Former movie producer Harvey Weinstein, who is serving prison for sexual assault and rape, has tested positive for the coronavirus, according to the head of the state corrections officers union. Weinstein, 68, has been placed in isolation at Wende Correctional Facility, said Michael Powers, president of the New York State Correctional Officers and Police Benevolent Association.
Power said he learned that the test came back positive on Sunday morning and is concerned about the corrections officers, who he said lack proper protective equipment. the staff has been quarantined, powers said.
Weinstein arrived at Wende Correctional Facility, a maximum-security prison east of Buffalo, New York, on Wednesday after being housed at New York City’s Rikers Island jail.
He was sentenced to 23 years in prison on March 11 for sexually assaulting former production assistant Mimi Haleyi and raping Jessica Mann, an onetime aspiring actress.
A lawyer for Weinstein said on Sunday night that his legal team had not been notified of the coronavirus diagnosis. “Given Mr. Weinstein’s state of health, we are of course concerned, if this is the case, and we are vigilantly monitoring the situation,” said lawyer Imran Ansari, who is based in New York.
The Niagara Gazette, a local newspaper in upstate New York, reported that Weinstein had tested positive for the highly contagious virus earlier Sunday, citing anonymous officials.
Mark David Chapman, who murdered Beatle John Lennon 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. 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, have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct stretching back decades. He has denied the allegations, saying any sex was consensual.
Weinstein also faces separate sexual assault charges in Los Angeles.
Weinstein won an Academy for producing “Shakespeare in Love” and was responsible for other acclaimed films including “Pulp Fiction”, “The English Patient” and “Gangs of New York.”