Supermodel Gigi Hadid is among the pool of potential jurors for Harvey Weinstein’s rape trial in New York.
The 24-year-old, who lives in Manhattan and studied criminal psychology at The New School, is one of 120 people summoned to take part in jury selection for the case.
On Monday, she told a judge that although she had met Weinstein in the past, she felt she would be able to “keep an open mind on the facts” should she be selected.
Image: Harvey Weinstein is on trial accused of rape
Jury selection at the New York Supreme Court began earlier in January – more than two years since dozens of allegations against Weinstein came to widespread public attention and gave momentum to the #MeToo movement.
Questioned during an initial screening process, Hadid also disclosed that she had previously met actress Salma Hayek, who is a potential witness in the trial, but again said she could remain impartial.
The Victoria’s Secret model was asked to return on Thursday for additional questioning, along with 34 other potential jurors.
Surrounded by photographers as she left the courthouse, Hadid, who has more than 51 million Instagram followers, said: “I’m not allowed to talk about jury duty. I’m sorry.”
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Weinstein, 67, is accused of raping a woman in a hotel room in Manhattan in 2013 and sexually assaulting another woman in 2006.
He has denied the allegations and said any sexual activity was consensual.
The movie mogul has appeared frail during the start of proceedings, entering the court using a walking frame, which his lawyers say he needs following back surgery.
The screening process for jurors has been hindered by several challenges and distractions, including a protest outside the building.
Weinstein has been threatened with jail for using his phone during proceedings, and his defence team has called for the judge to step down and for jury selection to be held in secret. Both requests were denied.
Both sides say they hope to deliver opening statements in the trial before the end of January, and the case is expected to continue through February and into March.
If convicted, Weinstein could face life in prison.
As the case was getting under way a week ago, prosecutors in Los Angeles announced new charges in a separate case against him.
Those charges accuse him of raping one woman and sexually assaulting another woman there on consecutive nights in 2013 – days before he attended the Oscars with his then wife, fashion designer Georgina Chapman, who was pregnant at the time.
Weinstein has not entered a plea in the Los Angeles case, which will be tried later.
Source : Sky News