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As Harvey Weinstein, Hollywood’s disgraced former mega-producer, sat in a New York City courtroom Tuesday ahead of the jury selection for his widely anticipated rape trial, he pulled out his phone.
And the judge wasn’t happy.
"Is this really the way you want to end up in jail for the rest of your life, by texting and violating a court order?" Judge James Burke said, asking that Weinstein not actually answer the question, according to the BBC. Weinstein, who has been living free after posting bail, had apparently been repeatedly ordered to get off his phone or face arrest.
Weinstein apparently surrendered two phones to the court before pulling out another two phones.
The second day of proceedings in Weinstein’s criminal trial continued normally after that scolding — and Weinstein’s lawyers’ plea to delay the jury selection due to a new indictment out of Los Angeles. The 67-year-old’s charges, which could force him to spend the rest of his life in prison if he’s convicted, stem from the rape and sexual assault allegations of just two of his more than 80 accusers. Weinstein’s trial is expected to last eight weeks.
Weinstein has pleaded not guilty to the charges and maintains that all his interactions were consensual. But Mimi Haleyi, a production assistant, accused him of forcibly performing oral sex on her in 2006, and an unnamed woman accused him of raping her in a Manhattan hotel room in 2013. Both will testify during his trial, although it’s unclear if Weinstein will take the stand.
Weinstein is now also facing charges of raping one woman and sexually assaulting another in the space of two days in February 2013, according to the LA district attorney’s indictment on Monday.
Cover image: Harvey Weinstein arrives to court for the start of jury selection in his sexual assault trial Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)