Defiant Harvey Weinstein in custody: 'I didn’t sexually assault anyone and I didn’t rape anyone'

The disgraced Hollywood producer is facing decades in prison.

February 26, 2020, 7:23 PM

An unrepentant Harvey Weinstein remained in custody at New York's Bellevue Hospital Wednesday -- urging his team to keep fighting for him and awaiting possible transfer to Riker’s Island, a spokesman and one of his attorneys told ABC News in separate interviews.

“When I saw him yesterday, I was not expecting him to be in as good spirits as he was,” said New York defense attorney Arthur Aidala. “He was in pretty good shape -- pretty focused on the future, what the next steps are."

"Obviously, we all wish he was sleeping in his own bed right now, but he appeared to be as healthy as possible, although his vital signs might not have been ideal, but he was trying to motivate me and passing the message along to the rest of the team to keep fighting for him,” he said.

“He’s been consistent from the day I met him about his innocence, and he’s still very forceful in proclaiming that ‘I didn’t sexually assault anyone and I didn’t rape anyone,’” Aidala added.

Weinstein was convicted of two felony counts -- criminal sexual assault and third-degree rape -- for attacking former production assistant Mimi Haleyi in 2006 and aspiring actress Jessica Mann in 2013. He was acquitted of three additional counts -- two counts of predatory sexual assault and one count of first-degree rape.

PHOTO: A view of the Rikers Island prison complex, May 17, 2011, in New York.
A view of the Rikers Island prison complex, May 17, 2011, in New York.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

ABC News does not normally name victims of sexual assault, but both women have either publicly identified themselves or agreed to allow their name to be used.

Earlier Wednesday, Weinstein spokesman Judah Engelmayer agreed with Aidala's assessment.

“He’s trying to keep high spirits,” he said of Weinstein, now known as inmate #06581138Z. “He’s trying to keep his mind off his situation and he’s hoping that his team, his friends, his family still can maintain the fight for him.”

“He maintains his innocence and he still wants his chance to prove it,” Engelmayer said.

Weinstein is expected to be moved at some point to Riker’s Island, a facility situated off the northern coast of Queens, where he will await his March 11 sentencing.

While appealing his New York conviction, Weinstein will also be preparing to defend himself against four felony sexual assault charges filed earlier this year by the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office. In that case, Weinstein is charged with attacking two women in separate incidents within a day of each other in Feb. 2013.

If and when Weinstein is transferred to Riker’s Island, he is likely to be housed in the island’s North Infirmary Command, where he would have access to television and newspapers and all of the medical services and doctors necessary to maintain his health, said Mark Cranston, the warden at New Jersey’s Middlesex County Jail and the former acting commissioner of Riker’s Island.

PHOTO: Harvey Weinstein departs his sexual assault trial at New York Criminal Court in the Manhattan borough of New York City, Jan. 24, 2020.
Harvey Weinstein departs his sexual assault trial at New York Criminal Court in the Manhattan borough of New York City, Jan. 24, 2020.
Brendan Mcdermid/Reuters

Weinstein can request protective custody or the facility can deem him in need of it, Cranston said.

“He is a high-profile inmate because of extensive media coverage, so as far as him being a target -- I mean, based on his charges I would say he would be a target of the general population,” Cranston said. “Corrections officials have a dual responsibility to protect him from other inmates, but they also have a duty to protect him from himself and to take all precautions necessary, given the sentence he may be facing.”

The typical cell construction in the North Infirmary Command "has a toilet, a desk and a bed in some of the units, and I believe that the unit they would put him in -- there’s a little enclosed area just outside the cell that allows him to walk around a bit within the secure setting," Cranston said. "Whatever medical services he would require, whether it be physical therapy or any medical services, would be provided in this unit.”

Cranston said that Weinstein would be “under careful watch.”

PHOTO: A view of several of the jails on Rikers Island, Nov. 7, 2019 in Queens, New York.
A view of several of the jails on Rikers Island, Nov. 7, 2019 in Queens, New York.
Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images

“There is extensive camera coverage in the area that would allow [officials] to monitor him, to document who comes in contact in and out of the area and those who have direct interactions with him, whether it be corrections or medical staffers or visitors,” he said.

Weinstein would be entitled to the same visiting privileges, limited exercise time, access to in-house clergy, special diets for health or religious reasons, and phone calls that general population inmates enjoy, but his visitors would likely meet him in a more secure location than that the general population visiting areas.

Weinstein would be subject to daily headcounts three times a day, as well as intermediary “stand up counts,” Cranston said.

“There would be counts going on every couple of hours,” he said.

On a day in which an inmate is scheduled to go to court, they rise at 5 a.m., Cranston said, but most days Weinstein would have to be up at 7 a.m. for the first head count of the day, “but then he could go back to sleep if he wanted.”

Cranston said that it’s unlikely given Weinstein’s March 11 sentencing date -- after which he would likely be transferred to a prison facility upstate -- that the disgraced Hollywood producer would be eligible for a work assignment at Riker’s Island.

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