Harvey Weinstein, the disgraced Hollywood producer, argued that his current health problems and “fall from grace” are sufficient punishments for raping and sexually assaulting women.
He was found guilty of first-degree sexual assault and third-degree rape in February, but now his lawyers filed a letter ahead of the former producer’s Wednesday sentencing, arguing that he be shown mercy with a five-year sentence.
“He has lost his means to earn a living. Simply put, his fall from grace has been historic, perhaps unmatched in the age of social media,” they argued, adding that he “cannot walk outside without being heckled.”
Weinstein’s attorneys also argued that a stricter punishment, which prosecutors are reportedly pursuing, would effectively be a life sentence, forbidding the 67-year-old from having any freedom in the future as he faces up to 29 years in prison.
“The grave reality is that Mr. Weinstein may not even outlive that term,” they said, arguing against a “de facto life sentence.”
Weinstein’s health has been a subject of conversation after he used a walker during his widely covered trial in New York. Although some accused him of faking frailty to garner sympathy, his lawyers claimed that he was “in a serious car accident” as the trial was ongoing.
“He has been using a walker to assist him as the back pain has increased,” they said in December 2019.
Following his conviction, Weinstein had heart surgery and was given a stent, according to his publicist. While awaiting his sentencing, he suffered a fall at Rikers Island jail and is now being kept in the prison’s infirmary unit.
“Harvey says his head throbs all the time and thinks he has a concussion. He has not been officially diagnosed,” Weinstein spokesman said.