Harvey Weinstein arrived at court today using a ZIMMERFRAME as his bail was hiked to £3.8million over allegations he had mishandled his electronic ankle bracelet.
The shamed movie mogul, 67, accused of sex attacks by several women, appeared frail and dishevelled as he pushed the walking aid – which was fitted with two tennis balls at its base – outside a court in New York. This follows a similar appearance last week where the Oscar winning producer was helped into court by a burly minder. His lawyer today said he will be undergoing back surgery on Thursday.
Harvey Weinstein denies all allegations of sexual misconduct made against him. The disgraced millionaire, who is due to stand trial on January 6, is accused by prosecutors intentionally leaving his ankle bracelet at home for hours at a time. Today, Judge James Burke rejected prosecution calls to put the filmmaker – who produced movies such as Good Will Hunting and Shakespeare In Love – in jail over the alleged violation.
But Burke warned that he would revoke his bail and issue a warrant for his arrest if other issues crop up. “If you have any further medical issues, the court will not be terribly understanding,” Burke said.
Weinstein was calm during the hearing and indicated that the surgery would help ensure his appearance at his trial. The disgraced mogul is scheduled to stand trial in New York City beginning January 6 on rape and sexual assault charges. Weinstein has pleaded not guilty to charges he raped a woman in a Manhattan hotel room in 2013 and performed a forcible sex act on a different woman in 2006.
He had been free on £760,000 bail and maintains that any sexual activity was consensual. For the new bail, Weinstein’s defence team chose an option that lets him meet the obligation by putting up $2 million through a bail bondsman. That amount includes the $1 million he had already put up for bail. Prosecutor Joan Illuzzi said at a hearing Friday that Weinstein has repeatedly, purposely left at home a piece of the monitoring technology that keeps the ankle bracelet activated. That has left his whereabouts unrecorded for hours at a time, she said.
Weinstein’s lawyer Donna Rotunno has denied it was anything deliberate, blaming technical glitches like dead batteries and said it had nothing to do with manipulation of the bracelet. However, she acknowledged that on at least one occasion, the Oscar winner had left part of the device at house.
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