Harvey Weinstein on Friday asked a bankruptcy judge to order the Weinstein Co. to turn over his emails and personal files, which he argues will help discredit sexual assault allegations against him.
Weinstein has been fighting this issue with the company since October, when he filed suit in Delaware. The company has continued to refuse access to the material. Weinstein is under criminal investigation in Los Angeles, New York, and London. He is also facing numerous lawsuits from former employees and actresses who accuse him of harassment and sexual assault.
Weinstein argues that the company, which fired him on Oct. 8, is deliberately preventing him from defending himself. He also argues that this is counter to the interests of the company and its creditors, as it exposes the Weinstein Co. estate to increased civil liability.
“To put it bluntly, TWC, and its counsel, may be knowingly withholding e-mails that may exonerate Mr. Weinstein and, importantly, that would aid in the efficient conclusion of multiple pending criminal investigations and civil litigations, thereby limiting significant potential liability to the Debtors and their estates,” Weinstein’s attorney, Scott D. Cousins, argued.
Cousins also disclosed that Weinstein’s criminal attorneys have been in regular communication with law enforcement agencies in each jurisdiction, and that they “have undertaken efforts in each of the pending investigations to present exculpatory evidence on Mr. Weinstein’s behalf … specifically including exculpatory communications known to be contained in TWC emails both authored by Mr. Weinstein and/or specifically addressed to and received by Mr. Weinstein.”
If they are able to obtain the emails and turn them over to police, Cousins continues, “Mr. Weinstein’s attorneys are confident that any and all investigations can and will be brought to a favorable conclusion.”
Cousins also said the company has turned over a “handful” of emails relevant to one case, which were turned over to investigators.
Weinstein has twice responded to misconduct allegations by providing photos of himself and the accuser interacting together after the alleged incident.
In January, Rose McGowan published her book, “Brave,” in which she accused Weinstein of raping her at the Sundance Film Festival in 1997. Weinstein responded with photographs from the 2005 amfAR gala, in which he and McGowan appear to be on cordial terms. In February, Uma Thurman gave an interview to the New York Times in which she said Weinstein had tried to force himself on her at a hotel in London. In response, Weinstein sent out seven photos of the two of them together at subsequent premiere parties and other events, which his spokesperson said demonstrated their “strong relationship.”