×

Harvey Weinstein in ‘Disbelief’ as He Remains in Hospital: ‘He Didn’t Do Anything Wrong’

Harvey Weinstein is “in disbelief,” but “not delusional,” about his conviction, as he remains under care at Bellevue Hospital before being transferred to Rikers Island, where he’ll be put behind bars.

“He’s still in disbelief of the charges he was convicted of. He’s very consistent about his innocence,” one of Weinstein’s attorneys, Arthur Aidala, told Variety over the phone late Wednesday night.

Weinstein was convicted Monday on two felony charges: criminal sex act in the first-degree for assaulting Miriam Haley by forcible oral sex in 2006, and rape in the third-degree for raping Jessica Mann in a New York City hotel room in 2013.

Aidala, who visited Weinstein in the hospital this week, gave some insight into Weinstein’s thoughts about his conviction.

“He’s realistic, and he knows he’s got a major problem. He’s not delusional,” Weinstein’s attorney said. “But at the same time, we didn’t get into anything about him being apologetic. He’s very consistent that he didn’t do anything wrong — he didn’t do anything against anyone’s will.”

“The Jessica Mann charge is ridiculous. They were boyfriend and girlfriend. That was the no-means-no rape — it wasn’t the forcible rape,” he said of the third-degree charge.

“The thing with Mimi,” Aidala continued, “Mr. Weinstein said, ‘If I really violated her, is she really going to have consensual sex with me a few days later?’ That just didn’t happen.”

When Aidala visited Weinstein in his hospital room, his client was in relatively good spirits, the attorney claimed, as they discussed their plan forward to appeal the New York conviction and what the next steps are for the Los Angeles trial.

“I was prepared for the worst. I was expecting to see him in really bad shape, but he wasn’t. He was okay,” Aidala said, describing Weinstein’s hospital room as having an EKG machine. “He was in a good state of mind. Obviously, he doesn’t really want to be there, but it wasn’t like he was sitting there in a cage — it looked like a regular hospital room with a regular hospital bed.” Aidala added that the two ate lunch together, and the food was “pretty good,” since Weinstein is getting regular hospital food for lunch — not prison food, yet.

Aidala insisted he does not know the exact reason why Weinstein was admitted to the hospital, but said that his client is not faking health problems.

A doctor who works for the Department of Corrections made the decision for Weinstein to be placed at Bellevue, rather than Rikers Island, Aidala said, when his blood pressure spiked to the level of needing hospital care. When he was first admitted to the hospital, a spokesman for Weinstein said he was having chest pains. Aidala noted that Weinstein wasn’t able to take his regular medication when he was taken into custody on Monday, so he wasn’t being “properly medicated,” which could have resulted in irregular blood pressure.

“When I saw him, he looked very similar to when I’ve seen him the last two months,” Aidala shared, giving a glimpse into Weinstein’s appearance and health.

The attorney does not know when Weinstein will be transferred to Rikers, but confirmed he will be taken straight from Bellevue to the North Infirmary Complex at Rikers Island. Aidala said a doctor will make the decision on when Weinstein can be transferred.

Weinstein’s sentencing is set for March 11. The former power producer is facing a maximum sentence of 29 years in New York prison. Pending the outcome of their appeal, Weinstein’s attorney, however, doesn’t believe Weinstein will serve anywhere close to the maximum time of nearly three decades.

“No one is really talking about those numbers, except that it sounds good when the news reporters talk about it on TV and the radio,” he said. “We didn’t really talk about the sentencing phase. We really spoke about the appeal and the L.A. trial and the future and what to do next.”

As for his plans to appeal, Weinstein has to put together a legal appellate team. Aidala might be on the team to help identify and highlight “the most egregious mistakes that were made during the trial, both by the prosecutor and the judge,” but writing an appeal is not his expertise, so it’s likely Weinstein will obtain additional lawyers with his defense attorneys from the criminal trial.

Weinstein’s team believes that because of high interest in the case and their client’s notoriety, the judge, Justice James Burke, may give him an unfair sentence, but they hope the judge will consider Weinstein’s charitable work throughout his life when making a determination.

“Most judges, almost any judge, would give him a very low end of that range, based on his age, his lack of any criminal  history whatsoever and based on his good deeds and good acts throughout his life,” Aidala said, noting that Weinstein helped raise millions of dollars for Hurricane Sandy relief and was on the board of the Robin Hood Foundation the end poverty in New York. “He was really involved with a lot of philanthropy,” the attorney said.

“If his name was just Harvey Jones and he was a regular guy in society, most judges would sentence him to the low range,” Aidala said. “He was acquitted of three of the five charges.”

But he’s not Harvey Jones. He’s Harvey Weinstein.

“I can only hope for the best,” Aidala said.

More Biz

  • A police line forbids the access

    L.A. County Orders Closure of Beaches and Hiking Trails

    Those hoping to escape to the beach this weekend after being pent up at home are out of luck. On Friday, Los Angeles County ordered the closure of beaches and hiking trails, hoping to avoid the crowds that could cause the spread of the coronavirus. State and local officials had previously ordered the closure of [...]

  • Viacom HQ LA

    ViacomCBS Sets $2.5 Billion Debt Offering as Company Faces Tough Scrutiny

    ViacomCBS has disclosed plans for a $2.5 billion debt offering, an effort that comes as the newly merged company faces tough scrutiny of its growth strategy and balance sheet amid the coronavirus-related economic crisis. ViacomCBS said it would seek to raise $2.5 billion for cash that may be used to help pay down some of [...]

  • A2IM

    A2IM’s Indie Week and Libera Awards Go Virtual for 2020

    In yet another sign of the times, the American Association of Independent Music (A2IM) today announced that the 2020 installment of its Indie Week conference — the world’s biggest gathering point specifically for the independent music community — is moving online this year, obviously due to the coronavirus pandemic. The event, which also includes the [...]

  • Amber Heard Johnny Depp

    Johnny Depp Allowed to Pursue Defamation Suit Against Amber Heard

    A Virginia judge on Friday refused to dismiss Johnny Depp’s lawsuit against Amber Heard, allowing him to proceed with a claim that she defamed him in a Washington Post opinion piece. In the piece, published in December 2018, Heard alluded to her previous claims that Depp had assaulted her during their marriage, though she did [...]

  • Disney World crowd

    Disneyland and Walt Disney World Now Indefinitely Closed Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

    While Disneyland and Walt Disney World had initially planned to close through March in an effort to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 and comply with shelter-in-place guidelines, the U.S. Disney parks have now announced that they will “remain closed until further notice.” “While there is still much uncertainty with respect to the [...]

  • Recording Academy Musicares Logo

    Warner Music Group Joins MusiCares’ Coronavirus Relief Fund

    Warner Music Group has made a donation to MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund launched last week, CEO Steve Cooper said in a memo to the company’s staff. “We’re backing the brave efforts of medical professionals around the world, as well as helping the musicians hurt the most by this crisis,” he wrote. “We’re making donations to Heart [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content