Gigi Hadid will not serve on jury at Harvey Weinstein ‘rape’ trial
Defence and prosecution lawyers believed that the supermodel’s presence on the jury would be inappropriate.
Supermodel Gigi Hadid will not be a juror in Harvey Weinstein’s rape trial.
Hadid, 24, was spotted shortly before 9am walking into the New York courthouse trailed by a person who appeared to be a bodyguard.
Holding a black handbag in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other, Hadid did not say anything as she disappeared into a room.
A few minutes later, she left the courthouse.
Court officials confirmed she was cut from the list of potential jurors, an expected development following the attention her presence in court generated.
She also said she had met actress Salma Hayek, a potential witness.
Despite Hadid’s insistence that she could “keep an open mind on the facts”, the defence and prosecutors later agreed that having her on the jury would be too much of a commotion.
Weinstein’s lawyers have demanded the trial be moved out of New York City, citing “flash mob” protests in the streets whose chants can be heard in the courtroom and a crush of reporters and photographers that have turned the case into a “media and entertainment circus”.
The defence, having lost an earlier change of venue request, said the “carnival-like atmosphere” surrounding jury selection, coupled with the frenzy over Hadid’s appearance in the jury pool and social media comments by prospective jurors, showed Weinstein will not get a fair shake in his home town.
He has said any sexual activity was consensual.
If convicted, Weinstein could face life in prison.
Judge James Burke has said he expects a panel of 12 jurors and six alternates to be seated in time for opening statements and evidence on January 22.
He told prospective jurors that he expected the trial to finish up in early March.