Disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein and his attorneys have filed an appeal in New York City, claiming that a “carnival atmosphere” surrounding the 2020 proceedings prevented him from receiving a fair trial.
Weinstein attorney Arthur L. Aidala — of Aidala, Bertuna & Kamins — said that despite being found guilty and sentenced to 23 years in New York, his client had never once wavered from maintaining his innocence.
“The day I met Harvey in 2019 he told me, ‘I was innocent.’ Despite all the negative things that have happened from 2019 to today, the one thing that hasn’t been diminished is his powerful defense of himself and his proclamations of innocence. He has not given up,” Aidala said in a statement to entertainment outlet Page Six.
Aidala went on to say that Weinstein was actively participating in the appeals process, drafting and approving some of the documents himself even as he awaits sentencing on three separate counts of rape and sexual assault in Los Angeles.
The appeal, Aidala explained to Page Six, is really “a trial of the trial judge,” James Burke, and seeks to determine if he “ruled fairly and accurately, whether he followed the law in his rulings about what could and couldn’t go into evidence.”
Aidala filed the appeal on Tuesday, which read, “An unrelenting deluge of publicity, vocal special interest groups, and a morally outraged public, created a carnival atmosphere before and during Weinstein’s trial that deprived him of the judicial serenity and calm to which he was entitled.”
“Against this backdrop, Weinstein was stripped of the presumption of innocence and subjected to a process that bore little resemblance to the fair and impartial trial demanded by the Constitution. Put bluntly, the court of public opinion became the court in this case,” the appeal continued, going on to accuse the judge of giving in “to the pressure of an influential social movement determined to punish centuries of male misbehavior by setting an example in convicting one man.”
Weinstein was convicted in New York — in February of 2020 — of performing oral sex on “Project Runway” production assistant Miriam “Mimi” Haleyi against her will in 2006 and of raping Jessica Mann in 2013.