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Harvey Weinstein focused on appealing sexual assault conviction

On Monday, the 67-year-old movie mogul was found guilty of third-degree rape and a first-degree criminal sex act, following his trial in Manhattan on five counts pertaining to sexual assault.

In this file photo taken on 24 January 2020 Harvey Weinstein arrives at the Manhattan Criminal Court for his rape and sexual assault trial in New York City. Picture: AFP

LONDON - Harvey Weinstein’s lawyer said the producer wass focusing all his attention on appealing his sexual assault conviction.

On Monday, the 67-year-old movie mogul was found guilty of third-degree rape and a first-degree criminal sex act, following his trial in Manhattan on five counts pertaining to sexual assault, which saw him acquitted of the other three, including the most serious predatory sexual assault and his lawyer revealed the producer.

He was hospitalised with chest pains on his way to prison after the verdict was delivered.

Lawyer Arthur Aidala told the New York Post newspaper columnist Cindy Adams: "We left him at night after he was admitted. Yesterday morning, again with him at Bellevue hospital, I expected to see him distraught. He was unbelievably energised. Motivated to have his legal team fight for justice. 'I didn't force myself on anybody,' he said. He actually talked about the future. The appellate court. He was focused. He mentioned bail.

"Next step is an appeal, which could take another nine months to a year. He hasn't hired an appellate team as yet. A trial lawyer will also have to be at his side to give colour, explain the trial, know the transcript."

And Weinstein is confident he has dozens of solid grounds for appeal.

His lawyer explained: "For now he's focused on the legal system. Many appellate issues exist from the beginning. For instance, we knew that Juror 11 was involved in a book, which could have tainted her verdict. In jury selection, we did not want that juror. But we were out of refusal choices and the judge allowed her to stay. We were compelled to accept her because we'd run out of choices. But this is only one of the appellate issues. There are many. There are dozens of issues."

Weinstein - who suffers from diabetes and severe back problems - was on his way to Rikers Island jail when he began to suffer chest pains and had heart palpitations and high blood pressure on his way to the prison, and so was diverted to Bellevue Hospital in New York and was full of praise for the way he was been treated.

Arthur added: "In the midst of it all and including the chest pains, he was complimentary on how well the court officers treated him. He said they couldn't have been nicer. On lots of medications. We submitted all his prescriptions to the hospital, which he said had been given to him. Instead of Rikers he went right to Bellevue because of those pains. He's in a large hospital room. Shower, sink, toilet. They took his walker away and gave him a wheelchair. He was given a heated meal and a table and chair for dinner."

Weinstein is due to be sentenced on 11 March.