A judge hearing the case of Harvey Weinstein has refused to remove himself from the high-profile rape case after the former film producer's lawyer accused him of bias against his client. Justice James Burke told Weinstein's lawyer during the infamous trial on Thursday that he has in no way prejudged the case and is going to afford his client a fair trial.
The incident unfolded as one of Weinstein's lawyer, Arthur Aidala, filed a motion in the court on Wednesday urging Burke to remove himself from the case. As evidence of judicial bias, Aidala cited a comment made by Burke on Tuesday during the trial when he threatened to send Weinstein to jail after cathing him using his cell phone.
Harvey Weinstein, 67 is accused of assaulting two women and could face life in prison if proven guilty. Weinstein has denied all the allegations pleading not guilty. Weinstein is on trial for raping one woman in 2013 and sexually assaulting another woman in 2006. The charges Weinstein is facing are two counts of predatory sexual assault, two counts of rape and one count of a criminal sexual act.
Since 2017, more than 80 women from the film industry, including famous actresses have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct. Weinstein has denied all the allegations, saying that any sexual encounters he had were consensual. The coming out of all the women ignited the #MeeToo movement in the United States after which many celebrities have come out openly to share their personal experiences in the industry.
Weinstein was once Hollywood's most powerful producer who produced films like 'Sex, Lies, and Videotape', 'The Crying Game', 'Pulp Fiction', 'Heavenly Creatures', 'Flirting with Disaster', and 'Shakespeare in Love'. Harvey and his brother Bob Weinstein co-founded a film distribution company named Miramax in the late 70s.
(with inputs from agencies)