Disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein is reportedly being filmed 24 hours a day, seven days a week while in prison for fear he could face the same fate as billionaire paedophile Jeffrey Epstein in the summer of 2019, a TMZ report has it, citing law enforcement sources.
The latter no less notorious inmate – codenamed 76318-054 – was found dead in his Manhattan prison cell in August 2019 in what was formally ruled to be a suicide, as he was awaiting trial on a number of child sex trafficking charges. Yet in light of the insufficient CCTV camera monitoring, the news triggered a bunch of conspiracy theories alleging that Epstein could have been murdered by someone from the rich and powerful he used to rub shoulders with.
As Weinstein serves a 23-year sentence at the Wende Correctional Facility in downtown New York, a correctional officer is reportedly keeping an eye on the producer, carrying a camera at eye-level, apart from the conventional surveillance in the facility.
When asked to comment on the matter, both a spokesman for Weinstein and the New York State Department of Corrections declined to do so.
It is believed that the level of surveillance of late paedophile Epstein, who died in a cell without a camera while the one outside was out of order, was drastically different from the monitoring of Weinstein, who is now being closely watched due to him having a number of health issues, including recent suspicions of a repeated COVID-19 infection.
Weinstein, who is appealing his March conviction of sexual abuse and rape after being accused of sex crimes by more than 80 women, including Rose McGowan, is currently getting ready for another trial in Los Angeles, where he will face new charges brought against him by five women. All in all, the Hollywood mogul faces 11 charges for sexual assault in the state of California and, if convicted, it will put him behind bars for up to 140 years.
Weinstein is notably not the only person who has been feared could repeat Epstein’s fate given the length and conditions of his imprisonment. Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein’s suspected “pimp”, also has two cameras zooming in on her around the clock to guarantee her safety.
The British socialite and Epstein’s former lover, who is suspected of recruiting underage victims for Epstein for abuse, reportedly has one camera on the ceiling of her 9-by-6ft cell, and another one placed 4ft away from her.
She is reportedly being woken up every three hours and searched for potential instruments to commit suicide with – a practice deemed by her lawyers as unusually severe.
The latter referred to the conditions under which she was being kept in her Brooklyn jail as “uniquely onerous”, insisting that their client, who denies any wrongdoing and involvement in her former partner’s sex trafficking network, cannot productively study court materials in the run-up to her trial slated for next summer. If convicted on her overall six federal charges she will be sent to prison for up to 35 years.