Harvey Weinstein has nearly 40 emails that he believes discredit one of the women who accused him of rape, new court documents reveal.
The emails are connected to The Weinstein Company‘s bankruptcy court proceedings, meaning they’re bound by confidentiality requirements and so haven’t been usable by Weinstein’s defense lawyers in the criminal case.
But Weinstein’s lawyers are now seeking permission to unseal the emails, arguing in a Delaware bankruptcy court filing that the emails are “exculpatory” — that is, favourable to his case — and so should be made available to his legal defence.
Weinstein “now has an immediate need to file certain of the e-mails,” the filing states, with his lawyers assuring that the woman will not be publicly identified and that “the particular accuser’s name, email address and any other personal information will be redacted or otherwise shielded from public view.”
Failure by the district attorney to grant permission to exhibit the emails would warrant a dismissal of the indictment, lawyers argued.
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The filing, a copy of which was uploaded to document-sharing website Scribd, shows that Weinstein’s lawyers sought an emergency phone conference with the court prior to 4 p.m. Thursday.
Variety reported that a bankruptcy judge granted permission to include the emails in the case. Weinstein’s lawyer Benjamin Brafman told Variety that the emails prove that the accuser was a consenting sexual partner of Weinstein’s rather than a sexual assault victim.
The Weinstein Company filed for bankruptcy in March, a few months after the emergence of sexual assault allegations against the Miramax film studio co-founder.
Over 70 women have accused Weinstein of a variety of sexual misconduct crimes, including rape, with some of the incidents dating back decades.