Disgraced movie mogul and sex criminal Harvey Weinstein tests positive for coronavirus, official says

Harvey Weinstein arrives at Manhattan Criminal Court with his attorneys on Feb. 24, 2020.

Alec Tabak | New York Daily News }| Getty Images

Disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein tested positive for the novel coronavirus, a New York state corrections official told NBC News on Monday.

Weinstein, 68, was put in isolation less than a week after he was transferred to a maximum security prison in upstate New York, Michael Powers, president of the New York State Correctional Officers and Police Benevolent Association, told NBC.

Powers also told NBC that seven staff members at that facility who came into contact with Weinstein have been quarantined.

A New York Department of Corrections representative did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment on NBC’s report.

Arthur Aidala, an attorney for Weinstein, told CNBC on Sunday night that he did not know if Weinstein had tested positive. Aidala also did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Earlier this month, Weinstein was sentenced to 23 years in prison for rape and sexual assault. Last week, he was transferred to Wende Correctional Facility in Alden, a small town in Erie County located east of Buffalo and about a 45-minute drive from Niagara Falls.

There are two confirmed cases of coronavirus at Wende, where Weinstein is being held, according to a person familiar with the matter who declined to be named.

Several allegations against Weinstein, who along with his brother Bob founded the influential indie studio Miramax, prompted the #MeToo movement, in which scores of women came forward with stories of alleged abuse and assault by powerful men. Weinstein was a larger-than-life figure in Hollywood, revered and feared throughout show business from the 1990s until recently. He produced Oscar-winning films such as “Pulp Fiction,” “Shakespeare in Love” and “The King’s Speech,” and was a prominent donor to Democratic politicians and causes.

Weinstein, who had appeared to be in poor health during his trial, was rushed to Manhattan’s Bellevue Hospital to be treated for a heart procedure after his conviction in February.

After undergoing a procedure to clear a heart blockage, Weinstein, who turned days ago 68, spent time at the Rikers Island jail complex before he was moved upstate.

Weinstein was convicted at trial of third-degree rape and committing a criminal sexual act in the first degree, more than two years after articles detailing his alleged serial abuse of women were first published. He was found not guilty of the most serious charges, which were two counts of predatory sexual assault and one count of first-degree rape.

Weinstein’s sentence fell below the maximum possible length of 29 years behind bars. But his sentence far exceeded the five years’ imprisonment that his defense attorneys had requested. 

Weinstein faces more charges in California, including an allegation of raping one woman and sexually assaulting a second woman over a two-day period in 2013. Hours after his sentence was imposed, the Los Angeles district attorney’s office said it had begun the process of having Weinstein extradited to California to face those charges.

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