The Waiting Game Continues: The View from Inside the Court Room

A sketch artist shows her drawing of the jury during the second day of deliberations of the Harvey Weinstein trial. (Photo by TuAnh Dam for NY City Lens)

A sketch artist shows her drawing of the jury during the second day of deliberations of the Harvey Weinstein trial. (Photo by TuAnh Dam for NY City Lens)

The reporters covering the Harvey Weinstein trial, argued back and forth with court officers. Multiple people, huddled in winter coats, sat in the freezing courtroom in the Manhattan Supreme Court and made their case. “Please close the windows,” they pleaded. The four windows, looming 15 feet above the room, were open, filling the room with gusts of cold air. Finally, the jury had the last say – all four windows were closed. It was the only decision they reached Wednesday as court ended with no verdict.

The window debate would end up being one of the smallest moments of drama on the second day of deliberations in the media mogul’s case.

The jury sent three more notes to court Wednesday, asking for emails regarding Weinstein and two of his accusers, Miriam Haley and Annabella Sciorra, as well as the testimonies of Haley and Sciorra’s friend, Rosie Perez.

Court reporters re-read Haley’s testimony, detailing her allegations against Weinstein. The former production assistant had accused Weinstein of forcing her to engage in oral sex in July 2006 and then intercourse two weeks later. The two court reporters went over the transcript in front of the jurors, many of them shaking their heads as they took notes or covering their eyes over the graphic details from the testimony – such as Weinstein calling Haley profane names, lunging at her and trapping her on a bed, and forcibly yanking out her tampon after she said she had her period.

Weinstein’s defense team, led by Donna Rotunno and Damon Cheronis, and the assistant district attorney went head-to-head on the requested emails. Jurors had asked for any emails between Weinstein and Haley as well as any from Weinstein to others regarding Haley.

Both sides disagreed over the connotation of “from.” The assistant district attorneys wanted to limit the request, saying it was succinct enough to pull select emails. Cheronis argued that all emails should be turned over for the jury to review.

“What are they afraid of?” Cheronis asked.

“Attorneys, attorneys. Stop. Focus,” Judge Burke reprimanded before the prosecutors could respond.

At one point, even Gloria Allred, the attorney representing Weinstein’s accusers, was roped into the courtroom drama. Judge Burke had issued a gag order on Tuesday to stop Weinstein’s defense team from talking to the media after Rotunno wrote an op-ed for Newsweek. Cheronis said that Allred was having a press conference at every opportunity and the judge should stop her from influencing the media.

“I wish I had that kind of authority,” Judge Burke quipped before dismissing the courtroom for lunch at 2 p.m..

Reporters, of course, asked questions too.

The one thing the lawyers agreed on – how long it would take to get a verdict. A reporter asked Arthur Aidala, a member of the Weinstein defense team, when the jury come back with a decision.

“I don’t know anything,” Aidala said with a laugh as he walked out of the courtroom. Court reconvenes Thursday morning.

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