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Harvey Weinstein Hires Prison Consultant, May Avoid Extended Stay At Rikers Island
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 24: Harvey Weinstein enters a Manhattan court house as a jury continues with deliberations in his trial on February 24, 2020 in New York City. On Friday the judge asked the jury to keep deliberating after they announced that they are deadlocked on the charges of predatory sexual assault. Weinstein, a movie producer whose alleged sexual misconduct helped spark the #MeToo movement, pleaded not-guilty on five counts of rape and sexual assault against two unnamed women and faces a possible life sentence in prison. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Harvey Weinstein, following in the footsteps of other high-profile Hollywood convicts, has hired a “prison consultant” to help ease him into life behind bars, according to the New York Post.

The entertainment mega-mogul was convicted, Monday, of two counts of criminal sexual conduct, and is facing between 5 and 29 years in prison, and he’s hoping to avoid serving time in New York’s notorious Rikers Island prison, which is miserable for even the most hardened of inmates.

“The life-behind-bars expert is not a psychologist, but he is helping Weinstein’s camp with logistics, for example, making sure he gets the proper medical care in jail,” Weinstein spokesman Juda Engelmayer told the Post.

“The consultant was hired as a precautionary measure,” the outlet added, before a jury found Weinstein guilty on one count of first degree criminal sexual assault and one count of third degree rape, by a legal team that was likely confident Weinstein would not be convicted.

So far, Weinstein has been able to avoid jail life altogether. Immediately following his appearance in court, en route to Rikers Island where he was supposed to be held pending his sentencing hearing on March 11, Weinstein complained of chest pains and heart palpatations and was taken to New York’s Bellevue Hospital, which serves Rikers’ inmates.

Weinstein remains in the hospital, according to his attorneys, and it is not known when (or if) he’ll be tranferred out.

“When I saw him yesterday, I was not expecting him to be in as good spirits as he was,” his lawyer told ABC News on Wednesday. “He was in pretty good shape — pretty focused on the future, what the next steps are.”

“Obviously, we all wish he was sleeping in his own bed right now, but he appeared to be as healthy as possible, although his vital signs might not have been ideal, but he was trying to motivate me and passing the message along to the rest of the team to keep fighting for him,” the attorney added. “He’s been consistent from the day I met him about his innocence, and he’s still very forceful in proclaiming that ‘I didn’t sexually assault anyone and I didn’t rape anyone.'”

Weinstein may try to stay in the hospital until his sentencing, so that he can avoid having to spend time at Rikers Island. The judge will determine Weinstein’s “permanent home” when Weinstein is sentenced, and it’s more likely, then, that he’ll be sent to a “lightweight” prison or medical facility where he’ll serve hard time in softer surroundings.

If he does go to Rikers, he won’t spend more than a few months there, however. Weinstein is slated to stand trial on four more counts of criminal sexual conduct, this time in Los Angeles, where he’s “accused of forcible rape, forcible oral copulation, sexual penetration by use of force and sexual battery by restraint, stemming from two separate incidents over two days in 2013,” per the Post.

Weinstein isn’t alone, though, in splashing out money to make jail easier. Lori Loughlin, who was caught up in the notorious “Operation Varsity Blues” scandal that saw Hollywood celebrities and business tycoons allegedly bribing college admissions departments to accept their children, hired a “jail consultant” in case she was convicted.

Prison consultants can cost a pretty penny, according to Google. The best can charge upwards of $100,000.

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