Harvey Weinstein's defence lawyer on Friday demanded that a New York court dismiss the sexual assault against him, explosively disclosing "warm" emails between the disgraced Hollywood producer and his alleged rape victim.
Movie producer Harvey Weinstein's lawyers asked a New York judge on Friday to dismiss rape and sexual assault charges against him, releasing emails between one of his accusers and Weinstein they said were not shown to the grand jury that indicted him.
Weinstein has denied having non-consensual sex with anyone following accusations by more than 70 women, mostly young actresses and other women employed in the movie business, of sexual misconduct, including rape, dating back decades.
In a motion filed in New York state court in Manhattan, Weinstein's lawyers said the emails showed "a long-term, consensual, intimate relationship" between Weinstein and an unnamed woman who has accused him of raping her in 2013.
TRT World's Lionel Donovan has more details.
Weinstein's lawyers said they meant "not to ignore that rape can occur in relationships," but that prosecutors should have shown the grand jurors the emails in order for them to make an "informed decision."
The woman and Weinstein communicated over a four-year period after the date she said he raped her, Weinstein's lawyers said.
A lawyer or representative for the woman was not immediately known to request comment on the motion.
A spokesman for Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, who is prosecuting the case, declined to comment on the motion.
The case against Weinstein in Manhattan involves three women. Weinstein, 66, has pleaded not guilty to all of the charges and is free on $1 million bail.
Weinstein lawyer Benjamin Brafman said in a statement that the motions "reveal the existence of exculpatory evidence."
Weinstein's lawyers said charges against Weinstein in New York involving two other women were flawed and must be dismissed as well.
Weinstein's lawyers said the charges relating to the former actress failed to provide enough detail because they did not say exactly when the assault happened, instead giving a three-month range.
Brafman demanded that the indictment "be dismissed at the pre-trial stage," saying that the district attorney's failure to present the emails had tainted the grand jury's indictment process.
Prosecutors failed to give Weinstein adequate advance notice that they were presenting the "far more serious charges" to the grand jury of the allegation from 2006, his lawyers said.
The former production assistant's lawyer, Gloria Allred, said in response to Weinstein's motion to dismiss that the grand jury "would not have indicted him if they did not find the testimony that they heard credible."
A lawyer or representative for the former actress was not immediately known to request comment.
The next hearing in the case is scheduled for September 20.