As jury selection has started in one of the biggest trials of the decade against producer Harvey Weinstein, a surprise and very familiar name was among those called for jury service. Supermodel and Manhattanite Gigi Hadid was among a list of nearly 120 people called for jury duty on the Weinstein case in New York.
In court on Monday, Hadid showed up for jury duty at perhaps one of the most high-profile cases in years that directly led to the uprising of the #MeToo movement. In court, Justice James Burke asked whether Hadid could be fair to which Hadid answered yes. “I think I’m still able to keep an open mind on the facts,” she said, reports Variety. Hadid also told the court that she had met the defendant, as well as two possible witnesses: Salma Hayek and Ryan Beatty. Still, Hadid seemed somehow confident this would not make her in any way impartial as one of the potential jurors.
But, this could get complicated really fast — Hadid is close friends with one of Weinstein’s many accusers. In October 2017 – before Weinstein was officially called out for sexual misconduct on an international scale – Cara Delevingne accused the producer of trying to kiss her during a meeting in a hotel room. While Delevingne’s allegations are not part of Weinstein’s New York trial, it does potentially muddle proceedings, especially considering that members of the jury are asked to listen and consider the case impartially.
Hadid is among over 100 potential jurors who were asked to fill out extremely questionnaires regarding their background and whether they could remain impartial to the case. A number of jurors have said they would not be able to remain neutral, considering the high-profile state of this case and the ongoing allegations against Weinstein. For some, recusal was specifically because they had closely followed the news as it broke over the course of 2018. For others, they knew they would not be able to remain unbiased because they had been survivors of assault themselves. Jury members were also asked to be available for a period of six weeks during business hours, and will be issued fines for using social media regarding the case.
Weinstein is currently being charged with crimes in two states: New York and California. His current ongoing trial is in New York where Weinstein fights charges on five counts, including rape and predatory sexual assault relating to two unnamed accusers relating to incidents in 2006 and 2013. If convicted, Weinstein could serve life in prison.
But, just last week, Weinstein was charged with four additional counts of sexual assault in California connected to two incidents in February 2013. Authorities in California could issue a warrant for his arrest related to the charges against him there; however, it is unlikely since it would disrupt the proceedings in New York, reports The New York Times.
Heading into the second week of the ongoing trial, Burke hopes to have a jury of 12 seated by the middle of next week with opening statements tentatively set for January 22. And it's now a serious possibility that one of the jury faces we might see will be that of a super high-profile model.