As Harvey Weinsteins legal team barrels toward the December hearing that will determine whether the disgraced producer will go to trial over various sex-crime charges, theyve unleashed a grim, new defense tactic. In a Thursday defense filing, which can be read here via Deadline, Weinsteins legal team says that theyve found a new witness who claims one of the producers accusers is falsifying her rape allegations. In the filing, the witness claims that the accuser and Weinstein were “hooking up” for a “very long time” and went out socially together. The witness is characterized as an “extremely close friend” of the accuser.
“In the defense interview, the witness stated, in substance, that CW-1 [the accuser] and Mr. Weinstein were hooking up for a very long time and that she never heard CW-1 say anything bad about Mr. Weinstein during this time period, including March of 2013 when she CW-1 and Mr. Weinstein were all in New York together and also in 2015 when CW-1, Mr. Weinstein, and the witness went out socially together,” the filing reads. “In fact, the witness stated that CW-1 actually spoke very highly of Mr. Weinstein. The witness also confirmed that she personally saw CW-1 and Mr. Weinstein hanging out socially on at least five separate dates, including dates subsequent to March 2013, when the claimed assault in N.Y.C. is alleged.”
Weinsteins legal team, led by attorney Benjamin Brafman, is seeking to dismiss the indictment against the producer. “Because of the unprecedented and outrageous misconduct already documented in this case, this Court should properly give serious consideration to dismissal of this deeply flawed indictment, either for the legal reasons we have provided or so that the integrity of the criminal justice system can be restored,” Brafman writes. “In the alternative, the Court must order an evidentiary hearing so that the full extent of the police and prosecutorial misconduct can be exposed.”
The alleged police misconduct refers to the N.Y.P.D. detective, Nicholas DiGaudio, who allegedly told a Weinstein accuser to delete data from her phone; she ultimately did not delete anything. DiGaudio is no longer the lead investigator on the case.
In the filing, Brafman also references “thousands of e-mails between Mr. Weinstein from and to virtually every woman who has made a public claim of sexual assault, including the two remaining complainants in this case. As we explain below the e-mails demonstrate that these women who now allege sexual assault by Mr. Weinstein have for years engaged in loving and often intimate conversations with him before and after the date of the alleged assault, conversations with a man they now claim to have sexually assaulted them.”
Weinstein has been accused of sexual misconduct by more than 80 women. He has repeatedly denied all allegations of nonconsensual acts. This current case has been ongoing since May, when he was first indicted by a Manhattan grand jury. His last hearing was on October 11, when Judge James Burke granted Weinsteins team the motion to dismiss one count of allegations against him, on the grounds that the accuser, Lucia Evans, may have perjured herself before the grand jury. In a statement, Evanss lawyer, Carrie Goldberg, said she was disappointed by the outcome.
“Let me be clear: the decision to throw away my clients sexual assault charges says nothing about Weinsteins guilt or innocence. Nor does it reflect on Lucias consistent allegation that she was sexually assaulted with force by Harvey Weinstein,” she said. “It only speaks volumes about the Manhattan D.A.s office and its mishandling of my clients case.”
Weinsteins next hearing is scheduled for December 20.
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