Weinstein rushed to hospital hours after sentencing
A day after receiving a 23-year prison term in his New York City rape case, Harvey Weinstein was in medical and legal limbo on Thursday but indicated through a lawyer that he is still eager to fight looming criminal charges in Los Angeles.
Weinstein, 67, suffered chest pains the day before at the Rikers Island jail complex, where the former movie mogul was initially taken after sentencing in his landmark #MeToo case, officials said.
He was transferred to Bellevue Hospital to be evaluated, the second time he has been hospitalised since a jury found him guilty last month of rape and sexual assault.
The situation still hasn't discouraged Weinstein, one of his lawyers said after visiting him Thursday at Bellevue.
"He has not given up by any stretch of the imagination," said defence attorney Arthur Aidala. "He wants to fight California, and he wants to win his appeal here. That's his plan."
A spokesman for Weinstein initially said the disgraced fim mogul had a heart attack, according to the Daily Mail.
They then walked back on the statement and confirmed he was suffering from high blood pressure.
It came just hours after Weinstein sentenced to 23 years in jail for rape and sexual assault.
The sentence was at the upper end of the scale, with Weinstein, 67, facing a possible 29-years, and much higher than the five years requested by his defence.
Judge James Burke handed down the sentence after testimony from Weinstein and his accusers.
After the sentencing, the Los Angeles District Attorney announced it had begun extradition proceedings for Weinstein to face further rape charges, but that no date had been set yet for a hearing.
Weinstein gave a meandering speech in which he said he was worried for the state of America and that men like him who were brought down by #MeToo were being accused over "things that none of us understood".
"Thousands of men are losing due process. I'm worried about this country," he said.
"We may have different truths, but I have remorse for all of you and for all the men going through this crisis," Weinstein said to his accusers.
He had arrived in court handcuffed to a wheelchair and repeatedly addressed his accusers, who were among several women in tears inside court.
"I really feel remorse for this situation. I feel it deeply in my heart. I'm really trying, I'm really trying to be a better person."
But he also complained about how the case had impacted his family life.
"I haven't seen my three older children since the day the New York Times article came out," he said, referring to the Pulitzer Prize winning story that exposed in 2017.
"I haven't seen them. I have no idea what they're doing. That, to me, is hell on Earth."
Judge Burke handed Weinstein 20 years for the felony attack on Mimi Haley in 2006 and three years for raping aspiring actress Jessica Mann in 2013.
A crowd of onlookers inside the packed courtroom 1530 applauded two Weinstein accusers whose evidence was central to the case.
Ms Haley cried as she explained how her 2006 attack had changed her life and left her with ongoing mental health issues.
"I believe that if Harvey Weinstein was not convicted by this jury, it would happen again and again and again," Ms Haley said.
Ms Mann told court: "Rape is not just one moment of penetration. It is forever."
Outside court Weinstein's lawyer Donna Rotunno slammed the sentence as "ridiculous" and "obscene".
"I'm happy that Harvey spoke," she said of his address to the court.
Weinstein didn't testify during his trial but was given the opportunity to address the court.
"Harvey has been silent for years. I think Harvey could have said anything today and it wouldn't have mattered," Ms Rotunno said.
"From Harvey's perspective, Harvey needed to do that, and I'm glad that he was able to do so.
Ahead of today's sentencing in New York State Supreme Court, Weinstein's lawyers had asked Judge James Burke to consider a five-year term, saying any more time in jail could kill their client.
They also cited his "remarkable accomplishments" in film as a mitigating factor.
The pervert producer was found guilty last month after a landmark trial, the first criminal case in the #MeToo movement, which was sparked by revelations in October 2017 of Weinstein's depravity.
Weinstein has been in custody since the February 24 verdict, spending more than a week in Bellevue Hospital with chest pains and anxiety before being transferred to Rikers Island jail.
His trial jury deliberated for five days before finding him guilty of rape, but Weinstein was acquitted of three more serious charges, including predatory sexual assault, which carried a life sentence.
The film mogul's dizzying fall from being one of Hollywood's most powerful men to the disgraced face of a cultural reckoning is not over, with Los Angeles prosecutors set to pursue further rape charges.
They allege he attacked two women in Hollywood on consecutive days ahead of the 2013 Oscars while his then-wife, fashion designer Georgina Chapman, was pregnant. He faces a possible 28-years jail on the West Coast if found guilty of forcible rape, forcible oral copulation, sexual penetration by use of restraint and sexual battery by restraint.
The LA District Attorney said they would wait until the New York case ended before further pursuing charges.
Weinstein has consistently denied allegations of sexual assault, saying that all of the encounters were consensual.
Exposed as a serial predator in 2017 in media reports that started the #MeToo movement, Weinstein has since been accused by more than 80 women of sexual offences.
His alleged victims include some of Hollywood's biggest names, and Weinstein still faces a series of civil suits from actors Ashley Judd, Rose McGowan and more than 30 other accusers.
Court documents unsealed on the eve of his sentencing included an email from him saying Jennifer Aniston should be killed for reportedly claiming he had sexually assaulted her.
Weinstein was accused of using his prominent position to pressure women into sex, retaliating against those who refused him by destroying their careers and employing a series of shadowy operatives to gather dirt on his accusers to deter scrutiny of his behaviour.
Weinstein's lawyer Donna Rotunno said in February he would appeal.
"Harvey is unbelievably strong. He took it like a man," she said on his verdict.
"He knows that we will continue to fight for him, and we know that this is not over."
Weinstein had appeared stunned at the verdict.
"I'm innocent. I'm innocent. I'm innocent," his lawyer Arthur Aidala said Weinstein exclaimed.
"How could this happen in America?"
Weinstein's bail was immediately revoked and he was led from the court in cuffs, without the walker he has been using most days at court.
The charges stemmed from the allegations of former Project Runway production assistant Miriam "Mimi" Haleyi, who said he forced oral sex on her on July 10, 2006, at his Soho apartment; one-time aspiring actress Jessica Mann, who claimed Weinstein raped her on March 18, 2013, at the DoubleTree Hotel in midtown Manhattan; and The Sopranos actress Annabella Sciorra, who accused Weinstein of raping her in the winter of 1993-1994 at her Gramercy Park apartment.
He was acquitted of the charges involving Ms Sciorra and the first degree rape of Ms Mann.
On his verdict, Ms Sciorra said: "We can never regret breaking the silence. For in speaking truth to power we pave the way for a more just culture, free of the scourge of violence against women."
He was found guilty after several weeks of graphic and harrowing testimony, including detail about Weinstein's genitalia, from the three principal accusers, as well as three more who said they were attacked by him and were called to provide evidence prior "bad acts".