Former Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein is among the two inmates at the Wende Correctional Facility outside Buffalo in New York State who have tested positive for the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), TMZ reported this week citing unnamed sources.
The New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS) confirmed to Variety newspaper that two inmates at Wende were confirmed with the virus but did not specify their identities and refused to comment on Weinstein’s health.
Meanwhile, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city was going to release some 40 inmates to slow down the coronavirus spread. He earlier said that an inmate at Rikers Island, where Weinstein was held in custody before moving to the Wende prison, had tested positive for COVID-19.
City officials are now in the process of reviewing cases and more inmates with “particular health vulnerabilities” and at low risk of reoffending will be released, the mayor added.
While in custody, Weinstein has frequently experienced health issues. In-mid March, the ex-movie producer was taken to hospital just hours after hearing his sentence. His spokesperson Juda Engelmayer, however, had indicated that Weinstein’s hospitalisation was not related to COVID-19 but was due to heart issues.
Since 2017, dozens of Hollywood employees and actresses, including Angelina Jolie and Uma Turman, have accused Weinstein of sexual harassment, with some of the accusations dating back as far as 1980. As the scandal unfolded, Weinstein was fired from his own company and the New York authorities launched an investigation.
Weinstein has denied all charges pressed against him, insisting all his sexual relationships were consensual.