Harvey Weinstein is heading back to Rikers Island, after doctors concluded he was healthy enough to leave Bellevue Hospital, his spokesman said.
Weinstein will be held at North Infirmary Command, the medical ward at Rikers where he had been held for several days prior to his sentencing last week.
Justice James Burke sentenced him on Wednesday to 23 years in prison for rape and sexual assault.
Just hours later, Weinstein was brought back to Bellevue after a very short stay at Rikers, where the hospital staff was concerned about his health.
The week prior to his sentencing, Weinstein underwent an angioplasty, after complaining about chest pains and spiked blood pressure. Despite reports that surfaced last week, Weinstein did not suffer a minor heart attack, according to his spokesman.
“It’s known that he has a weak heart,” Weinstein’s spokesman Juda Engelmayer tells Variety. “So, right after the sentencing, when he went back to Rikers, he was faint and talking funny, and the staff at Rikers felt it was best to send him back to make sure nothing happened to him. He has heart issues and serious health issues and they wanted to make sure he was okay.”
Weinstein was brought back to Bellevue just a few days before coronavirus concerns began to sweep New York City. But Weinstein’s hospital stay was not connected to concerns about the virus. “That wasn’t the original issue — the original issue was a heart issue,” Engelmayer says. “With what has been going on with coronavirus, there is being more concern being taken, but that was not the issue.”
Weinstein still faces four counts of rape and sexual assault in Los Angeles.
When asked if coronavirus precautions across the nation, especially in big cities like New York and Los Angeles, could delay the extradition process from the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office, Engelmayer says it’s unlikely.
“I don’t think coronavirus is going to delay it — just the legal and judicial process will delay it a little bit, but not too much,” he says, adding, “Allegedly, they’ve already started the process. I haven’t heard it officially, but I think there is a little bit of process in place. He has to first be sentenced to a correctional facility and find a permanent home.”
His rep tells Variety he will be sent to his permanent prison home base “shortly,” and they are “assessing him, in terms of medical care,” so that he can be stationed in a prison with proper medical facilities.
While the exact prison is still being sorted out, the Downstate Correctional Facility, a maximum-security prison in the town of Fishkill in the Hudson Valley region of New York, is a strong possibility.
The news of a 23-year sentence — essentially a life sentence for Weinstein who turns 68 this week — is starting to set in for Weinstein, who after his guilty verdict, was focused on his future and the appeals process.
“I think that he’s managing the best he can,” Engelmayer says. “I think this has dawned on him. It’s very hard on him. It’s a new reality and it’s starting to set in.”