Fallen movie mogul and convicted rapist Harvey Weinstein has tested positive for COVID-19 and is in an isolation unit in a New York state prison, it’s been confirmed to Variety.
Weinstein’s team would not confirm or deny his health status, citing privacy concerns, but Variety has confirmed the positive test results through an anonymous New York state prison official.
“The prison is well aware of the situation. They are doing everything they can to make sure he’s safe and being taken care of,” Weinstein’s spokesman, Juda Engelmayer, told Variety.
Seven prison employees who were in direct contact with Weinstein were also put into quarantine to avoid spreading the coronavirus, sources told Variety.
Weinstein is being housed at the Wende Correctional Facility, a maximum-security prison outside Buffalo, New York, after being found guilty on two charges of a criminal sex act and rape in the third degree.
Weinstein was reported to have tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday evening when a local newspaper said the former movie mogul had the coronavirus.
“We’re pretty confident that he’s probably tested positive, but we haven’t gotten confirmation,” the prison official previously told Variety.
“From what we understand, he did receive a test recently. We’re basing it off of solid information that he has contracted the virus.”
Weinstein had been transferred from Rikers Island in New York City to Wende Correctional Facility near Buffalo last week. Weinstein also spent time at Bellevue Hospital over the past two weeks where he was being monitored for chest pains, immediately following his 23-year sentencing.
Prior to his sentencing, but after he was found guilty by a jury, Weinstein was at Bellevue where he underwent a heart procedure to remove a blockage.
New York City hospitals, like Bellevue, have been experiencing an unsustainable surge in patients, as Manhattan is the epicentre of the pandemic.
On Monday afternoon, Governor Andrew Cuomo said nearly 21,000 cases have been confirmed in New York state with 12,000 of those cases in New York City.
Weinstein turned 68 last week in prison, so given his age and poor health conditions, he is a high-risk individual with the coronavirus.
He is serving a 23-year term in New York, and is facing charges in Los Angeles as well. The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office began the extradition process late last week, signaling plans to move forward with the LA trial.
A spokesperson for the LA District Attorney’s office said on Monday, “As for any concerns given the coronavirus pandemic, our office expects that each agency responsible for processing, transporting and housing defendant Weinstein will follow its protocols and public health guidelines.”