By TuAnh Dam and Caroline Chen
After five hours of jury deliberations, the trial of Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein will march on. The jury received the case at 11:30 Tuesday morning and worked through lunch, but did not reach a verdict.
They asked to see several pieces of evidence again, including a blueprint of Weinstein’s SoHo apartment and emails with the accusers’ names highlighted in red. Forty minutes into deliberations, they asked for clarification on the legal definition of “consent” and “forcible compulsion” according to reporters in the courtroom.
Weinstein faces charges of rape, committing a criminal sex act, predatory sexual assault and sexual misconduct. He’ll face life in prison if convicted. The film producer, using his walker, slowly walked out of the courthouse with his lawyer at the end of the day. Earlier Tuesday, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice James Burke issued a gag order and told Weinstein’s defense team to stop talking to the press.
“Defense team, you’re ordered to refrain from communicating to the press until there is a verdict in the [case], and I’d caution you about the tentacles of your public relations juggernaut,” Burke said in court.
His lawyer, Donna Rotunno, had penned an op-ed in Newsweek saying that the jury should “do what they know is right and was expected of them from the moment they were called upon to serve their civic duty in a court of law.”
“The facts are the facts,” Rotunno wrote. “Harvey Weinstein is innocent. His fate hangs in the balance, and the world is watching.”
Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzzi argued that Weinstein’s defense team was trying to sway the jury with the op-ed. “If this is the conduct that is allowed to persist in this courthouse, then we are all lost,” Illuzzi said. “It’s completely, 100 percent inappropriate behavior. It borders on tampering with the jury.”
Gloria Allred, a lawyer representing three of Weinstein’s accusers, was also at the courthouse. Allred said in a press conference at the end of the day that she believed the op-ed was ill-advised.
When asked about the verdict of the case, Allred told the NY City Lens that nobody, not even the jurors, had any idea how it would end.
“I’m confident that the jury is taking this seriously, but I have no idea what the result will be.” Allred said. “Nobody knows.”
But Christine Cornell, the courtroom sketch artist, told NY City Lens reporters that Weinstein looked nervous especially when the jury asked if they had to find him guilty of all counts or if they could find him guilty of some of them.
“I don’t think he heard so many guiltys strung together in a paragraph and it must have given him some cause for alarm,” Cornell said. “It must have given him some cause for alarm because he realizes that the jury seems to be leaning towards finding him guilty. It’s hard for a human being to absorb.”
Cornell said it doesn’t seem likely to her that he could get off. “Zero, no chance.”
No matter the outcome though, Weinstein is not done with the court system yet. Lauren Young, who testified in the New York case, is the listed victim in the case against Weinstein in California.
“Whatever happens, there’s going to be a prosecution in Los Angeles after this,” Allred, Young’s lawyer, said as she left the courthouse. “Who knows if there’ll be one anywhere else. We don’t know.”
Weinstein and his lawyers did not answer questions on their way out of the courtroom. Deliberations will begin again at 9:30 Wednesday morning. Illuzzi had just one statement for reporters waiting in the hallways as she left for the day.
“Good night everyone.”