Harvey Weinstein is willing to pay $750,000 (£554,000) to have hundreds of thousands of emails, text messages and personal files copied to include in his defence against claims of sexual assault.
The movie mogul is facing numerous accusations from women, who have claimed that he sexually harassed, assaulted or, in some cases, raped them. Weinstein has always denied all allegations of non-consensual sex, and is now hoping that the inclusion of personal documents will help prove his innocence.
In new court documents, obtained by The Blast, Weinstein’s criminal defence lawyer Benjamin Brafman reveals that officials of The Weinstein Company (TWC), which he co-founded, are refusing to allow him access to his files. He adds that without the documents, Weinstein cannot properly defend himself and may end up being prosecuted for crimes he didn’t commit.
His other lawyer, Blair Berk, agrees and says in the documents: “I strongly believe that (The Weinstein Company’s) continued refusal to allow Mr. Weinstein to access his emails and documents will fundamentally compromise Mr. Weinstein’s ability to defend himself at a critical stage of the on-going criminal investigations in Los Angeles, New York and London.”
The documents also state that Weinstein is willing to pay the $750,000 it is expected to cost to copy all the emails and documents for use in the case. Weinstein adds that he believes having access to the files will allow him to clear his name in the case, in which TWC is a co-defendant, which would therefore reduce the cost of TWC’s involvement in the case.
Weinstein adds that if he isn’t allowed access to the files, he will be forced to assert his rights under the Fifth Amendment.
Brafman concludes by stating: “(Harvey Weinstein is currently) in treatment for personal issues in the hope of becoming a better person and one day soon hopefully restoring his life and again continuing the pursuit of the extraordinary charity that he has always been engaged in…
“We are not seeking sympathy for Mr. Weinstein who is working very hard to address his own behavioural issues. We seek only fairness.”
TWC executives filed for bankruptcy earlier this year, and the company has since been bought by private equity firm Lantern Capital.