Disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein has tested positive for the coronavirus while in prison for rape and sexual assault, a local newspaper reported.
Weinstein is one of two inmates in the maximum-security prison in Erie County who have tested positive, the officials said. A New York State Department of Corrections spokesperson confirmed to The Daily Beast two inmates at Wende Correctional Facility have contracted COVID-19 but did not name the two individuals.
Juda Engelmayer, Weinstein’s spokesperson, told The Daily Beast on Sunday that “our team... has not heard anything like that yet.” Engelmayer also could not confirm if the Pulp Fiction producer was currently in isolation. His attorney, Arthur Aidala, said he was also unaware of any diagnosis.
Throughout his four-week trial in Manhattan, prosecutors argued Weinstein abused his power in the entertainment industry and preyed on dozens of women for more than three decades with the promise to kickstart their careers in exchange for sex acts.
Jurors heard from six of Weinstein’s accusers during the trial—with most of them claiming the Oscar-winner lured them into isolated places to discuss their futures in the entertainment industry before sexually assaulting them.
He was convicted in February of two counts against him, but cleared of first-degree rape and the most serious charge against him, predatory sexual assault—which carried a maximum sentence of life in prison.
Immediately after the verdict, he was transported to New York’s Bellevue Hospital instead of the Rikers Island jail complex after experiencing high blood pressure and heart palpitations.
Before his March 11 sentencing, the 68-year-old—who had a failed back surgery just before his trial—had a stent placed for a blockage.
Hours after he learned his fate, Weinstein was again brought to the hospital instead of prison with chest pain complaints. He eventually ended up at Rikers, where 21 inmates have tested positive for COVID-19, before being transferred to the intake center at Wende on Wednesday.
The movie mogul was set to remain at Wende for up to eight weeks as officials determined which long-term prison meets his “security, medical, mental health and other needs,” according to general prison guidelines.