Weinstein won't testify before grand jury

Lucy Mapstone

Harvey Weinstein will not testify before the grand jury over sex charges on the advice of his lawyers.

The film producer was charged last Friday on two counts of rape and one of a criminal sexual act for alleged incidents involving two separate women.

Weinstein was due to face the grand jury - the panel convened by the Manhattan District Attorney which will decide whether to indict Weinstein - on Wednesday, but his lawyers have advised him not to appear.

They say the former movie mogul did not have enough time to prepare to testify, and that he only learned on Friday of the identities of the two women relating to the charges.

"After being unfairly denied access to critical information about this case that was needed to defend him before the grand jury, Mr Weinstein's attorneys decided that there was not sufficient time to properly prepare Mr Weinstein," a statement issued on behalf of Weinstein's lawyer Benjamin Brafman said.

"The identities of the accusers and the specific charges were provided to Mr Weinstein last Friday on the eve of the Memorial Day weekend and a deadline for his appearance set for Wednesday, 2pm.

"Our request for a postponement of his appearance before the grand jury was denied."

Weinstein, 66, appeared in court on Friday in New York in his first public appearance since facing numerous allegations of sexual misconduct.

He posted a $1 milion (A$1.3m) cash bail and agreed to wear an electronic monitor which tracks his movements 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

He also surrendered his passport and agreed to stay within the states of New York and Connecticut.

Weinstein, who has repeatedly denied allegations of non-consensual sex, intends to plead not guilty to the charges, Brafman said outside court.