Credit: Screen grab
Harvey Weinstein Was Infected With Coronavirus in Rikers Island Prison, Report Says

Harvey Weinstein Was Infected With Coronavirus in Rikers Island Prison, Report Says

Harvey Weinstein has tested positive for the coronavirus, the Niagara Gazette reported Sunday.

Weinstein, a disgraced former Hollywood producer, was being isolated at Wende Correctional Facility in Alden, New York, the local newspaper reported, citing anonymous officials connected to the state prison system.

He is one of two Wende inmates who have tested positive, according to the report.

Weinstein, 67, was transferred on Wednesday to the maximum security prison east of Buffalo to serve a 23-year sentence for sexual assault and rape.

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Weinstein, once one of Hollywood’s most influential men, was found guilty on Feb. 24 by a Manhattan jury of sexually assaulting a former production assistant and raping a former aspiring actress.

After his sentencing on March 11, Weinstein was taken to New York’s Rikers Island jail. Hours later, he was transported to Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan for ongoing heart problems, but was sent back to Rikers earlier this week, his spokesman Juda Engelmayer said.

Officials told the Niagara Gazette Weinstein is believed to have contracted the coronavirus before he entered the state prison system from Rikers Island.

Michael Powers, president of the New York State Correctional Officers and Police Benevolent Association, said he could not comment on Weinstein’s health due to privacy rules protecting inmates.


However, the union had called for all “non essential” transfers of inmates into and between state prisons to be suspended in response to the outbreak.

The Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, which oversees state prisons, declared last week it was suspending all visits to inmates.

How Harvey Weinstein ended up in prison with coronavirus

More than 15,000 cases of COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus, have been reported in New York, and 114 people have died, according to a New York Times database. Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Friday issued a statewide stay-at-home-order, which goes into effect Sunday evening.

Weinstein’s conviction was hailed as a victory for the #MeToo movement against sexual misconduct by powerful men. More than 100 women, including famous actresses, accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct stretching back decades. He has denied the allegations, saying any sex was consensual.

Weinstein’s earliest release date is Nov. 9, 2039.

The defense expects to file an appeal in July.

Weinstein faces separate sexual assault charges in Los Angeles.

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Mark David Chapman, who murdered Beatle John Lennon in 1980, served some of his time at Wende Correctional Facility, as did Robert Chambers, dubbed the “Preppie killer,” who strangled 18-year-old Jennifer Levin in New York City’s Central Park in 1986.

The prison has sex offender treatment programs, according to the Department of Corrections website. Weinstein won an Academy Award for producing “Shakespeare in Love” and was responsible for other acclaimed films including “Pulp Fiction,” “The English Patient” and “Gangs of New York.” He turns 68 on Thursday.

Weinstein won an Academy Award for producing “Shakespeare in Love” and was responsible for other acclaimed films including “Pulp Fiction,” “The English Patient” and “Gangs of New York.” He turns 68 on Thursday.

(Reuters contributed to this report.)

Cover image: Harvey Weinstein (Screen grab)

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