Weinstein photographed in Manhattan Criminal Court on July 9, 2018.
By Jefferson Siegel/Getty Images
Update (4:15 P.M.): Harvey Weinstein and his legal team received permission during an emergency hearing Thursday to include 40 e-mails from one of his accusers in a motion to the New York Supreme Court, which they hope will lead to his criminal case being dismissed. Per Variety, Weinstein’s attorney Benjamin Brafman argued that the e-mails convey Weinstein’s longstanding, friendly relationship with the accuser—which he said lasted for four years after the alleged rape occurred.
“They are endearing, intimate, pleasant, flattering, friendly e-mails between her and Mr. Weinstein,” Brafman said. “If the grand jury had these e-mails, they would not have indicted.”
The accuser, who remains anonymous in the public record, will not be named in conjunction with the e-mails, and her initials are not to be made public either.
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In Delaware bankruptcy court, Harvey Weinstein’s legal team has laid the groundwork for its first attempt to have the embattled film mogul’s criminal case thrown out. In May, a Manhattan grand jury handed down an indictment on charges of rape in the first and third degree and a criminal sexual act in the first degree. (The maximum sentence for rape in the first degree alone is life in prison.) In a filing late Wednesday, Weinstein’s lawyers requested permission to include e-mails from one of his accusers—which are currently confidential due to a protective order—in a motion to have his case dismissed, which his team intends to file on Friday.
Per Variety, Weinstein and his team were granted an emergency hearing for Thursday afternoon, which will determine whether they’ll be able to publish the e-mails as part of their motion to dismiss the criminal case against Weinstein. The Delaware court previously granted Weinstein access to e-mails and personnel files as he built his defense case. Per Weinstein’s bankruptcy court filing, “It is Mr. Weinstein’s belief that these e-mails are material and exculpatory and the failure of the district attorney to provide this evidence to the grand jury warrants a dismissal of the indictment.”
As The Hollywood Reporter notes, New York state court, in some instances, carries the rare requirement that prosecutors present legally exculpatory evidence to a grand jury. Whether the judge in this case will rule that the e-mails must have been shown remains to be seen; as T.H.R. reports, some recent cases have narrowed the definition of what the D.A. is and is not required to present ahead of an indictment.
Should Weinstein’s bid for permission to publish the e-mails pass muster on Thursday, his team is expected to file the motion, including the e-mails, in New York Supreme Court on Friday. A representative for the Manhattan District Attorney’s office declined to comment, while a representative for Weinstein and his legal team said they will have no comment until after the motion has been filed.