s Rikers Island jail complex when he was diverted to Bellevue. Media reports said he suffered chest pain or heart palpitations. Engelmayer noted that Weinstein also suffers from diabetes and high blood pressure.
His conviction was a milestone for the #MeToo movement, which inspired women to hold hundreds of powerful men to account for sexual misconduct. He is due to be sentenced on March 11.
Weinstein’s spokesman, Juda Engelmayer, said he spent about an hour and a half with him at the hospital on Friday reflecting on the case and what the future holds for Weinstein, who faces up to 29 years in prison.
His lawyers plan to appeal the verdict. He is also charged with sexual assault in Los Angeles.
“It’s scaring him,” Engelmayer said in an interview. “I think he’s melancholy. He’s very, very low right now.”
Far from the mansion he called home and luxury hotel suites that were his hunting ground, Weinstein’s current accommodation is a spartan room with a bed, stainless steel toilet with no seat and large windows. Guards are stationed outside the door.
Weinstein is allowed to make limited phone calls from a common area, the former producer’s spokesman said.
“He doesn’t like being left alone,” Engelmayer said. “When no one’s there, he said he’s just staring at the four walls. He can go stir crazy just staring at the emptiness.”
Engelmayer’s description contrasted with defence lawyer Arthur Aidala’s portrayal of his 67-year-old client after he visited him at the hospital on Tuesday.
Aidala said Weinstein appeared “upbeat” and “in pretty good spirits”.
More than 80 women have accused the producer of sexual misconduct, which he has denied, insisting any and all sexual encounters were consensual.
Actress Ellen Barkin, a friend of Weinstein accuser Annabella Sciorra, wrote on Twitter on Tuesday: “He is in a private suite in Bellevue hospital. This is not what the jury had in mind.”
Lawyer Gloria Allred, who represents some of Weinstein’s accusers, questioned if he was receiving special treatment instead of being treated at the Rikers infirmary.
A spokesman for the New York City Department of Correction said only that he was in their custody and that “health care is provided as appropriate.”
– with AAP