Gigi Hadid most likely won’t serve as a juror in the high-profile sexual assault case against film producer Harvey Weinstein even though she’s part of 120 potential jurors, according to one expert, and there’s a good reason why.
Gigi Hadid, 24, was one of 120 potential jurors who showed up to a Manhattan courtroom on Jan. 13 to fill out a questionnaire to possibly participate in the Harvey Weinstein sexual assault trial, but according to New York criminal attorney Julie Rendelman, who spoke EXCLUSIVELY to HollywoodLife, she will most likely not get selected and it all has to do with her celebrity status. “I think it’s unlikely that Gigi Hadid will be chosen as a juror,” Rendelman EXCLUSIVELY told us. “Both sides have an opportunity to challenge any perspective juror. The prosecution is not likely to want the distraction. And the defense will question her ability to be fair.”
Since Gigi may personally know a lot of the celebs who have accused Harvey, 67, of sexual assault, she may also be unable to be unbiased even though she declared otherwise, Rendelman went on to explain. Although celebrities in general can still serve as jurors, this case is a bit different since the accused, as a former high-profile film producer, is a celebrity himself who has worked with many other celebrities. “Nobody is immune from being called to jury duty and being chosen as a juror,” Rendelman said. “Judges, attorneys, politicians, and celebrities now must serve. New York has seen numerous celebrities, from Uma Thurman, to Madonna serve in the past. In this particular case, however, I think Ms. Hadid’s celebrity status, and more importantly, her relationship with potential witnesses in the case, make her sitting unlikely.”
Rendelman also explained how Gigi’s potential as juror could be written off even though she stated she “thinks” she “could keep an open mind on the facts” during the trial. “Both the prosecution and the defense have various opportunities to challenge a potential juror. A juror can be removed for cause if, for example, there is clear indication that they can’t be fair,” she said. “Even if a potential juror states they can be fair and impartial, there is something called a ‘peremptory challenge’ which allows either side to remove a certain number of jurors simply because they don’t want them as a juror, as long as it is not based on a person’s race, gender etc. In this case, Ms. Hadid has expressed that she ‘thinks’ she’s able to keep an open mind. The lack of 100 percent assurance that she can be fair is something the defense can pursue to get her removed for cause.”
Harvey, who has been charged with with two counts of predatory sexual assault, two counts of rape, and one count of a criminal sex act, was first accused of sexual misconduct in 2017 by dozens of women, including celebrities such as Rose McGowan, Angelina Jolie, and Gwyneth Paltrow. Gigi is expected to return to court next week when the 12 jurors and six alternates will be chosen for Harvey’s trial.