Weinstein seeks to toss sex crimes case over ‘intimate’ emails

Harvey Weinstein with his attorney Benjamin Brafman right leaves a Manhattan courthouse in New York. Weinstein who was previously indicted on charges involving two women was released on bail on Monday while fighting sex crime accusations that now

Attorneys for Harvey Weinstein want a court to throw out sexual assault charges against him, citing reasons on Friday including friendly emails from a woman who accused him of rape.

Brafman also said there were witnesses who could corroborate Weinstein's denials of the charges, which involve separate encounters with three women in Manhattan.

The 66-year-old former Tinseltown titan is out on bail and has pleaded not guilty to six counts allegedly committed against three women in 2004, 2006 and 2013.

In court papers filed in NY on Friday, his lawyers said: "Based on published reports, the District Attorney's Office conducted its investigation amidst overwhelming pressure from the media, politicians and high-ranking police officials demanding the arrest of Mr Weinstein".

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 159-page Manhattan Supreme Court filing also says prosecutors knew Weinstein and the woman "had a long-term, consensual, intimate relationship at the time of the alleged rape and that it continued for years after".

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".

The lawyer described the dozens of messages as "warm, complimentary and solicitous" and as reflecting "the true nature of this consensual intimate friendship, which never at any time included a forcible rape".

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In another email from the same unnamed accuser to Weinstein on July 10, 2014 she writes, "There is no one else I would enjoy catching up with that understands me quite like you". Just had u cross my mind and thought u would send a hello.

The alleged rape victim is quoted as saying in one email from February 2017: "I love you, always do".

"Love to cross your mind it's my favorite exercise", Weinstein responds, according to the filings.

A spokesman for the New York District Attorney declined to comment.

"It is Mr. Weinstein's belief that these e-mails are material and exculpatory and the failure of the district attorney to provide this evidence to the grand jury warrants a dismissal of the indictment".

His career imploded in October in a blaze of accusations of sexual misconduct and abuse from dozens of women that triggered a major reckoning about harassment in the workplace and the #MeToo movement.

Mr Brafman said that other messages appeared to show the woman arranging to meet Weinstein and planning to introduce him to her mother.

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