Harvey Weinstein: Bill Cosby's rep calls guilty verdict 'a sad day in US judicial system'

The publicist for convicted sex offender and former comedian Bill Cosby has called Harvey Weinstein's guilty verdict "a sad day in the American judicial system".

The disgraced movie mogul was found guilty of a criminal sexual act in the first degree and third-degree rape by a jury in New York on Tuesday (NZT). He was acquitted of one count of first-degree rape and two counts of predatory sexual assault, each carrying a sentence of life imprisonment.

Despite being accused of sexual misconduct by more than 80 women over 30 years, Weinstein was only convicted for the sexual assault of his former production assistant Mimi Haleyi in 2006 and the rape of Jessica Mann, an aspiring actress, in 2013.

In a statement posted to Cosby's social media accounts, publicist Andrew Wyatt questioned where America's "wealthy and famous men" can go to find "fairness and impartiality in the judicial system".

Despite a five-day deliberation by the jury of seven men and five women, Wyatt argued the jurors were unable to come to an impartial verdict as they were "not sequestered". He also slammed the judge for pressuring the jury to reach a conviction. 

"This is not shocking because these jurors were not sequestered, which gave them access to media coverage and the sentiments of public opinion," he said.

"There's no way you would have anyone believe that Mr. Weinstein was going to receive a fair and impartial trial. Also, this judge showed that he wanted a conviction by sending the jurors back to deliberate, after they were hung on many of the counts."

According to local media, the jury was cautioned not to read any media on several occasions and there are no indications any of the 12 jurors were influenced by reports during the course of the trial.

Wyatt then implied the global #MeToo movement, which inspired many women to come forward with their allegations of sexual misconduct, was designed to favour "white women".

"Lastly, if the #metoo movement isn't just about Becky [White women], I would challenge #metoo and ask them to go back 400+ years and tarnish the names of those oppressors that raped slaves. 

"This is a very sad day in the American Judicial System."

The post ended with several hashtags, including #FreeBillCosby, #JusticeReform, #DueProcess and #FarFromFinished.

Cosby, 82, is currently serving prison time for drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand in 2004. He was sentenced to three to 10 years behind bars.

When Cosby was convicted in 2018, Wyatt compared the comedian's "persecution" to Jesus.

Earlier in February, Cosby's wife Camille shared a strongly-worded post to her husband's social media, responding to NBA legend Kobe Bryant's 2003 rape case being highlighted after his death.

"I will specify African American men for the purpose of this statement... the ever-present, unproven accusations of Black men as sexually deviant, brutal black bucks, are repetitive obsessions in most general media," the post read.

"The media's current attempts to supersede Mr. Kobe Bryant's celebrated history with an old case that was unproven and dismissed are downright parasitic and cruel."

Weinstein, 67, faces up to 25 years behind bars for the sexual assault conviction and up to four years for the third-degree rape. 

He is scheduled to be sentenced on March 11.