Following the use of a walker during his recently-concluded trial, Harvey Weinstein has taken to using a wheelchair. Speaking to The Daily Mail, Weinstein defense attorney Donna Rotunno said the wheelchair is necessary due to his failing health. She also addressed the disgraced mogul's fear that he could end up dying behind bars.
"He's 68 years old," Rotunno said of her client. "Obviously he accepts it, look where he is right now. It's a real -- with his health -- who knows how many years he could survive in there. Probably not that many. He is in a wheelchair for now. They won't let you take the walker because it could be a weapon. Think about a guy who needs a walker to walk and now you're going to put him in a wheelchair. Think about how he is going to deteriorate."
Rotunno also addressed Weinstein's health, particularly the fact that he was taken to a hospital hours after his verdict was read on Monday when he complained about chest pains. While she didn't address specifics, she did say that "we have no reason to believe he's not fine."
"Have you heard of HIPAA laws? I'm not getting into Mr. Weinstein's health problems," she continued. "He went to the hospital with chest pains and high blood pressure. That's what we know. He's on a lot of medications so I am just hoping that whatever's going on will get stabilized. That he can at least hold out until we can get some papers filed."
She added that the legal team were also "going to try to get him out on bond pending appeal or pending sentencing," while refuting claims that he was faking his condition to avoid time in Rikers Island.
"Think about the stress you would be under if this is what your life looks like now," Rotunno said. "Think about your freedom being removed. The thought of his two young children who rely on him on a daily basis. This is not a joke... this is real life."
The attorney added that the effect of the charges against Weinstein have been far-reaching, saying that "his oldest daughters don't speak to him."0comments
"So I mean it's horrific. The ripple effect of someone losing their freedom is beyond what any of us could comprehend."
On Monday, Weinstein was found guilty on one count of sexual assault and another of third-degree rape, though he was acquitted on three other charges. His sentencing is slated for Mar. 11.