Harvey Weinstein’s holding cell is so revolting his lawyer argued the ex-movie mogul is facing “almost medieval” conditions where he’s detained after court during his Los Angeles sexual assault trial.
Attorney Mark Werksman in his pleas to a judge Tuesday even suggested his disgraced client did not have a place to go to the bathroom – an assertion quickly shot down by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Lisa B. Lench.
The complaints come on the second day of jury selection where Weinstein faces 11 counts of rape and sexual assault.
“It’s almost medieval, the conditions,” Werksman said. “He’s 70-years-old. I’m worried about him surviving this ordeal without a heart attack or stroke.”
The lawyer also said the cell was “unhygienic” and claimed he was left alone for three to four hours in his wheelchair in the “unsanitary, fetid” holding cell at the courthouse before he was brought back to jail.
Lench said she would discuss the conditions with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, but warned there was little she could do.
“I’m not minimizing it, I’m just not sure there’s a lot to be done,” she said.
The complaints by Werksman were lodged before Weinstein and 71 possible jurors entered the courtroom.
When Weinstein, 70, rolled in and climbed into his seat at the defense table, Werksman repeated his concerns and suggested Weinstein lacked a toilet in the cell, a notion the judge quickly dismissed.
“He’s not deprived of a toilet, there is a toilet in the cell,” Lench said. “I’m not going to let the record reflect that he’s deprived of a toilet.”
Werksman then walked back the insinuation, but argued, “It is unhygienic, it is virtually unusable, it is medieval.”
Weinstein’s defense team has pointed out his poor health on many occasions during both his New York trial and the pre-trial hearings on the west coast.
He was convicted of rape and sexual assault in New York in February 2020 and was sentenced to 23 years in prison. But the state’s Court of Appeals agreed to hear Weinstein’s appeal on the guilty verdict.
The pale and frail man – a far cry from the towering figure he once was in the film industry – was hospitalized with chest pains and underwent a heart procedure after he was found guilty in 2020. He also contracted COVID-19 at one point in the first weeks of the pandemic in the US and suffers from diabetes, his lawyers have said.
Opening statements in the Los Angeles trial are expected to begin later this month – five years after bombshell reports of sexual misconduct ended his storied career at the height of the #MeToo movement.
The Oscar-winning ex-film producer faces four counts of rape and seven counts of sexual assault from five women in LA.
With Post wires