Weinstein judge won't step aside as jury selection resumes


But Judge James Burke denied the request, saying there was too much uncertainty over whether Allred would take the stand to prevent her from observing testimony.

The judge at Harvey Weinstein's sexual assault trial has ordered jury selection to begin as scheduled, rejecting a defence request for a "cooling-off period" after prosecutors in Los Angeles brought new charges against the fallen movie mogul.

Weinstein's lawyers sent a letter to Judge James Burke saying his comments Tuesday were "prejudicial and inflammatory" and raised questions about his impartiality. Burke has not ruled on the motion.

Burke on Tuesday threatened to revoke Weinstein's bail after catching him using his cellphone in court, asking him, "Is this really the way you want to end up in jail for the rest of your life, by texting and violating a court order?"

On Monday, the first day of his trial - Los Angeles prosecutors charged Weinstein with raping one woman and sexually assaulting another in separate incidents in 2013, and his lawyer Arthur Aidala requested that the hearing today be adjourned because a jury could not be impartial given the new charges. Jury selection continued on Thursday following Burke's ruling and is expected to continue into Friday.

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Weinstein is expected to appear in court in California after his NY trial, Ms Lacey said.

Weinstein is facing life in prison over criminal charges that he raped woman in a NY hotel room in 2013, and forcibly performed oral sex on another woman in his Manhattan apartment in 2006. The 67-year-old has said any sexual activity was consensual. Weinstein has denied the charges.

That challenge was demonstrated Thursday when Burke detected a stir after breaking the news to a new batch of prospective jurors that they were there for the Weinstein case.

Later Wednesday, Weinstein's lawyers asked Burke to have Allred, a well-known women's rights attorney representing several of Weinstein's alleged victims, removed from the proceedings as well.

In addition to the dozens of potential jurors who've been disqualified from the case, Weinstein's legal team has also tried to get well-known attorney Gloria Allred and the judge who's overseeing it all barred from the courtroom altogether.

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"Notably, your client was non-compliant, defiant and challenging to court officers when asked not to use his cellphones", the judge said, as Weinstein impatiently whispered to attorney Donna Rotunno.

"Harvey Weinstein's defense appeared to want to interfere with my ability to represent my three clients who will be witnesses in his trial", Allred told reporters outside the courthouse.

"The press are to be applauded on how well they have maintained themselves", he said.

Theron blasted Weinstein last December amid claims he told aspiring actresses she had slept with him to get acting roles.

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