EXCLUSIVE: Still in medical isolation in prison, Harvey Weinstein has not exhibited any signs of severe illness, despite having tested positive for the coronavirus earlier this week.
In fact, the convicted sex offender is doing better.
“He is fine,” a source with knowledge of Weinstein’s condition told Deadline today. “He is over the hump and just mending,” the individual added of the 68-year old Oscar winning producer who has been housed in the hospital at the maximum security Wende Correctional Facility since March 18.
Sentenced on March 11 to 23-years behind bars after being found guilty by a NYC jury of rape and a criminal sex crime, the already health challenged Weinstein was tested at the facility just east of Buffalo soon after his transfer from the notorious Rikers Island earlier this month. That test came back positive and Weinstein on March 22 was whisked into isolation.
With at least one other inmate also having testing positive for COVID-19 at Wende, it is expected that Weinstein will stay in isolation for at least 10 more days, a law enforcement source says. However, with the producer's various underlying medical conditions that predated the coronavirus result, I hear he could stay sequestered for even longer.
Partly that decision may be made by how many more members of the prison population, guards and staff at Wende also test positive for the novel coronavirus or begin to display symptoms themselves in the nearly 1000 capacity facility. As the Empire State has emerged as the hardest hit so far by the pandemic, packed prisons and jails are seen as hotbeds for contagion and a surging spread.
Already New York, California and several other states are working on releasing non-violent and soon-to-be furloughed inmates early on home arrest, parole or another form of leniency to lessen the load and flatten the incarceration curve as confirmed COVID-19 cases now exceed 65,000 domestically.
While there is little to no chance that the just sentenced Weinstein will receive a get out of jail card anytime soon, fellow high-profile sex offender Bill Cosby is moving towards petitioning the state of Pennsylvania to open his cell doors, so to speak. “Nothing has been filed, but we're exploring all legal actions,” a rep for the 82-year old comedian once known as “America's Dad” told Deadline on Wednesday.
Representatives for Weinstein, as well as for New York State's Department of Corrections did not reply to requests for comment today on the once pugilistic producer and his status.
First arrested New York in late May 2018, over seven months after the New York Times ran their first expose, Weinstein initially faced two counts of predatory sexual assault, one count of criminal sexual act in the first degree and one...
Apple has resurrected Steven Spielberg’s anthology series Amazing Stories as part of its Apple TV+ streaming service, the first of their shows to be a revival of a pre-existing show. The original series ran from 1985 through 1987 on NBC. Apple’s first season consists of five hour-long stories.
The first episode of the new series stars Dylan O’Brien as a modern man who travels back in time through the basement of a house he’s restoring. Episode two tells the afterlife tale of a runner Hailey Kilgore who gets hit by a car, but stays around to help her friend E’myri Crutchfield. The newest episode stars Robert Forster as a grandfather who gains super powers from an old toy ring.
Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz serve as showrunners on the new Amazing Stories. Their previous credits include creating and running Once Upon a Time and writing and producing for Lost. Kitsis and Horowitz spoke with /Film by phone this week about Amazing Stories and a little bit about their Beauty and the Beast prequel series for Disney+. New episodes of Amazing Stories premiere Fridays on Apple TV+.
Was there ever a question of using the original Amazing Stories theme song?
Horowitz: No. John Williams’ theme was so iconic. From day one, it was a must have for us and everybody involved knew that there really was no way we could do this without it.
How did you come up with new animation for it?
Kitsis: We hired a title company and basically we, really almost right away, I think we spent a year going over development with them. You just look at different images and animation and just kind of gradually came about over the last year.
Horowitz: It was a collaborative effort. They did incredible work. They worked with us and with Amblin and Steven had input in it all. It was a long process to try to get it to the place where it is now and got more specific as we started to shoot the episodes and get images to put into it.
Kitsis: The company’s name is Elastic. They’re phenomenal. They’ve done so many titles that you’ve seen.
Horowitz: If you look in the title sequence as you watch the episodes, you see images from the various episodes are incorporated in the title sequence.
What was the decision to go full hour versus the ½ hour of most of the original Amazing Stories?
Horowitz: I think it was less about a conscious decision about the episodes should be an hour or a half hour than as we discussed the kind of stories we wanted to tell, a length sort of revealed itself to us which is this 45 to 50 minute length which felt about right for the size of the stories we were telling. It really was about letting the stories dictate the length rather than try to dictate an arbitrary timeframe for it.
Can the stories be any edgier on streaming than they were on...
For the first time, attorney Tom Ajamie opens up about his pro bono investigation into questionable practices at amfAR that led to the disgraced movie mogul's demise.
In January 2017, Tom Ajamie sat in a luxury hotel suite at Main & Sky in Park City when Harvey Weinstein came bounding in for an awkward face-to-face meeting. The Houston-based financial fraud attorney had been hired by the amfAR board to investigate a suspect transaction involving Weinstein. Ajamie had recently submitted his eight-page confidential report, the details of which Weinstein appeared to know well. But as the two-hour meeting kicked off, the Oscar-winning producer was focused on a different subject entirely.
'He began screaming at me, 'You're telling everyone I rape women. You're causing problems for me. I have a very good reputation. And you're the source of all these rumors',' Ajamie recalls. 'Harvey was manic. One minute he'd be yelling, and then he would calm down. He was all over the place. Yelling, screaming, cajoling, begging, trying to explain, often talking in circles, confused, not confused, justifying his actions — 'I slept with dozens and dozens of women, and you know they all won Academy Awards'.'
Fast-forward three years, and Weinstein is now a convicted rapist and has been bouncing around New York correctional facilities amid health issues. Although Ajamie's amfAR investigation never received the same level of attention as Weinstein's sexual predation, it remains the key event that led to his downfall. After all, it was during the eight-month inquiry, which Ajamie's firm did pro bono, that he learned of Weinstein's open secret.
'Everyone I interviewed started off by saying things like, 'You know he's a sexual predator, right?' as opposed to jumping right to this issue of financial transactions,” Ajamie says. 'As a lawyer who's done dozens of these investigations, it was very odd.'
At Main & Sky, he faced off with Weinstein — Ajamie, the Hollywood outsider, was unimpressed with the mogul's name-dropping. Weinstein was in Sundance with Jay-Z for the premiere of their TV series Time: The Kalief Browder Story, and days earlier, it was reported that Malia Obama would intern for him. Attorney Lisa Bloom, who arranged the meeting, was the only other person present.
Near the end of the meeting, Weinstein leaned close to Ajamie and told him to sign an NDA. “He said, 'David Boies wants you to sign this nondisclosure. You have to keep everything you learned about me secret,' ” recalls Ajamie.
He refused. Soon after, he was contacted by New York Times writers Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey. 'I told them what I was able to tell them,' he says. The rest is history.
On a cold February day in Manhattan, the maitre d' at Fleming greets Ajamie by name. The 59-year-old lawyer splits his...