Thursday, 16 January 2020

Gigi Hadid is officially dismissed as a juror in Harvey Weinstein's trial

Gigi Hadid was officially dismissed as a juror in the rape and sexual assault trial of Harvey Weinstein on Thursday as jury selection stretched into its eighth day. 

The supermodel was told she had not made the cut despite telling a judge on Monday that she thought she could 'keep an open mind on the facts'. The defense and prosecutors agreed later that having her on the jury would be too much of a commotion. 

It comes after Weinstein's legal team renewed their demand that the trial be moved out of New York City, citing 'flash mob' protests, a 'media and entertainment circus' and the appearance of Hadid, 24, in the jury pool. Some potential jurors have also been posting on social media about their involvement in the case, violating court rules that could land them behind bars, Judge James Burke said Wednesday.   

In all, more than 600 potential jurors have been summoned for the high-profile case. Many were eliminated from contention early on after indicating they couldn't be fair and impartial. Fewer than 200 will be back for additional questioning beginning Thursday. 

Burke said he expects a panel of 12 jurors and six alternates to be seated in time for opening statements and testimony on January 22.
He told prospective jurors that he expected the trial to finish up in early March. 

The defense, having lost an earlier change of venue request, said the 'carnival-like atmosphere' surrounding the trial show Weinstein won't get a fair shake in his hometown.

Weinstein, 67, is accused of raping a woman in a Manhattan hotel room in 2013 and sexually assaulting another in 2006. The former studio boss behind such Oscar winners as 'Pulp Fiction' and 'Shakespeare in Love' has said any sexual activity was consensual. 


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