Harvey Weinstein reportedly tests positive for coronavirus in New York state prison, placed in isolation

Harvey Weinstein was sentenced to 23 years in prison on 11 March under the charges of sexual assault and rape.

FP Staff March 23, 2020 09:07:42 IST
Harvey Weinstein reportedly tests positive for coronavirus in New York state prison, placed in isolation

Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein has tested positive for the coronavirus in prison, according to reports.

The Niagara Gazette reports that the 68-year-old had been moved into isolation at Wende Correctional Facility, a maximum-security prison near Buffalo, New York, where he is currently serving a 23-year term, after being found guilty on two charges of a criminal sex act and rape in the third degree. This is just days after his 18 March transfer from Rikers Island.

Harvey Weinstein reportedly tests positive for coronavirus in New York state prison placed in isolation

Harvey Weinstein, center, arrives for a court hearing, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019 in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

"There is no better breeding ground for this virus than a closed environment such as a correctional facility," said Michael Powers, president of the New York State Correctional Officers and Police Benevolent Association (NYSCOPBA) to the Niagara Gazette.

A lawyer for Weinstein said on Sunday night that his legal team had not been notified of the coronavirus diagnosis.

“Given Mr. Weinstein’s state of health, we are of course concerned, if this is the case, and we are vigilantly monitoring the situation,” said lawyer Imran Ansari, who is based in New York.

Two prisoners at the Wende Facility have confirmed cases of COVID-19, a state prison official told Reuters. When contacted, representatives from New York State’s Department of Corrections did not respond to requests from news outlets for direct confirmation due to its policy that they “cannot comment on an individual’s medical record.”

It isn’t clear if he contracted the deadly virus while at Wende or Rikers, or during one of two stays at NYC’s Bellevue hospital, where he was treated for high blood pressure and chest pains.

Weinstein’s conviction was hailed as a victory for the #MeToo movement against sexual misconduct by powerful men.

More than 100 women, have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct stretching back decades. He has denied the allegations, saying any sex was consensual.

Weinstein also faces separate sexual assault charges in Los Angeles.

Weinstein won an Academy Award for producing Shakespeare in Love and was responsible for other acclaimed films including Pulp Fiction, The English Patient and Gangs of New York.

(With inputs from agencies)

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