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Harvey Weinstein seeks dismissal of New York rape indictment, citing new email evidence

Weinstein's attorneys argue that newly unearthed emails from the Weinstein Company bankruptcy prove that a rape case against him in New York should be dropped.
Image: Harvey Weinstein, left, and his attorney Benjamin Brafman talk in court, in New York on July 9, 2018.
Harvey Weinstein and his lawyer, seen in court in New York on July 9, argue "the failure of the district attorney to provide [new emails] to the grand jury warrants a dismissal of the indictment."Jefferson Siegel / Pool via AP

Attorneys for disgraced Hollywood movie mogul Harvey Weinstein said in a court filing that they plan to seek dismissal of the sex assault case against him in New York.

The filing in Delaware bankruptcy court on Wednesday argues that emails between Weinstein and one of his accusers obtained as part of the Weinstein Company's chapter 11 request would clear his name and that "the failure of the district attorney to provide this evidence to the grand jury warrants a dismissal of the indictment."

It's not clear which of the three accusers in the New York indictment is involved in the email chain, which an attorney said in the filing amounts to fewer than 40 messages. The Delaware filing requests an emergency hearing to seek permission to use redacted versions of the emails in the New York case.

Weinstein's lawyers said the permission was urgent because pretrial motions in his New York rape case are due Friday. The lawyers said in the filing that they are seeking a dismissal of the indictment "for, among other reasons, the failure of the prosecutor to advise the grand jury of the substance of exculpatory communications made by the one of three complaining witnesses underlying the counts of the indictment and contained in the e-mails sought for use here."

The Manhattan District Attorney's office declined to comment.

Weinstein, 66, was a longtime Hollywood king-maker until multiple allegations of sexual violations toppled his production empire and spawned the #MeToo movement in 2017. He was indicted in May on suspicion of rape in the first and third degree and first-degree commission of a criminal sexual act.

Accuser Lucia Evans said Weinstein forced her to perform oral sex during a 2004 meeting at his Tribeca office. A second accuser in the indictment was not named. In July, the Manhattan D.A. added allegations of a criminal sexual act in the first degree for a suspected forcible sexual act against a third, unnamed woman in 2006.

Weinstein was arrested in May but remains free on $1 million bail.