×

Harvey Weinstein’s Defense Team Asks Again for Change of Venue

Harvey Weinstein’s defense team has asked again for a change of venue, arguing that his rape trial has devolved into a media circus.

Weinstein’s team asked in August to move the case to Albany or Suffolk County, on Long Island, saying the intense media scrutiny in Manhattan would make it impossible to get a fair trial. The New York state appeals court denied the request in October.

His defense lawyers filed a renewed motion on Wednesday to move to a “quieter jurisdiction,” saying that the media attention on the case has proven their earlier warnings correct. Of the 142 prospective jurors who have filled out questionnaires so far, 130 of them had heard about the case, the defense said.

Weinstein attorney Arthur Aidala argued that his client had been subjected to a “perfect storm of prejudice,” citing an “alarmingly high” percentage of prospective jurors who said could not be fair. Last Friday, a group of about 100 anti-rape activists staged a demonstration outside the court.

“Reporters and camera crews fill the entrance to the courthouse and line the hallways leading into the courtroom, celebrity press conferences denouncing the Defendant occur on the courthouse steps, and protests and demonstrations are audible inside the courtroom during proceedings,” Aidala wrote.

The defense asked for a hearing on the motion for a new venue at noon on Thursday at the appellate court. The motion also seeks a pause in jury selection while the appeals court considers the new request.

The defense has earlier asked for a pause in the trial after charges were filed against Weinstein in Los Angeles, and for Justice James Burke to recuse himself. Both those requests were denied.

Burke has said he expects to commence live questioning of potential jurors on Thursday. Opening statements are expected to take place on Jan. 22.

More Biz

  • Dau

    'Dau' Director Defends Controversial Russian Competition Film: 'It's not Hollywood'

    “Dau. Natasha,” the Russian art project-turned-movie franchise competing at the Berlinale, has triggered headlines in the local and international press over the years due to its epic scale, scenes of graphic violence and anecdotes of an allegedly oppressive work environment for women. Hours before the film’s premiere at a presser on Wednesday, Ilya Khrzhanovsky, who [...]

  • The Spanish Princess Starz

    Starz CEO Jeffrey Hirsch Lifts Lid on Local Originals Drive for SVOD Starzplay

    Starz CEO Jeffrey Hirsch has outlined the local originals strategy for Starzplay, revealing that a slate of shows are being planned out of the Middle East and India as the business looks to complement its U.S. and English-language pipeline of content. Speaking at the Berlinale Series Market and Conference on Wednesday, the executive told Variety that the [...]

  • YGRolling Loud SOCAL, Los Angeles, USA

    YG’s 4Hunnid Label Strikes Joint Venture With Epic Records (EXCLUSIVE)

    Compton rapper YG today unveiled a joint venture between his 4Hunnid label and Epic Records. The Sony Music company will exclusively release, distribute and market new music from the rapper’s Los Angeles-based independent label. The first release from the partnership is scheduled to come from Compton female rapper Day Sulan, who was featured on YG’s [...]

  • Bob Iger and Bob Chapek Disney

    How Disney Veteran Bob Chapek Emerged From Dark-Horse Status to Take CEO Job

    When the final act came in the corporate succession drama that has captivated Hollywood for years, it turned out that Bob Chapek was the logical candidate who was hiding in plain sight the whole time. The news that Chapek would succeed Bob Iger as CEO of the Walt Disney Co. hit the entertainment industry like [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content