Harvey Weinstein facing fresh sexual assault allegations ahead of retrial

The former Hollywood producer attends a hearing on May 29 ahead of his sexual assault retrial
The former Hollywood producer attends a hearing on May 29 ahead of his sexual assault retrial - Angela Weiss

Manhattan prosecutors are evaluating more claims of sexual misconduct made against Harvey Weinstein and could potentially seek a new indictment before his scheduled retrial for rape and sexual assault charges.

Nicole Blumberg, an assistant district attorney, told a judge on Wednesday that additional people have come forward with assault claims and prosecutors are currently assessing which allegations fall under the statute of limitations.

She said potential survivors that were not ready to step forward during Weinstein’s first New York trial may now be willing to testify.

Asked if there was a possibility of prosecutors filing a new indictment by by Judge Curtis Farber, Ms Blumberg replied: “Yes, your honour.”

The assistant district attorney added that prosecutors would be in a better position to update the court at the end of June.

The judge has set the next hearing date for July 9, with Weinstein’s retrial for the rape charge tentatively scheduled for some time around the beginning of September.

Arthur Aidala, Weinstein’s lawyer, told reporters outside the courthouse that his client was confident no additional accusers would be found to bolster the prosecution’s case.

‘He’s never done anything like this’

“[Weinstein] knows he’s never done anything like this,” Aidala said.

The Hollywood producer – appearing in the same New York City courthouse as Donald Trump – entered the court in a wheelchair, which he has used at other hearings since his 2020 conviction was tossed out.

According to his lawyers, Weinstein suffered medical problems throughout his time in jail, most recently at the city’s Rikers Island jail complex.

Judge Farber addressed a letter earlier in the hearing sent by prosecutors last week that requested the court remind Weinstein’s lawyers not to discuss or disparage potential witnesses in public ahead of the retrial.

The office of Alvin Bragg, the Manhattan district attorney, has argued that Mr Aidala previously made statements meant to intimidate Miriam Haley, a former production assistant that Weinstein was convicted of sexually assaulting.

However, Mr Aidala apologised to the judge and said he did not intend to intimidate anyone.

‘Lies were told at the last trial’

He added his client is also entitled to a “vigorous defence” as “lies were told at the last trial” and accused the prosecution of holding press conferences criticising Weinstein throughout the legal ordeal.

“Who gets to stand up for Harvey Weinstein?” he asked in court. “Who gets to be his voice?”

In response, the judge directed both sides to “refrain from pandering to the press”, saying the case will “not be decided in the court of public opinion”.

Miriam Haley did not attend Wednesday’s hearing and has expressed reluctance about going through the trauma of testifying again.

Gloria Allred, her lawyer, said outside the courthouse that her client has not made a decision about whether she will participate in the retrial.

‘Who gets to stand up for Weinstein?’

Weinstein’s lawyer was called upon to apologise to Ms Haley for his alleged attack on her inside the courtroom on Wednesday, but Mr Aidala declined.

Speaking on May 1, Mr Aidala accused Ms Haley of lying to the jury about her motive for coming forward and said his team was planning an aggressive cross-examination “if she dares to come and show her face here”.

At his 2020 trial, Weinstein was convicted of raping Jessica Mann, an aspiring actor, and of sexually assaulting Miriam Haley.

Last month, New York’s highest court overturned the convictions after determining the judge had unfairly allowed testimony against Weinstein based on allegations from women not part of the case.

Weinstein, 72, has maintained that any sexual activity was consensual.

The Hollywood titan, who had been serving a 23-year sentence in New York, was also convicted in Los Angeles in 2022 of another rape and is still sentenced to 16 years in prison in California.