Weinstein can be questioned in civil lawsuit, judge rules

Harvey Weinstein argued his "poor health" would make answering questions at a deposition ...
Harvey Weinstein argued his "poor health" would make answering questions at a deposition "impossible". Photo: Reuters
A federal judge in Manhattan has rejected Harvey Weinstein's request to delay a deposition in a civil lawsuit by women who accused the imprisoned movie producer of sexual abuse and workplace harassment.

The 68-year-old had argued on Tuesday that his poor health made giving a deposition "practically impossible," and put him at "severe risk" of self-incrimination because of pending criminal charges in Los Angeles.

US District Judge Alvin Hellerstein, however, said Weinstein did not provide medical support for his health claims, and that it was unclear when Weinstein's constitutional right against self-incrimination might no longer be a concern.

"In balance, plaintiffs have suffered injuries from defendant's conduct, which occurred many years ago, and they are entitled to vindicate their rights efficiently," Hellerstein wrote.

"I find that a stay is unnecessary. Whether Weinstein invokes the Fifth Amendment or not is his choice."

Imran Ansari, a lawyer for Weinstein, said in an email that Weinstein's poor health "frustrates" his ability to defend himself, and invoking the Fifth Amendment because of the criminal case could hurt Weinstein's defense in the civil case.

Lawyers for Weinstein's accuser did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The class-action case also accused Weinstein, his brother Bob Weinstein and their bankrupt Weinstein Co of maintaining a hostile work environment.

In seeking a delay, Weinstein's lawyers said on November 19 last year that their client suffered from diabetes mellitus, coronary artery disease, sleep apnea, anemia, hypertension and other ailments, though he had not contracted Covid-19.

Weinstein is appealing his February 2020 conviction and 23-year prison term for sexual assault and rape.

He faces 11 felony charges in Los Angeles, including for rape and sexual battery, pending an extradition that is now on hold. Weinstein has denied having non-consensual sex with anyone.

 

 

 

Advertisement

postanote_header_620_x_80.png

postanote_620_x_25.jpg

Local trusted journalism matters - now more than ever

As the Covid-19 pandemic brings the world into uncharted waters, Star Media journalists and photographers continue to report local stories that matter everyday - yours.

For more than 152 years our journalists have provided Cantabrians with local news that can be trusted. It’s more important now than ever to keep Cantabrians connected.

As our advertising has fallen during the pandemic, support from you our reader is crucial.

You can help us continue to provide local news you can trust simply by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter