First Harvey Weinstein juror speaks out after verdict. Why ‘tensions’ were high
Despite being convicted of rape and a felony sex crime on Monday, Harvey Weinstein was found not guilty of predatory sexual assault against actress Annabella Sciorra. Yet a jury member claims the “Sopranos” alum’s violent story of rape was widely believed.
“I wouldn’t say [her testimony] wasn’t convincing,” a woman identified as Juror #2 told “Inside Edition on Tuesday. “It was very much so convincing to a lot of the jurors. I feel like the way things went for her, it was wrong. ... Hopefully with the verdict that we gave, she feels and she has some type of closure.”
She is the first person from the jury to speak out since the panel of seven men and five women deliberated for nearly a week leading up to Monday’s verdict. Though the juror admitted she “didn’t know who” Weinstein was before the trial, she recognized the high stakes and felt the pressure in the courtroom.
“Tensions were very high,” she said. “Everyone was nervous. All I can say is that the temperature in the room was very high.”
Though many — including some of his 80-plus accusers — slammed Weinstein and his attorneys for taking a transparent, “victim-blaming” defense approach, the juror contended that the sex offender’s “very strong” legal team “made valid points.” For those in charge of his fate, the choice was not easy — hence the extended deliberation period.
“We wanted to get more clarification on how to move forward,” she explained. “Some people wanted to go home and think about it. Some people wanted to think long and hard about the decisions we had to make.”
On the fourth day of deliberations, the jury asks if it can be split on two charges of predatory sexual assault but is told to continue deliberating.
Ultimately, the juror said she was “confident” in the ruling, though that didn’t make the jury’s final discussion any less intense.
“My hands were sweating,” she said. “I felt like my heart was going to pop out of my chest. I wouldn’t say it was nerve-racking, but it was just like ‘This is it. This is the moment.’”
Though not all of the testimonies resulted in convictions, the juror ended the interview by offering words of support to Sciorra and all the women who stood up against the disgraced movie mogul throughout the ordeal.
“Every last woman that took the stand, I wish them the best” she said. “I hope this is now a chapter that they can close and move forward with their lives.”
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