/How about Harvey Weinstein scheduled to undergo back surgery this week, lawyer says

How about Harvey Weinstein scheduled to undergo back surgery this week, lawyer says

Harvey Weinstein, despite an aching back, will return to court in Manhattan Wednesday for a ruling on whether he will remain free on bail – or if his bail will be quintupled to $5 million – before his trial starts Jan. 6.

Meanwhile, Weinstein is scheduled for back surgery this week, according to his lawyer, Donna Rotunno, who says he was in a car accident in August.

“Mr. Weinstein was in a serious car accident in August, which resulted in a concussion and has now necessitated the need for back surgery later this week,” Rotunno said in a statement emailed to USA TODAY.

According to a New York Post account of the accident, Weinstein, 67, was driving through Westchester County north of New York City on Aug. 17 when he smashed his Jeep into a tree. He told police he swerved to avoid a deer. 

Weinstein rents a house nearby to be close to his children with ex-wife fashion designer Georgina Chapman.

At the time, Weinstein’s team refused to confirm the account; now his team is changing course after Twitter talk last week about Weinstein’s frail appearance in court on Friday. 

Rotunno told USA TODAY that Weinstein is using a walker nowadays but left it behind for court because he didn’t want to appear as if he were seeking sympathy by feigning impairment. 

“He has been using a walker to assist him as the back pain has increased,” Rotunno’s statement said. “Prior to his entering the court, he wanted to leave the walker in the car, so it did not appear that was he looking for sympathy, as he is not.

“The press surrounding his physical condition is mean-spirited and false.”

Why is Harvey Weinstein limping? Bad back pain, says his lawyer

The hearing on Wednesday is necessitated by changes in state laws on bail conditions scheduled to take effect Jan. 1. 

Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzzi asked Judge James Burke to remand Weinstein to jail until his trial next month, but if not to increase Weinstein’s bail to $5 million cash.

Weinstein, who has pleaded not guilty to five sex-crime charges, including rape and sexual assault, has been free on $1 million since his arrest in May 2018.

To support her argument, Illuzzi asserted that Weinstein has violated his bail conditions by mishandling his electronic ankle monitor, sometimes going unaccounted for hours at a time. She said Weinstein left at home a piece of the monitoring technology that keeps the ankle bracelet activated.

More:Prosecutors allege Harvey Weinstein violated bail conditions by mishandling ankle monitor

Rotunno denied it was deliberate. She blamed “technical glitches” like dead batteries. 

“It has nothing to do with any manipulation of the bracelet,” Rotunno told reporters after leaving court last week. She acknowledged that on at least one occasion, he’d forgotten part of the device when he left the house. “The minute he realized he forgot it, he made a phone call.”