Published:  12:02 AM, 24 March 2020

Weinstein tests positive for coronavirus

Weinstein tests positive for coronavirus Disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein

Disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, US media reported Sunday.

Weinstein, 68, is in prison in northern New York state after being sentenced to 23 years in jail for rape and sexual assault. The fallen film producer's diagnosis was reported Sunday evening by celebrity news website TMZ and local paper the Niagara Gazette.

Weinstein's spokespeople have declined to comment to US media on the subject. The New York State Department of Corrections did not respond when contacted by AFP for confirmation of the reports.

Sources told TMZ that Weinstein was one of two inmates to test positive at the high-security Wende Correctional Facility northwest of New York City and that he has had no contact with family or his lawyers since his diagnosis.

Prior to his transfer, he stayed at Rikers Island prison and a Manhattan hospital, where he was treated for chest pains. Crowded US prisons have the potential to become hotbeds for coronavirus infections. Last week, guards at Rikers and New York's Sing Sing prison tested positive for the virus, local media reported.

As of Sunday, the virus has killed 417 people in the US out of more than 33,000 cases, according to a tracker managed by Johns Hopkins University. Weinstein was convicted in February of a criminal sexual act in the first degree and rape in the third degree, while being cleared of predatory sexual assault charges.

He was convicted of raping ex-actress Jessica Mann in 2013 and of forcibly performing oral sex on former production assistant Mimi Haleyi in 2006. Nearly 90 women, including Angelina Jolie and Salma Hayek, have leveled sexual misconduct allegations against Weinstein, the Oscar-winning producer of "Shakespeare in Love" and numerous other critical and box office hits.

---AFP, Washington


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