Harvey Weinstein's 2020 sex crime conviction was sensationally overturned in New York on Thursday.

The New York Court of Appeals, the state's highest court, ruled in a 4-3 decision that the judge who presided over Weinstein's trial prejudiced him by allowing three women to testify about their alleged encounters with the producer when their accusations did not form the basis of the case.

At the time, those women were called as witnesses because state law allowed testimony about "prior bad acts" to prove a pattern of behaviour.

According to The New York Times, the court ruled on Thursday that "under our system of justice, the accused has a right to be held to account only for the crime charged".

The four judges in the majority ruled that Weinstein, 72, did not receive a fair trial because he wasn't tried solely on the crimes he was charged with.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin L. Bragg will now decide whether to seek a retrial.

Weinstein's lawyer, Arthur Aidala, told the publication that the decision was "not just a victory for Mr. Weinstein, but for every criminal defendant in the state of New York, and we compliment the Court of Appeals for upholding the most basic principles that a criminal defendant should have in a trial".

In February 2020, the former movie mogul was convicted of one count of criminal sexual act in the first degree and one count of third-degree rape and subsequently sentenced to 23 years in prison. He is currently serving his time in upstate New York.

However, Weinstein is not a free man. He was sentenced to 16 years in prison in Los Angeles in 2023 for a series of sex crimes.

Weinstein was first accused of sexual assault in The New York Times in October 2017, prompting more than 100 women to come forward with allegations against him.

Reacting to the news on Thursday, Ashley Judd, the first actress to go public with her claims, told journalist Jodi Kantor, who co-wrote the bombshell investigation: "That is unfair to survivors. We still live in our truth. And we know what happened."