Harvey Weinstein’s Lawyer Celebrates Overturned Conviction: ‘We Knew’ He Didn’t Get a ‘Fair Trial’

Harvey Weinstein’s lawyers celebrated his overturned rape conviction at a press conference in New York Thursday.

“From the bottom of our hearts, we knew Harvey Weinstein didn’t get a fair trial,” his attorney Arthur Aidala told reporters. “There are some people who are unpopular but we still have to apply the law fairly to. The law was not applied fairly to Harvey Weinstein. The court of appeals said today that no one is above the law, but no one is below the law either. You can’t throw out 100 years of legal precedent because someone is unpopular.”

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The press conference took place in a park across from the Manhattan court where Donald Trump is currently on trial for hush money payments. Shouting Trump protesters surrounded the scrum of over 50 reporters, including a man in a pig mask with a sign that said “Trump is a pig.” Once he learned that the press conference was for Weinstein and not Trump, the pig-masked man chanted “Weinstein is a pig” and stood behind Aidala as he addressed the reporters

“Today’s legal ruling is a great day for America,” Aidala said. “It instills faith there is a justice system. If it’s a former president of the United States or the most storied Hollywood producer of our generation, the law applies to everyone.”

The New York Court of Appeals overturned Weinstein’s 2020 rape conviction in a 4-3 decision, ruling that the trial had prejudice toward him by allowing women to testify about allegations that were not part of the case. Weinstein will now face a new trial, and he still remains in prison serving a sentence for a separate Los Angeles rape conviction.

The former movie producer has been serving his 23-year sentence at the Mohawk Correctional Facility in Rome, N.Y. He will remain there while he serves his 16-year sentence for a rape conviction in Los Angeles, but in that trial he was acquitted on charges that involved a woman who testified in the New York case.

Aidala said that Weinstein learned about his conviction being overturned shortly after the Associated Press broke the news Thursday morning. After getting a copy of the AP story in prison, Weinstein called his lawyer and said “thank you more times than I can count,” Aidala recalled. “He prays on me and the whole team.”

“We’re cautiously excited. He still has a long road ahead of him because of the Los Angeles case,” his spokesperson Juda Engelmayer said in a statement. “We are studying the ramifications of the appeal right now.”

In the New York case, Weinstein was convicted of sexually assaulting Miriam Haley, a former production assistant on “Project Runway,” at his apartment in 2006 and raping Jessica Mann at a hotel in 2013. Aidala said he will not “start from scratch” with a new trial in New York.

Aidala had appealed the decision previously, which a lower court had denied in 2022, but New York’s highest court agreed to hear the case. At an oral argument in February, Aidala claimed that Justice James Burke had been prejudiced against Weinstein by allowing three women to testify about his character and pattern of behavior. Aidala said that the testimonies attacked Weinstein’s character and painted him as a “bad guy,” without shedding light onto the allegations with which he was charged.

“The news today is not only disheartening, but it’s profoundly unjust,” said the Silence Breakers, a group of Weinstein survivors, in a statement. “But this ruling does not diminish the validity of our experiences or our truth; it’s merely a setback. The man found guilty continues to serve time in a California prison. When survivors everywhere broke their silence in 2017, the world changed. We continue to stand strong and advocate for that change. We will continue to fight for justice for survivors everywhere.”

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