Harvey Weinstein’s Courtroom Cellphone Use Could Send Him to Jail, Judge Warns

“Is this really how you want to end up in jail — by violating this order, by texting?” Justice James Burke asks Weinstein on Tuesday

Last Updated: January 7, 2020 @ 8:52 AM

Harvey Weinstein’s cellphone use in the courtroom could be the violation that sends him to jail, Justice James Burke warned on Tuesday morning.

The second day of Weinstein’s trial opened with a heated exchange between the judge and the defense after Weinstein was caught — once again — using his cellphone in the Manhattan, New York, courtroom, which is strictly prohibited for everyone inside.

“What did I say would happen if he so much as had a cellphone in his hand in the courtroom, since there have been repeated violations of this, including some on the record?” Burke asked the defense sternly.

Turning to Weinstein, Burke then said, “I could not implore you more to not answer the following question: Is this really how you want to end up in jail by violating this order, by texting?”

Once Weinstein was seated in the courtroom on Tuesday morning, he had pulled out two cellphones from his pocket to give to his team. But moments later, more phones were back in his hand, and multiple court bailiffs told him to put them away. The interactions were not unnoticed by Burke.

“He turned his cellphones over to somebody, and then he had two more,” Burke said, raising his voice. “It’s been an issue every single court date.”

Attorneys Arthur Aidala and Donna Rotunno took turns apologizing for the mishap, but Burke responded curtly: “I’m not looking for apologies. I’m looking for compliance.”

And a few minutes later, Weinstein’s cellphone was brought up once again after the prosecution requested the ex-mogul be remanded because of the new sexual assault charges against him in Los Angeles. While Burke denied the request and kept the bail conditions the same, he turned to Aidala with a stern warning.

“Mr. Aidala, this is on you if he blows it, especially in regards to his cell phone,” Burke said. “I am pointing my finger at you.”

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