He should have been behind bars, but instead Harvey Weinstein was being taken to hospital.

Having just been convicted of rape and sexual assault, the former Hollywood mogul complained of chest pains and was diverted from his journey to New York's Rikers Island jail and instead taken to Bellevue Hospital.

Weinstein was due to be held in custody at Rikers Island until March 11, when he is sentenced, Variety reports.

Bellevue Hospital is used to treat inmates but is best known as a psychiatric facility.


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His lawyer had cited Weinstein's ailments throughout his trial arguing he should not be held in custody due to his medical concerns. He hobbled into court most days with the aid of a walker and it was claimed without medical shots he would lose his sight.

Ultimately Justice James Burke did not agree with Weinstein's lawyer Donna Rotunno and he was taken away to Rikers Island after being found guilty of third-degree rape and sexual assault against two women. It is expected he will have a prison term of between five to 29 years.

Weinstein's lawyer Arthur Aidala told news.com.au his team will appeal the convictions which he described as "disappointing".

"Harvey was unbelievably stoic and strong and powerful," Aidala said of his client's response to the verdict.

"The words he said over and over again to me is: 'I'm innocent, I'm innocent, I'm innocent. How could this happen in America?'"

Weinstein's legal team tried to keep him on house arrest and, citing health issues, told the court he requires daily injections in his eyes to avoid going blind. They said he also requires medical attention following unsuccessful back surgery. The judge refused but said he will request that Weinstein be held in the infirmary.

"We are working on assuring that Mr. Weinstein is brought to Rikers' Island's North infirmary unit (NIU) at the Anna M Kross Center complex or in protective custody so that he can get the best medical supervision and care possible," his lawyer said.


Outside court, lead defence lawyer Donna Rutonna told reporters "the fight is not over".

"Harvey is very strong. Harvey is unbelievably strong. He took it like a man," she added.

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- Additional reporting: news.com.au