Harvey Weinstein will have back surgery this week, after he was injured in a car crash in August.
Weinstein looked frail and gaunt when he appeared at a bail hearing on Friday, as he walked into the court with a cane and sometimes leaned on an assistant. Weinstein is due back in court on Wednesday.
Weinstein is set to go on trial on Jan. 6 on five charges of rape and sexual assault. His appearance led some to speculate that he was making a play for sympathy. His attorney, Donna Rotunno, issued a statement on Tuesday saying that was not the case.
Rotunno said Weinstein suffered a concussion in the crash in August, and will need back surgery this week.
“I was dismayed to see all the press coverage incorrectly stating that Mr. Weinstein was trying to garner sympathy at his court appearance last week,” Rotunno said in a statement, which was first reported by Court TV. “Mr. Weinstein was in a serious car accident in August, which resulted in a concussion and has now necessitated the need for back surgery later this week. He has been using a walker to assist him as the back pain has increased. He wanted to leave the walker in the car, so it did not appear that he was looking for sympathy, as he is not. The press surrounding his physical condition is mean spirited and false.”
Prosecutors are seeking to increase Weinstein’s bail from $1 million to $5 million. In court on Friday, the District Attorney’s office said he flagrantly abused the ankle monitoring system, incurring dozens of violations. Rotunno has argued that Weinstein has diligently appeared at all hearings, and should have the ankle bracelet removed.