Former Hollywood producer and newly convicted rapist Harvey Weinstein went to the hospital instead of prison on Monday after complaining of chest pains following a guilty verdict in his sex assault trial in New York.
Weinstein, 67, was convicted of third-degree rape and sexual assault against two women at the end of the high-profile trial, in a climactic moment for the #MeToo era. He was also found not guilty of first-degree rape and two counts of predatory sexual assault, a more serious charge that comes with a sentence of life in prison.
The judge ordered Weinstein be taken to prison immediately, but an apparent health issue appears to have nixed that plan.
The disgraced Hollywood producer appeared to trade one physical malady for another following the verdict. Weinstein, who shuffled slowly into the courtroom every day with the help of a walker during the trial, managed to walk out in handcuffs under his own steam on Monday.
He complained of chest pains on his way out of the court and an ambulance was ultimately summoned to transport him to Bellevue Hospital’s prison ward. The ambulance crew strapped him to a stretcher for the trip.
Weinstein was admitted to the hospital for chest pains, heart palpitations and high blood pressure, his attorney Donna Rotunno told CNN. She added that he was doing “OK” on Monday night.
He was still in the hospital’s prison ward on Tuesday morning, CNN reports. He is due to be transferred to Rikers Island once “he no longer needs to be in a hospital,” a hospital spokesperson told Reuters.
Weinstein’s lawyers have asked that he eventually be sent to the North Infirmary Command at Rikers, Reuters reports. The two dank buildings are used to house inmates who are sick or need protection from other prisoners at the infamous facility.
“It’s not the cleanest,” Malissa Allen, a mental health counsellor who has treated inmates at the infirmary, said in an interview with Reuters.
“It’s a very old jail. A lot of people complain about the smell. It has the old basement smell.”
Weinstein’s lawyers have said he has numerous health requirements. They say he needs the walker after undergoing back surgery in December, and that he also requires eye injections to stave off blindness.
The sexual assault count carries a maximum sentence of up to 25 years in prison, while the third-degree rape count is punishable by up to four years in prison.
Weinstein is scheduled for sentencing on March 11.
—With files from Reuters and The Associated Press