Monday 27 May 2019

Harvey Weinstein will not testify in front of grand jury over sex charges

It was previously confirmed that the film producer will plead not guilty to the charges.

Harvey Weinstein will not testify in front of Grand Jury (Steven Hirsch/AP/PA)
Harvey Weinstein will not testify in front of Grand Jury (Steven Hirsch/AP/PA)

By Lucy Mapstone, Press Association Deputy Entertainment Editor

Harvey Weinstein will not testify before the grand jury over sex charges on the advice of his lawyers.

The film producer was charged last Friday on two counts of rape and one of a criminal sexual act for alleged incidents involving two separate women.

Weinstein was due to face the grand jury – the panel convened by the Manhattan District Attorney which will decide whether to indict Weinstein – on Wednesday, but his lawyers have advised him not to appear.

They say the former movie mogul did not have enough time to prepare to testify, and that he only learned on Friday of the identities of the two women relating to the charges.

Harvey Weinstein was arraigned on rape and other charges (AP/Bebeto Matthews)

A statement issued on behalf of Weinstein’s lawyer Benjamin Brafman said: “After being unfairly denied access to critical information about this case that was needed to defend him before the grand jury, Mr Weinstein’s attorneys decided that there was not sufficient time to properly prepare Mr Weinstein.

“The identities of the accusers and the specific charges were provided to Mr Weinstein last Friday on the eve of the Memorial Day weekend and a deadline for his appearance set for Wednesday, 2pm.

“Our request for a postponement of his appearance before the grand jury was denied.

“Accordingly, Mr Brafman will inform the District Attorney today that Mr Weinstein intends to follow the advice of his attorneys and not testify before the grand jury.”

The statement continued: “Not having access to these materials is particularly troubling in this case, where one of the unsupported allegations is more than 14 years old and the rape allegation involves a woman with whom Mr Weinstein shared a 10-year consensual sexual relationship that continued for years after the alleged incident in 2013.

“Finally, Mr Weinstein’s attorneys noted that regardless of how compelling Mr Weinstein’s personal testimony might be, an indictment was inevitable due to the unfair political pressure being placed on Cy Vance to secure a conviction of Mr Weinstein.”

Weinstein, 66, appeared in court on Friday in New York in his first public appearance since facing numerous allegations of sexual misconduct.

He posted a one million dollar (£751,060) cash bail and agreed to wear an electronic monitor which tracks his movements 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

He also surrendered his passport and agreed to stay within the states of New York and Connecticut.

Weinstein, who has repeatedly denied allegations of non-consensual sex, intends to plead not guilty to the charges, Mr Brafman said outside court.

Press Association

Editors Choice

Also in Entertainment

Back to top