Harvey Weinstein judge won't step aside as jury selection resumes

The astonishing request came a day after Justice James Burke threatened Harvey Weinstein with prison for apparently using his mobile phone in court

The astonishing request came a day after Justice James Burke threatened Harvey Weinstein with prison for apparently using his mobile phone in court

Judge James Burke, sitting in NY, denied a request for the delay after Weinstein's lawyers questioned the timing of the new charges, which were filed on Monday.

Earlier this week, the judge in Harvey Weinstein's rape and sexual assault trial threatened the disgraced Hollywood producer with jail time if he didn't put away the two cell phones he was using in the courtroom.

"We write to seek recusal of your honor from this case based on the prejudicial and inflammatory comments made by the court to Mr. Weinstein yesterday morning, which received widespread press attention", Weinstein's lawyer Arthur Aidala wrote.

"Let me first just state the obvious", said Burke, after denying the motion.

On Tuesday, Burke scolded Weinstein, telling him, "I could not implore you more not to answer the following question: is this really the way you want to end up in jail for the rest of your life, by texting in violation of a court order?"

His defence team tried to delay the jury selection in light of a new case filed in Los Angeles, but that request was denied by a judge.

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Yesterday 84 potential jurors were dismissed after admitting they could not be impartial in the case.

Weinstein is expected to appear in court in California after his NY trial, Ms Lacey said.

He also asked for additional time during jury questioning to address their knowledge of the case or to add a question on their questionnaire about it.

© Mark Lennihan, AP Harvey Weinstein arrives at Manhattan courthouse for jury selection in his sex-crimes trial, January 9, 2020, in NY. In all, 66 prospective jurors have advanced to the next stage in what is expected to be a lengthy selection process.

The former studio boss behind such Oscar-winning movies such as Pulp Fiction and Shakespeare in Love has said any sexual activity was consensual.

Mr Weinstein faces five charges and possibly life in prison if convicted.

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On Monday, Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey announced charges against Weinstein of sexual assault of two unidentified women in 2013. It also includes several people who were related to Weinstein over the course of the last few years.

On Tuesday, potential jurors were introduced as a group to Weinstein and were read a list of names that could come up at trial, including actresses Salma Hayek, Charlize Theron and Rosie Perez.

Gloria Allred arrives at the Manhattan courthouse for the Harvey Weinstein trial.

"I have in no way prejudged this case", Justice James Burke told Weinstein's lawyers.

Among Allred's clients is former production assistant Mimi Haleyi, one of the women Weinstein was charged with assaulting.

"Notably, your client was non-compliant, defiant and challenging to court officers when asked not to use his cellphones", the judge said, as Weinstein impatiently whispered to attorney Donna Rotunno.

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