NEW YORK — A stooped Harvey Weinstein shuffled into court with a walker Tuesday for the start of jury selection at the disgraced Hollywood mogul's sexual assault trial in New York, the morning after.
The judge ruled that jury selection would begin as scheduled Tuesday despite a request from Weinstein's lawyer to grant a “cooling-off period” following the new charges. Scores of potential jurors were summoned for a selection process that could take weeks, given the heavy publicity surrounding the case and the way Weinstein has been cast as the chief villain of the #MeToo movement.
Weinstein, who recently underwent back surgery, is charged in New York with raping a woman in a Manhattan hotel room in 2013 and forcibly performing a sex act on another woman in the city in 2006. The 67-year-old former movie titan has said any sexual activity was consensual.
“In this great country, you are innocent until proven guilty," his lawyer Donna Rotunno said Monday.
Judge James Burke denied the prosecution's request to jail Weinstein after they argued the Los Angeles charges increased his incentive to flee. Burke did threaten to jail Weinstein for violating his order not to use his cell phone in the courtroom.