Harvey Weinstein seeks dismissal of indictment
Harvey Weinstein is seeking the dismissal of sexual assault charges against him, according to court documents obtained by CNN.
Attorneys for the disgraced film mogul filed a motion for dismissal in New York federal court Friday, citing, among other things, the discovery of evidence that the grand jury was not shown — specifically “dozens of emails” sent from one of Weinstein’s anonymous accusers, characterized as “extensive warm, complimentary and solicitous messages to Mr. Weinstein immediately following the now claimed event and over the next four year period.”
“These communications irrefutably reflect the true nature of this consensual intimate friendship, which never at any time included a forcible rape,” Weinstein’s attorney, Ben Brafman told CNN in a statement.
The emails and text messages — allegedly sent and received through Weinstein’s official company account and phone — were obtained by his legal team earlier this year after a bankruptcy judge in Delaware granted access to them for his criminal defense.
In an email sent from one of Weinstein’s accusers on January 5, 2014, ten months after the alleged rape in March 2013, she writes, “Your (sic) the one who makes it look good with your smile and beautiful eyes!! But thank you that makes me so happy to hear.”
In another email from the same unnamed accuser to Weinstein on July 10, 2014 she writes, “There is no one else I would enjoy catching up with that understands me quite like you. I don’t get off work usually till after 7 and coming from (redacted). I know I will be hungry, what is your timing? Do you have time for dinner?”
The same unnamed accuser sent an email to Weinstein on July 26, 2014, writing, “I’m at work. Just had u cross my mind and thought u would send a hello. I am well.”
“Love to cross your mind it’s my favorite exercise,” Weinstein responds, according to the filings.
When contacted by CNN, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office declined to comment on Friday’s motion for dismissal.
Weinstein has pleaded not guilty to six felony sex crimes — two counts of predatory sexual assault, two counts of rape, one first-degree criminal sex act charge and one criminal sex act.
The charges stem from allegations from three women, according to court documents.
In an interview with CNN Friday afternoon, Brafman said it would be “difficult but not impossible” to seat an impartial jury should Weinstein’s case move forward to trial.
“I hope to find 12 people in Manhattan who may have heard a lot of the allegations against Mr. Weinstein but will give the court their sworn assurances that they will decide this case based on the evidence that comes into the courtroom and not on what they made have read, or what they may have heard,” Brafman said. “I think part of what we’re trying to suggest in these motions to dismiss is that contrary to what people may have read and may have heard, there is another side here.”
Weinstein has denied all allegations of “nonconsensual sexual activity,” and he’s remained free after posting $1 million cash bail.
The charges against Weinstein came nine months after The New Yorker and The New York Times published accounts from several women accusing him of various forms of sexual misconduct.
CNN’s Laura Ly, Emanuella Grinberg, Ann O’Neil, Elizabeth Joseph and Brynn Gingras contributed to this report.