Novelist Who Wrote About Predatory Men Stays on Harvey Weinstein Jury

A novelist who has an upcoming book about predatory older men in New York will remain on the Harvey Weinstein jury, despite vociferous objections from the defense.

Juror #11 showed up to opening statements on Wednesday, and sat through the full day of trial. Weinstein’s defense had argued last Friday that she should be removed from the panel “for cause,” saying she had lied on her questionnaire. Justice James Burke denied the request, and also shot down a defense motion for a mistrial.

More fireworks were expected on the issue on Wednesday, but Burke quickly dispatched the defense’s objections. Speaking to Variety in the courthouse, Weinstein’s attorney Arthur Aidala said, “That’s been settled. The judge has settled that.” He did not provide other details.

Donna Rotunno, Weinstein’s lead attorney, said last Friday that she was frustrated that the woman was allowed on the panel.

“We got the best jury we could get under the circumstances — obviously not happy with what happened in the end there,” she said. “I think that was an absolutely ridiculous decision. I think it was clear that one of the last jurors lied on her questionnaire and omitted some very important information that could be very integral to this case, so from that standpoint, I think that should have been handled different.”

The defense reviewed the website for the juror’s novel, and Rotunno said, “It’s quite different than what she testified to, so there were inconsistencies and flat-out lies.”

Popular on Variety

The jury is comprised of seven men and five women — two white women, six white men, one black man, two black women, and one woman who is of black and Latino heritage. Three alternate jurors were selected, including a white man, a black woman and a Latino woman.

Throughout jury selection, the prosecution repeatedly accused Weinstein’s defense team of eliminating young, white women. The two white women who were ultimately selected — including Juror #11 — only made the jury after the defense had run out of peremptory challenges.

Rotunno was also asked if the defense was trying to exclude white women. “No, there was no effort,” Rotunno said. “The issue was more about what they said in their questionnaires that led us to believe that they could not be fair. It had nothing to do with race or sex, frankly, for that matter. It was about things in the questionnaire.”

More Film

  • Parasite Movie

    'Parasite' Enjoys Record Box Office Boost After Oscar Wins

    Bong Joon Ho’s “Parasite” is reaping box office riches after its groundbreaking Oscar best picture win. The twisted South Korean thriller collected $5.5 million over the weekend, an exceptional 234% increase in ticket sales and the biggest post-Oscar boost for a best picture winner in the past decade. In the seven days since the Academy [...]

  • Nikita Pearl Waligwa

    Nikita Pearl Waligwa, Actor in Disney's 'Queen of Katwe,' Dies at 15

    Nikita Pearl Waligwa, an actor who appeared in Disney’s biographical drama “Queen of Katwe,” has died, according to BBC and the Ugandan newspaper Daily Monitor. She was 15. Waligwa had been diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2016 and seemed to recover a year later. However, in 2019, another tumor was found. “Queen of Katwe” [...]

  • James Marsden and Sonic (Ben Schwartz)

    'Sonic the Hedgehog' Dominates Box Office With Mighty $57 Million Debut

    Paramount’s family film “Sonic the Hedgehog” ignited over Presidents’ Day weekend with $57 million in North America and $100 million globally, the biggest showing ever for a video game adaptation. “Sonic” is expected to earn $68-70 million through Monday, one of the best results for the holiday weekend. The better-than-expected start is even more notable [...]

  • Shaun the sheep

    How '80s Sci-Fi Films Inspired 'Shaun the Sheep: Farmageddon'

    Shaun, everyone’s favorite sheep, is back, and this time he’s facing aliens and robots in “A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon.” Directors Will Becher and Richard Phelan teamed together on this film for their first full-length collaboration. While the two have been working at Aardman Studios, Phelan’s background was as a story artist and Becher’s [...]

  • Sonic (Ben Schwartz) in SONIC THE

    Box Office: 'Sonic the Hedgehog' Speeding to $65 Million Opening Weekend

    “Sonic the Hedgehog” is speeding to a $65 million opening at the North American box office this President’s Day weekend, according to estimates. Paramount’s action-adventure, based on the Sega video game character, had been pegged to generate $40-45 million prior to its launch. Should estimates hold, it could break the $54 million record set last [...]

  • China Trade War Illustration Variety

    IFTA Says U.S. Should Punish China for Cheating on Film Trade Deal

    The Independent Film & Television Alliance has filed a complaint to the U.S. Trade Representative, calling for the U.S. government to keep China on its Priority Watch List and to monitor China under Section 306 of the Trade Act. The IFTA lobby group, which represents American and international independent film companies, argues that China is [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content