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Harvey Weinstein Convicted on 2 Counts, Acquitted on More Serious Charges

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NEW YORK (TMZ) — 11:16 AM PT — Rotunno and Weinstein’s attorney Damon Cheronis tell us, “While he was not convicted on the most serious charges, we are disappointed in the verdict and will be filing an appeal. There are issues in this trial that were extremely troubling, and they prejudiced Mr. Weinstein’s ability to have his case fairly judged. These will be addressed to a higher court.”

They continue, “In the meantime, we are working on assuring that Mr. Weinstein is brought to Rikers’ Island’s North infirmary unit at the Anna M Kross center complex or in protective custody so that he can get the best medical supervision and care possible.

9:58 AM PT — Weinstein’s attorney, Donna Rotunno, tells TMZ, “We knew going in it was an uphill battle from the beginning. The verdict is bitter sweet. An appeal will be filed, this fight is not over.”

Rotunno also says they requested that Weinstein be placed in a medical facility inside the jail while he awaits sentencing. However, it is ultimately up to the Dept. of Corrections where he ends up.

9:39 AM PT — Manhattan D.A. Cyrus Vance just spoke to the media and made it very clear … Weinstein’s convictions — even on just 2 out of 5 counts — are absolutely a success in his eyes, and not a failure by any stretch of the imagination.

Vance praised all of the women who testified in the case, saying they changed the course of history with their participation and stories … and helped bring the criminal justice system into the 21st century in the fight against sexual violence.

He went on to say what was made clear is that rape is rape, and sexual assault is sexual assault — whether someone reports it in an hour, a year or never … and despite the relationship a victim may have with his or her attacker.

Bottom line for Vance … he says there’s a new landscape on how to look at these cases, and it’s all because the women in this case were heroic enough to take the stand and speak. He says Weinstein will be behind bars for a minimum of 5 years, and his office will take that as a victory … even though life in prison was potentially on the line on the more serious counts.

Vance’s hope with this case is that victims of sexual abuse will come forward and report, and know they will be believed … and that justice will be pursued on their behalf. It doesn’t appear Weinstein’s legal team took the opportunity to address the press Monday.

9:14 AM PT — Weinstein was remanded into custody following the announcement of the verdicts. He will remain behind bars until his March 11 sentencing hearing.

Harvey Weinstein is guilty of 2 of the 5 charges he faced in his NYC criminal trial — but he was found not guilty on the charges that could have put him in prison for life.

The jury found Weinstein guilty of 1st-degree criminal sexual act and 3rd-degree rape. He could get up to 25 years in prison just for the criminal sexual act. However, the jury found him not guilty on 2 counts of predatory sexual assault charges. Those carried a possible life sentence. He was also acquitted of 1st-degree rape.

A jury of 12 people — 7 men and 5 women — finally reached their verdict after 5 days and about 22 hours of deliberations. This comes after an interesting turn on Friday … when the jurors sent a note to the judge asking if they could be hung on 2 counts of predatory sexual assault and unanimous on the others.

The judge told them to go back deliberations, and they worked it out by Monday morning.

As we reported … Weinstein pled not guilty to 5 felony charges relating to sexual misconduct. The charges were based on the accounts of 2 women … Miriam Haley, a TV and film production assistant who worked on “Project Runway,” and former actress Jessica Mann.

The prosecution rested its case 2 weeks ago after 12 days of witness testimony. In total, 6 women testified against Weinstein, including Haley and Mann. Last Tuesday marked the start of jury deliberations.

As we reported … Mann testified under oath that Weinstein began manipulating her as soon as he met her, allegedly forcing himself on her multiple times and raping her at a hotel in Manhattan.

Weinstein’s defense argued he had a consensual relationship with Mann lasting for years after the alleged sexual assault. He maintained all sexual conduct was consensual.

During closing arguments, Weinstein’s lawyer, Donna Rotunno, ripped into the prosecution, saying prosecutors, “created a universe that strips adult women of common sense, autonomy and responsibility,” arguing Weinstein’s accusers acquiesced to sex because they thought it would advance their careers.

However, Prosecutor Joan Illuzzi-Orbon countered in her closing argument, saying Weinstein’s accusers “were merely ants that he could step on without consequences.”

The disgraced Hollywood mogul felt he couldn’t get a fair trial in New York, claiming the jury pool was tainted … but the case proceeded.

Originally published — 8:53 AM PT

Tune in to TMZ on TV weekdays Monday through Friday (check syndicated/local listings)

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Bethenny Frankel to Deliver Half-a-Million Masks in Wake of Coronavirus

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(TMZ) — Bethenny Frankel is about to deliver half-a-million masks to doctors, nurses and other medical professionals who are at high risk for contracting coronavirus, and the decks have just been cleared to deliver them quickly.

FEMA has told hospital workers they can get masks outside normal channels and get reimbursement because the supply is so critically lacking.

Bethenny tells TMZ, she’s getting thousands of messages a day from medical professionals — many in New York but also other areas of the country — begging for help.

Bethenny is working with manufacturers from all over the world to make masks, and the number she’s making has ballooned from 10,000 to 500,000 N-95 masks and counting.

She says the masks will be available in a few and they will go directly to the people who need it, because the red tape is being eliminated.

Tune in to TMZ on TV weekdays Monday through Friday (check syndicated/local listings)

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Rihanna’s Clara Lionel Foundation Donates $5M to Coronavirus Relief

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(TMZ) — Rihanna ‘s Clara Lionel Foundation just made a massive donation in an effort to help support those challenged by and working to stop the coronavirus.

RiRi has pledged $5 MILLION to support groups in the United States and around the world. We’re told the cash will be used to support a myriad of efforts including local food banks serving at-risk communities in the U.S., speed up testing and medical care in countries like Haiti and Malawi.

The donation will also help doctors and nurses on the frontlines … with protective equipment, maintenance of intensive care units and the acceleration of the development of vaccines and other methods to fight the disease. It will also be used to help distribute critical respiratory supplies.

CLF’s Executive Director, Justine Lucas, tells us, “Never has it been more important or urgent to protect and prepare marginalized and underserved communities — those who will be hit hardest by this pandemic.”

Rihanna founded CLF in 2012, the group has worked tirelessly to support and fund education and emergency response programs around the world. CLF is accepting donations on its website to continue its fight.

Tune in to TMZ on TV weekdays Monday through Friday (check syndicated/local listings)

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Katy Perry Shows Baby Bump During Grocery Run with Orlando Bloom

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LOS ANGELES (TMZ) — Katy Perry and Orlando Bloom are on the hunt for supermarket supplies — just like most of us adjusting to life in a pandemic — but the expectant parents look super comfy doing it.

Orlando and his pregnant, pop singer fiancee hit up a Whole Foods in L.A. along with Katy’s sister, Angela, and another male friend.

It looks like all 4 remained pretty chill amid the coronavirus panic-shopping many are still doing — and they walked out fresh produce, frozen veggies, boxes of bottled water and a plant-based protein powder called Vega.

One thing not visible in their haul — toilet paper. Let’s hope they’ve already stocked up.

We’re told Katy and co. shopped for about 30 minutes and practiced good social distancing. She went to the car about 10 minutes before Orlando. Of course, KP — whose baby bump is more prevalent these days — could’ve just needed to get off her feet.

As we reported … Katy revealed her pregnancy earlier this month in her new “Never Worn White” music video, referring to it as the hardest secret she’s had to keep.

She and Orlando recently returned to the U.S. just before the new reality of self-isolating at home to limit the COVID-19 outbreak really set in. They’re reportedly postponing their summer wedding in Japan due to the global crisis.

At least they’ve got plenty of water and protein to get through.

Tune in to TMZ on TV weekdays Monday through Friday (check syndicated/local listings)

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