Monday morning, the court continued to screen more than 100 people to potentially serve on the jury in the trial of the disgraced movie mogul, who is accused of five sex crimes in New York involving encounters with two women.
Among those potential jurors is model Hadid, who appeared in a Manhattan courtroom Monday and was asked by Judge James Burke whether she can be fair and impartial in the Weinstein case.
“Yes,” Hadid said, stating she has met both Weinstein and Salma Hayek, who accused the ex-producer of sexual harassment in a New York Times op-ed in 2017.
“Is there anything about having met them that makes you unable to be an impartial juror?” Burke asked the model.
“I think I’m still able to keep an open mind on the facts,” replied Hadid, a Vogue cover girl and Instagram influencer with more than 52 million followers.
Social media frenzy
As potential jurors prepared to fill out questionnaires, which will help determine whether they can give Weinstein, 67, an unbiased trial, Burke warned the group about posting on social media about their summons.
“The court was alerted to a few prospective jurors from last week who have gone on Facebook and/or Twitter and discussed their prospective jury duty,” Burke said, according to a media pool report. “Let me tell you, they may be held in contempt of court … and face serious consequences up to and including 30 days in jail and a significant fine.”
“So, don’t do that,” Burke added, earning laughter in the courtroom.
Weinstein showed up later than usual to court Monday, arriving around 9:20 a.m., just as Hollywood was abuzz with the morning’s Oscar nominations.He sat with his head down, save for when he spoke with lawyer Donna Rotunno.
Weinstein’s Miramax and The Weinstein Co. used to rule during Oscars season. The former studio head cobbled together 341 Oscar nominations and 81 wins via films such as “The King’s Speech,” “The Artist” and “Shakespeare in Love,” all of which won best picture.
The fall of Harvey Weinstein
Weinstein was expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences board in October 2017 after women accused him of sexual assault.
Before prospective jurors filed into the courtroom, Burke instructed the prosecution and defense to continue meeting to review questionnaires in the hopes of finding unbiased citizens who can serve on the jury for the case.
Burke said the jury screening process has been efficient and is “working well.” He added that he wishes to see the jury screening process complete by the middle of this week, so jury selection can begin Thursday.
Throughout Week 1, Weinstein’s legal team repeatedly clashed with Burke, as attempts to push back the trial, ban journalists from watching jury selection, and even remove the judge himself were all denied. Throw in protesters and a medical “emergency” that temporarily halted court proceedings – Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzzi got something in her eye – and it was a fairly unpredictable five days in court.
Jury selection resumed Monday with hundreds of potential jurors set to appear in court this week and fill out questionnaires, helping determine whether they can give Weinstein a fair and impartial trial.
On Friday, many people said they could not be fair and impartial toward Weinstein, while one man said that he had worked with one of Weinstein’s charities in the past and would be “uncomfortable” if chosen for the jury.
Others said that they could be fair and impartial, despite having met or worked with members of Weinstein’s defense and Charlize Theron, who’s listed as a potential witness in the trial. “Like a Boss” actress Salma Hayek was also named as a potential witness.
The prescreening elimination of potential jurors is expected to continue through at least Thursday, and opening statements are targeted for Jan. 22.