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Harvey Weinstein's lawyer, seeking dismissal, claims alleged victim's emails show sex was consensual

Harvey Weinstein's lawyer, seeking dismissal, claims alleged victim's emails show sex was consensual
Harvey Weinstein at his arraignment in Manhattan in July. (Jefferson Siegel / TNS)

Harvey Weinstein’s lawyer on Friday filed an extensive motion to dismiss his indictment on multiple sex charges, arguing that grand jurors never saw exculpatory evidence, including emails in which a woman Weinstein is accused of raping allegedly professed her love for him years afterward.

Weinstein was indicted in New York in May and again in July on charges that he sexually assaulted three women. He has pleaded not guilty and is free on $1 million bail with GPS monitoring.

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In the motion filed Friday, Weinstein’s attorney Benjamin Brafman said all the relationships between the former Hollywood mogul and his accusers were consensual.

Since last fall, more than 80 women have accused Weinstein of a multitude of charges, including rape and inappropriate conduct, over the last four decades. That culminated in a series of grand jury indictments in Manhattan on six counts, including first- and third-degree rape, first-degree criminal sex acts and two counts of predatory sexual assault.

In the 159-page motion, Brafman said that Weinstein and the woman he is charged with raping twice in March 2013 had “extensive communications and contact immediately following the now claimed forcible rape.” Without her allegations, he argued, the prosecution would crumble.

The communications, he said, “reflect a consensual, intimate relationship with Mr. Weinstein in an exchange of more than 400 warm, complimentary and solicitous emails with an alleged rapist for more than four years after the alleged rape, never once in those communications claiming to have ever been harmed by Mr. Weinstein.”

In a court filing, Weinstein’s lawyers included emails allegedly written by the woman between April 2013 and February 2017. According to the filing, in an April 2013 email a month after the alleged rape, she wrote: ”It would be great to see you again, and catch up!"

In January 2014, she allegedly wrote: "You’re the one who makes it look good with your smile and beautiful eyes."

The emails continued into last year, Brafman alleged, when the woman professed her love for Weinstein, but also concern about their relationship with a smile symbol.

“I love you, always do. But I hate feeling like a booty call,” according to the motion.

The New York attorney said in a statement: “These communications irrefutably reflect the true nature of this consensual intimate friendship, which never at any time included a forcible rape."

He wrote that Manhattan Dist. Atty. Cyrus Vance, under political pressure, had ignored his demands to present this and other exculpatory evidence to grand jurors.

Vance’s office did not publicly respond to the allegations Friday but is expected to file a legal brief rebutting the Weinstein dismissal motion.

The motion names two of three alleged victims who also have publicly identified themselves previously. Lucia Evans set out her allegations in a New Yorker article last year that she was attacked in 2004 as a student actress. Former production assistant Mimi Haleyi held a press conference with attorney Gloria Allred, saying Weinstein orally forced himself upon her in 2006.

When Weinstein was fired by his company last year, the emails were kept from him until he fought and won a ruling in the bankruptcy, forcing them to be turned over.

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The bankruptcy judge later issued a protective order forbidding their dissemination in order to shield one of his accusers. On Thursday, the judge ruled Weinstein’s team could use the emails in the New York criminal case if they did not reveal the woman’s name.

In addition to the charges in New York, Weinstein is the subject of more than a dozen investigations in London, Beverly Hills and Los Angeles. The Los Angeles County district attorney is reviewing criminal accusations against the producer lodged with law enforcement authorities in Los Angeles and Beverly Hills, including an Italian actress’ allegations of rape.

12:45 p.m.: This article was updated with additional details on the motion.

This article was originally published at 10 a.m.

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