Harvey Weinstein is looking to declare a mistrial in his ongoing sexual assault case.
The 67-year-old producer is currently in court in Manhattan for a trial on five charges relating to sexual assault, but on Friday (17.01.20) his legal team argued their case for a mistrial, as they allege one of the jurors penned an upcoming novel titled 'Age of Consent', which is about older men pursuing sex with younger women.
According to TMZ, Weinstein's team believe the topics discussed in the juror's novel - which is due to be published in July this year - are similar to the accusations against the disgraced movie mogul, and could therefore impact how the juror in question views the case.
Weinstein's lead attorney, Donna Rotunno, claims the juror did not disclose the information about the book when being screened for jury duty, and believes that is grounds for a mistrial.
However, TMZ reports Weinstein's trial judge James Burke has already denied the motion for a mistrial, and so the case is expected to go ahead as planned.
The search for jurors to sit on the trial has proven difficult due to the publicity of Weinstein's trial, and 120 potential jurors were looked at before the final seven were decided earlier this week.
When screening began, over a third of potential jurors admitted they didn't feel they could be impartial if they were asked to serve on the high profile case.
In the courtroom, Justice James Burke admitted the producer's notoriety made it unlikely that any potential juror would not have heard of the allegations against him, but insisted that didn't necessarily mean they would be disqualified from sitting.
He said: "This case has picked up a bit of press coverage so there might not be many of you who have not heard of the name Harvey Weinstein.
"I must tell you that having heard of [Weinstein] and even being familiar with the allegations against him ... are not by themselves disqualifying and does not mean that you are not permitted to sit as a juror in this case.
"That alone does not necessarily disqualify you, so long as you keep in mind that the jurors in this case will be deciding the case based on what they hear inside the courtroom regardless of what the press or anyone else has said about the case outside the courtroom."
Model Gigi Hadid was among those 120 potential jurors, but was not selected to sit on the case.
Weinstein is to be trialled on five counts pertaining to sexual assault, including two counts of predatory sexual assault, two counts of rape and one count of criminal sex act.
He has denied all the allegations against him.