Harvey Weinstein's lawyers plead for five-year sentence as they fear he'll die behind bars

Harvey Weinstein

Harvey Weinstein's lawyers have pleaded for the sentencing judge to be lenient on the disgraced producer and give him a mandatory minimum of five years behind bars.

The movie mogul is due to be sentenced on Wednesday, and could be given up to 29 years in jail after being convicted of rape and a criminal sexual act last month.

However, in legal documents filed late on Monday night, Weinstein's legal team argued that his ill health should be taken into consideration, and anything more than five years would essentially be "a de facto life sentence".

"The grave reality is that Mr. Weinstein may not even outlive that term," they wrote in a letter to New York Supreme Court Justice James Burke, according to Deadline.

The letter went on to state that Weinstein's life was "destroyed" following the New Yorker article written by Ronan Farrow in 2017 that accused him of sexual assault.

"Mr. Weinstein was constantly maligned by the media, having long since been convicted in the court of public opinion," it continued. "His fall from grace has been historic, perhaps unmatched in the age of social media."

Adding that Weinstein has an otherwise clean record, the lawyers stressed that "the trial did not fairly portray who he is as a person".

"His life story, his accomplishments, and struggles are simply remarkable and should not be disregarded in total because of a jury's verdict," they added.

The letter concluded by reminding the judge of Weinstein's charitable work and his five children, who are "the love of his life and continue to bring him constant joy".

Weinstein is currently in Rikers Island prison in New York awaiting sentencing.


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