Weinstein Sent to Rikers After Backlash to ‘Cushy’ Hospital Digs


Notoriously noxious Hollywood has-been Harvey Weinstein was transferred from a hospital prison unit to notoriously noxious Rikers Island—but his spokesperson is pushing back on claims that he was getting VIP treatment.

“Calling his lawyer isn’t VIP service; it’s standard for someone facing trial,” Juda Engelmayer told The Daily Beast on Tuesday. “There was no cushy treatment.”

Weinstein—who is locked up while awaiting retrial on rape charges—was moved from Bellevue Hospital’s intensive care unit for detainees to the Rikers infirmary on Monday evening. Engelmayer said the transfer was unwarranted because Weinstein’s “medical issues were being handled properly and he needs the care.”

Convicted in 2020 and sentenced to 23 years, Weinstein scored a court victory last month when an appeals court threw out the guilty verdict, finding the court should not have allowed some witnesses to testify.

Weinstein Wheeled Into Court as Prosecutors Vow to Retry Him

He had been held at a state prison in upstate New York but after the decision was moved to Rikers, where detainees awaiting trial are held. He was transferred to Bellevue with complaints of chest pain on April 27 and reportedly has since been diagnosed with pneumonia. Engelmayer said that Weinstein has a heart condition, spinal issues, and “a long list of concerns.”

“Harvey said ‘The care at Bellevue was excellent and I appreciate the care that was given,’” Engelmayer said, adding that the prison “will do the best they can, but the services and capabilities at Rikers are more limited, and his medical needs are serious.”

The transfer comes after the news site The City reported on Monday that Weinstein was being held on a Bellevue floor separate from other detainees—and was enjoying a private room, bathroom phone, and television. The outlet reported that the 72-year-old was spending his days watching CNN, talking on the phone, and speaking in person to his lawyer.

Citing sources, the New York Post reported that The City’s article “set off” officials in the city Department of Corrections, who immediately began “contemplating how to move him and when to move him quickly.”

Engelmayer pushed back on reports that Weinstein was getting special treatment, stating that he was getting “standard” medical care for “someone facing trial.”

“Bellevue is just set up differently,” he added. “The room with the phone is a smaller space, there are fewer inmates and so, it often could have looked like he had it to himself.

“Someone must have complained, but it’s not a private room, just empty most of the time.”

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