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Disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein just revealed through his lawyers why he didn't take the stand during his rape trial earlier this year.
reported that Weinstein's lawyers said the former Hollywood mogul didn't take the stand after a judge ruled that prosecutors could question him about 25 prior acts of bad behavior. Weinstein's attorneys Arthur Aidala and Barry Kamins revealed this during an interview on the New York State Bar Association's podcast "Miranda Warnings," where they talked about their client's upcoming appeal.
"They were going to let them [prosecutors] get into every argument he had with his secretary, every argument that he had with his first assistant, that he punched his own brother in the nose over a fight," Aidala explained. "By the time they went through all 25 things, even though they were all petty — none of them had to do with an arrest or a criminal act — nobody would have believed anything out of this man's mouth."
He went on to say that the ruling by Justice James Burke, who presided over the Manhattan Supreme Court trial, made it impossible for Weinstein to testify on his own behalf. The attorney explained that the admission of the previous acts would have made Weinstein "sound like a lying devil" before he even got to say a word in front of the jury.
Weinstein ended up being sentenced to 23 years in prison after a Manhattan jury found him guilty of predatory sex assault, rape and forcible oral sex. His lawyers are planning to appeal the conviction in the coming weeks, saying on the podcast that the focus of the appeal will be a "flawed jury selection process."
Weinstein, who is currently incarcerated at the Wende Correctional Facility in New York, is also facing additional sex crime charges in Los Angeles, California. Plans to extradite him there have been put on hold amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
Weinstein was known for being one of the most powerful men in Hollywood for decades, until he was brought down when dozens of women accused him of rape and sexual assault, launching the #MeToo movement in the process.