Harvey Weinstein 'rushed to hospital' following conviction

The 67-year-old producer was heading to Rikers Island jail, where he is to remain behind bars until he is sentenced on 11 March, but was diverted to Bellevue Hospital in New York.

Harvey Weinstein arrives at the Manhattan Criminal Court, on 24 February 2020 in New York City. Picture: AFP

LONDON - Harvey Weinstein was on his way to Rikers Island jail, where he is to remain until he is sentenced on 11 March after being found guilty of third-degree rape and a first-degree criminal sex act, but he was diverted to Bellevue Hospital in New York.

Weinstein's attorney Donna Rotunno told CNN he had felt chest pains and had heart palpitations and high blood pressure on his way to the prison.

But she said he "is OK".

And according to Sky News, Weinstein's representative Juda Engelmayer said the decision to go to hospital was a "precautionary measure".

He is expected to be taken to Rikers Island once he is released from hospital.

Weinstein was found guilty on the two counts by a jury in Manhattan on Monday morning, as part of his sexual assault trial which saw him face five charges, including two counts of predatory sexual assault, two counts of rape and one count of criminal sex act.

The jury - made up of seven men and five women - found Weinstein guilty of two charges on the fifth day of deliberations, following a lengthy trial that began in January.

Following the verdict, Weinstein's defence team have said they will "absolutely be appealing".

Rotunno said: "Obviously, this is a bittersweet day. We are disappointed. We knew we came in and we were down 35-0 on the day that we started this trial.

"The jurors came in knowing everything they could know about this case. We couldn't find a juror who had never heard of Harvey Weinstein.

"[We will] absolutely be appealing [the verdict]. The fight is not over."

Weinstein was found not guilty on the most serious charge, predatory sexual assault, which could have led the Hollywood producer receiving a life sentence.

The charges of which he was found guilty were in relation to allegations made by two women.

Weinstein had been accused of raping one woman in a New York hotel room in 2013 and forcibly performing oral sex on another woman in 2006.

In her closing statement, Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzzi had branded Weinstein an "abusive rapist" and a "predator", adding: "When Harvey Weinstein met the witnesses, he looked quite different than he does today. 'They were scared. They felt isolated and they were alone."

In her closing statement, Rotunno challenged the jurors to have the "courage" to "make the right decision, no matter how unpopular you might be when you get back to work or your home".

Rotunno also claimed the prosecutors had created an "alternate universe" where "women are not responsible for the parties they attend, the men they flirt with, the choices they make to further their own careers, the hotel room invitations and the plane tickets they accept".

She added: "In this script, the powerful man is the villain, and he's so powerful and large that no woman would want to sleep with him."