‘Media Industry’ Pressures Weinstein Jurors to Talk

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“The whole thing, it was long – looooong,” said Bernard Cody, foreman of the jury that convicted Harvey Weinstein. “It was stressful.” Seven weeks of high-wire courtroom drama; six hours a day of intense testimony from a succession of women crying on the witness stand as they described being sexually attacked by Weinstein; and five days of nerve-shattering deliberations before the jury found the fallen movie mogul guilty of rape and a criminal sex act. Now the jury of seven men and five women, who dispatched the once-powerful Hollywood titan to a prison cell, face a fresh challenge. The scramble has only just begun by TV and cable networks to secure their exclusive stories about how they reached their verdict, The Guardian reports.

Unlike places like the U.S., where the media are forbidden from eliciting jurors’ accounts of criminal trials, in the U.S., the right to free speech ensures that it is open season from the moment the 12 women and men are discharged. In high-profile cases Weinstein’s, seen as the first big test in a court setting of the #MeToo movement, an entire media industry has developed around gaining exclusive access to key jurors. TV channels employ researchers to sit in court for the duration of the trial to identify the jurors and approach them the instant the verdict is handed down. A day after the trial ended, “Inside Edition” was the first out of the gate with an on-camera of a woman identified only as juror number two. “Tensions were very high, everyone was very nervous,” the juror said about the deliberations. That juror said, “We had one person take control, he was the person that put everyone on the right path.”

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