Weinstein’s lawyers: New evidence undermines rape charge
NEW YORK (AP) — A woman who claims Harvey Weinstein raped her in 2013 attended one of his screenings the same day of the alleged assault, Weinstein’s lawyers said Friday in a letter to a New York City judge overseeing his criminal case.
The letter says a friend of the alleged victim received an invitation to the screening and responded to an assistant for Weinstein in an email that the two would attend. When the email came to its attention, the defense team interviewed the friend, who confirmed that they went to the event and met up with Weinstein there, the letter says.
The account calls into question “why would an alleged rape victim go out of her way to spend time with her ‘rapist’ merely hours after she was allegedly attacked,” the letter said.
The letter also claims that the witness had already disclosed the information to New York City Police Department investigators but it was never disclosed to the defense – legal grounds for dismissing the charges.
The Manhattan district attorney’s office had no immediate comment Friday.
The filing follows one last month in which Weinstein’s lawyers said the same friend told defense investigators that Weinstein and the rape accuser had been “hooking up” consensually for a long time and that she never heard the accuser say anything bad about him until last year. The friend has not been identified in the court papers.
Prosecutors dropped part of the case in October after evidence surfaced that a detective coached a witness.
Three of the five remaining charges stem from the allegations at the heart of the recent defense filings, that Weinstein raped a woman in a hotel room in March 2013. The two other charges allege that Weinstein forcibly performed oral sex on another woman in 2006 at his Manhattan apartment.
Prosecutors have said there was “ample evidence” to move forward with the case. They also accused the defense of trying to create a “public circus” with its claims authorities are hiding evidence that could clear Weinstein.