Victoria’s Secret model Gigi Hadid has been named as one of the potential jurors at the rape trial of former Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, about to start in New York.
The supermodel, who lives in Manhattan, is one of 120 people screened as part of the jury selection process.
She reportedly told judge James Burke that although she had met Harvey Weinstein, and knew actress Salma Hayek, who has accused the mogul of sexual harassment, she would be able to "keep an open mind on the facts" should she be selected, reported the Independent.
Hadid, 24, is also known to be a friend of Cara Delevingne, who publicly shared her own alleged experiences with Weinstein in a hotel room.
Formerly a student of criminal psychology at The New School, Hadid was asked to return on Thursday for additional questioning, along with 34 other potential jurors.
As she left the courthouse, the Instagram celebrity who boasts a following of more than 51 million said:
"I'm not allowed to talk about jury duty. I'm sorry."
The response to the news breaking on social media was initially one of bemusement, as netizens wondered if “this is how jury selection works”.
The press should not be doing this to a juror— Kenneth (@Kennydenney) January 14, 2020
Wait. What? Is this how jury selection works?— Jatee (@Jack35560712) January 14, 2020
Industry insight on the Jury 🤔. This could cut either way.— Gay Jollof Lover (@TomboyEsq) January 13, 2020
what a jury it could have been.— TheFreshGriffin (@TheFreshGriffin) January 13, 2020
Some questioned the model’s impartiality and weighed the potential for a “fair trial”.
There goes his fair trial— Mr Potato Head™ (@aborisdrone) January 14, 2020
His obvious guilt not withstanding, but how the hell is he going to get a fair trial with this media circus? Hate him all you want, but he is entitled to one.— BillyPilgrim75 (@BillyPilgrim75) January 14, 2020
Some were more hopeful.
This is actually pretty wild.— 🅱️oston John (@jimstgram) January 13, 2020
The 24-year-old told the judge that she thinks she would be able to 'keep an open mind. Well that's a good start— Michael R (@michaelr50) January 14, 2020
Infamous Hollywood Mogul
Earlier in January, as jury selection began at the New York Supreme Court where Weinstein is being charged with sexual misconduct, the news broke that the ex-movie boss has now been indicted on new charges.
On 6 January, a separate case was opened against Weinstein in Los Angeles, California, where he is being indicted on four criminal charges in total, including rape and harassment.
The current developments come more than two years since dozens of allegations against Harvey Weinstein came to widespread public attention, sparking the anti-harassment #MeToo movement.
In New York, Harvey Weinstein is being accused of allegedly raping a woman in a Manhattan hotel room in 2013, and sexual harassing another supposed victim in his apartment in NYC back in 2006.
Since 2017, dozens of Hollywood employees and famous actresses, including Angelina Jolie, Uma Thurman, and Jennifer Lawrence, accused Weinstein of sexual assault, with some of the accusations dating as far back as 1980.
The producer has so far denied all accusations against him, insisting all his sexual relationships were consensual.
If convicted, Weinstein may face a life sentence.
Weinstein has not yet entered a plea in the Los Angeles case, which will be tried later.