Harvey Weinstein fell, hit head while in jail, rep says; defense says trial did not 'fairly portray' him
Harvey Weinstein fell and hit his head while trying to walk rather than use his wheelchair Sunday in jail, according to his representative.
The convicted sex offender, who is due to be sentenced Wednesday after being found guilty of two sex crimes last month, has expressed some remorse through his spokesman, apparently in response to a catalog of alleged bad behavior compiled by prosecutors for his trial judge.
Weinstein was transferred from Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan last week to the infirmary at the New York City jail on Rikers Island after an operation on his heart to remove a blockage, according to jail records.
Weinstein's representative, Juda Engelmayer, told USA TODAY on Monday that Weinstein shares a cell "with two other older gentlemen" and follows the same schedule as others in Rikers.
Engelmayer was unable to provide further updates on Weinstein's medical condition because he doesn't "get much phone time with him," but he noted Weinstein resides in the infirmary ward.
Weinstein had been at Bellevue since Feb. 24, when he was convicted of two sex crimes and taken into custody pending sentencing. On his way to the city's main jail on an East River island, he suffered chest pains and high blood pressure and was diverted to Bellevue instead.
Now that sentencing is approaching, and after prosecutors piled on more uncharged allegations against him in a pre-sentencing letter to the trial judge Friday, Weinstein is experiencing a sense of remorse for past behavior, according to Engelmayer.
"Harvey has had time to himself in an environment he appreciates to be vastly different from what he had known," Engelmayer wrote to USA TODAY in an email. "In this short, but overwhelming period, he has been humbled so much more than he could have known.
"He was mean, he didn't often show respect, he treated some people with disdain, and he acknowledges it. He recognizes what put him here, and he will continue working on himself to be a better person."
Last week, the Manhattan District Attorney's Office sent a letter to Weinstein's trial judge containing a lengthy list of alleged incidents of sexual assault and harassment, workplace abuse and other "bad acts" dating as far back as 1978 that prosecutors compiled to persuade Judge James Burke to impose as lengthy a sentence as possible.
Weinstein faces a minimum of five years or up to 25 years in prison.
Late Monday, Weinstein's defense team sent a letter to the trial judge, claiming "the trial did not fairly portray" the former movie mogul.
The letter, filed by Damon M. Cheronis, Donna Rotunno and Arthur Aidala, says Weinstein's "life has been destroyed. His wife divorced him, he was fired from The Weinstein Company, and in short, he lost everything. Not only that, but Mr. Weinstein was constantly maligned by the media, having long since been convicted in the court of public opinion."
The defense pushed for the minimum sentence of five years behind bars, citing that Weinstein has "no criminal history having spent no time previously incarcerated, his health concerns, his age, and as famous as he is" as reasons his sentence will "prove much more difficult" for him.
In response to the Manhattan District Attorney's Office letter to the judge, Weinstein's defense said "to add weight to a sentence based upon mere allegations … would violate Due Process."
None of the 36 incidents listed in the DA's letter provided names of the accusers, nor any details of whether and how they were confirmed by investigators. Some of the allegations do not involve crimes, but together they paint a picture of Weinstein as a vicious bully whose "lifetime of abuse" traumatized scores of women and men, sexually or otherwise, over decades.
Both sides are expected to deliver statements in court Wednesday, and the two women Weinstein was convicted of sexually assaulting are expected to give victim impact statements.
Contributing: Maria Puente, USA TODAY
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Harvey Weinstein fell and hit head in prison, representative says