Manhattan Supreme Court Justice James Burke ordered the courtroom closed over concerns that “highly inflammatory” evidence to be discussed during the Molineux/Sandoval hearings in the Harvey Weinstein criminal trial had the potential to undermine the former Hollywood producer’s Sixth Amendment right to a fair trial.

“The dissemination of highly prejudicial evidence at this stage, which may never be admitted or heard at trial, would not serve to ensure the defendant received a fair trial,” Burke said moments before clearing the courtroom of dozens of members of the public and media.

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