Harvey Weinstein has another day in court. New York’s Court of Appeals has granted the disgraced producer an appeal hearing challenging his 2020 conviction on sex crime cartoons.
In 2020, Weinstein was found guilty on two counts—sexual criminal act in the first degree and rape in the third degree—and was subsequently sentenced to 23 years in prison. Weinstein was acquitted on three additional charges, including predatory sexual assault, which could have led to a life sentence. The charges were determined based on testimony from former production assistant Miriam Haley, who claimed Weinstein forcibly performed oral sex on her in 2006, and former actress Jessica Mann, who claimed Weinstein raped her in 2013.
“I am innocent of these charges, and I am so grateful to my attorneys for working hard and smart of [sic] this. Their hard work will help me prove my innocence in the end,” Weinstein said via a statement to ABC News through his spokesperson. “I look forward to this opportunity to be heard by the New York Court of Appeals.”
The court of appeals ruling permits Weinstein’s lawyers to argue his case before Chief Judge Janet DiFiore. Last year, his attorneys filed a motion arguing that the former Miramax cofounder’s conviction should be appealed on the basis that the judge, Justice James Burke, allowed prosecutors to use evidence that violated his constitutional rights and that a juror who was writing a book that included themes of “predatory older men” should have been dismissed. In June, an appellate court in New York state upheld Weinstein’s conviction, rejecting his claim that the trial judge had unfairly swayed the proceedings. “We reject the defendant’s arguments, and affirm the conviction in all respects,” wrote Justice Angela Mazzarelli in the 45-page ruling.
The accusations lodged against Weinstein and his subsequent conviction invigorated the #MeToo movement, led to a reckoning in Hollywood, and inspired the forthcoming film She Said, based on Pulitzer Prize–winning reporting from Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey. At the time, more than 85 women had accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct and inappropriate behavior, including Annabella SciorraAsia Argento, Ashley Judd, Salma Hayek, Gwyneth Paltrow, Lupita Nyong’o, and Rose McGowan.
Weinstein has been incarcerated at Los Angeles’s Twin Towers Correctional Facility. He still faces charges of rape and other sex crimes related to accusations from five women in LA County. Weinstein pleaded not guilty to all charges against him in California, and is expected to go on trial in October.