A judge has refused to allow Harvey Weinstein to travel to Europe to consult on a stage production of Cinema Paradiso, a 1988 film that he was involved with that won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film at the 62nd Academy Awards.
Weinstein is set to go to trial on September 9 in New York for rape and could spend the rest of his life in prison if found guilty. Thus, the pleas from his attorneys to allow him to travel to Italy and Spain was quickly turned down. Weinstein wanted to travel Aug. 12 through Aug. 22 for the project.
Justice James Burke said in a one-line decision on Wednesday: “The request for a change in bail conditions is denied.” Prosecutor Joan Illuzzi-Orbon also opposed the travel request.
Weinstein’s defense attorney said the former producer’s “work in Italy would involve in-person meetings with composer Ennio Morriconi, who is over 90 years old and unable to travel, and the film-maker and business partner, Giuseppe Tornatore.”
Tornatore directed the 1988 film, which was distributed by Miramax, a company Weinstein co-founded.
Weinstein also planned to meet with designers, directors, and investors in Spain, per his attorneys. He currently has no passport, since it was surrendered as part of his bail on the New York charges.
Defense attorney Donna Rotunno said that Weinstein’s treatment was unfair. “Here is a person who is presumed to be innocent, who has adhered to every single mandate of his bail agreement, who has not been able to work in close to two years,” she said. “He has been blocked from working in his industry, and when he tries to earn an honest living, is denied by the court. This exemplifies the problem with this current environment of conviction and punishment before trial, yielding to mob justice. That this is even a story is demonstrative of how low we have sank.”