With all of the accusations that have piled up against Harvey Weinstein, one would expect that he’d take his courtroom moments seriously after his New York trial kicked off this week. Well, he’s not behaving himself in front of his judge and got threatened with jail as a result. Specifically, Weinstein could be declared guilty of contempt and jailed for rampant cell phone use during proceedings, which is kind of amazing, really.
Deadline reports that Judge James Burke called out the disgraced producer in open court (“Is this really the way you want to end up in jail for the rest of your life by texting in violation of an order?”) for “relentless texting” and otherwise messing around with cell phones. Yes, he was playing around with more than one cell phone (two extra devices, actually). And Burke chided Weinstein’s attorneys, Donna Rotunno and Arthur Aidala, for not stopping their client from whipping out multiple devices:
“He did turn over his cell phone to somebody, but then he had two more,” Burke snapped at Aidala as a closed eyed Weinstein lowered his head at the defense table. With repeated apologies, the defense assured Judge Burke that they would ensure that Weinstein did not have access to a cell phone in court going forward. “I’m not looking for apologies, I’m looking for compliance,” snarled Burke.
What a bold (and dumb) move on Weinstein’s part. During this trial, he’s pleaded not guilty to five charges (including rape) resulting from accusations by two women. Jury selection is ongoing, although it might not be needed if Harvey gets his butt thrown in jail first for contempt. He entered the courthouse on Monday with the use of a walker, and the day ended with fresh sexual assault charges (from two accusers) being filed across the country in Los Angeles. All told, Weinstein has been accused of sexual assault by over 80 women over the past two years, and although he settled with over 30 accusers who filed civil lawsuits, he cannot escape the criminal charges against him. Nor can he put down the cell phones, apparently.