A potential Harvey Weinstein juror is facing a fine and jail time for tweeting about the case, despite explicit instructions not to do so, a judge said Thursday.
Howard Mittelmark was selected last week and told to return Thursday to join a pool of prospective jurors from which 12 New Yorkers and six alternatives will be chosen.
When he arrived, Justice James Burke summoned him into the courtroom and had a court officer hand him a copy of his Twitter feed.
Im asking you to retain a lawyer and return to this courtroom on Tuesday March 10, 2020, with an attorney to show cause why I should not find you in contempt, the judge said, dismissing him from the pool. You face a fine and up to 30 days in jail.
The shaken New Yorker said, I know it now.
Burke told him “Good luck” then excused him from the courtroom.
The defense team alerted the court last week in a motion that Mittelmark had tweeted to nearly 7,000 followers that he was eager to land a seat on the panel to promote his novel.
If anyone knows how a person might hypothetically leverage serving on the jury of a high-profile case to promote their new novel, [REDACTED], which [REDACTED] called a darkly funny book and a witty black comedy, dm me, please, reads the since-deleted tweet.
The defense redacted the novels name in their filing, but Mittelmark released the book Written Out in December about a Manhattan editor turned hitman, which Publishers Weekly called “darkly funny.”
The tweet elicited several responses.
Whoever you have to sleep with to get on that jury, do it, wrote one man in a reply. I dont know if this counts as jury-tampering but hes guilty, wrote another.
The prospective juror liked both comments.
The reprimand comes on the eighth day of jury selection for the disgraced Hollywood titan’s sex assault trial.
Weisntein’s charges include two counts of sexual assault, two counts of rape and one count of criminal sex act, stemming from the allegations of three women.
Opening statements are slated to begin Jan. 22.