Harvey Weinstein seeks dismissal of indictment due to emails between him and accuser
Attorneys for the disgraced film mogul filed a motion for dismissal in New York federal court Friday, citing, among other things, the discovery of evidence that the grand jury was not shown -- specifically "dozens of emails" sent from one of Weinstein's anonymous accusers, characterized as "extensive warm, complimentary and solicitous messages to Mr. Weinstein immediately following the now claimed event and over the next four year period."
"These communications irrefutably reflect the true nature of this consensual intimate friendship, which never at any time included a forcible rape," Weinstein's attorney, Ben Brafman told CNN in a statement.
The emails and text messages -- allegedly sent and received through Weinstein's official company account and phone -- were obtained by his legal team earlier this year after a bankruptcy judge in Delaware granted access to them for his criminal defense.
In an email sent from one of Weinstein's accusers on January 5, 2014, ten months after the alleged rape in March 2013, she writes, "Your (sic) the one who makes it look good with your smile and beautiful eyes!! But thank you that makes me so happy to hear."
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. I don't get off work usually till after 7 and coming from (redacted). I know I will be hungry, what is your timing? Do you have time for dinner?"
The same unnamed accuser sent an email to Weinstein on July 26, 2014, writing, "I'm at work. Just had u cross my mind and thought u would send a hello. I am well."
"Love to cross your mind it's my favorite exercise," Weinstein responds, according to the filings.
When contacted by CNN, the Manhattan District Attorney's Office declined to comment on Friday's motion for dismissal.
Weinstein has pleaded not guilty to six felony sex crimes -- two counts of predatory sexual assault, two counts of rape, one first-degree criminal sex act charge and one criminal sex act.
The charges stem from allegations from three women, according to court documents.
In an interview with CNN Friday afternoon, Brafman said it would be "difficult but not impossible" to seat an impartial jury should Weinstein's case move forward to trial.
"I hope to find 12 people in Manhattan who may have heard a lot of the allegations against Mr. Weinstein but will give the court their sworn assurances that they will decide this case based on the evidence that comes into the courtroom and not on what they made have read, or what they may have heard," Brafman said. "I think part of what we're trying to suggest in these motions to dismiss is that contrary to what people may have read and may have heard, there is another side here."
Weinstein has denied all allegations of "nonconsensual sexual activity," and he's remained free after posting $1 million cash bail.
The charges against Weinstein came nine months after The New Yorker and The New York Times published accounts from several women accusing him of various forms of sexual misconduct.
CNN's Laura Ly, Emanuella Grinberg, Ann O'Neil, Elizabeth Joseph and Brynn Gingras contributed to this report.
'Christopher Robin' serves up sweet take on Winnie the Pooh
Director Marc Forster has an eclectic resume -- including a Bond movie and "World War Z" -- but the key entry for these purposes is "Finding Neverland," his moving 2004 look at Peter Pan creator J.M. Barrie.
Throw in a spoonful of "Mary Poppins" for good measure, and you have "Christopher Robin," which doesn't rise to that level. Yet as with that earlier movie, the universal plot is all about an adult accessing his inner child, having lost touch with that pure, unadulterated side of himself.
Introduced as a lad cavorting with his plush pals, Christopher is quickly shown getting shipped off to boarding school, growing up into Ewan McGregor and getting married (Hayley Atwell plays his wife, making the most of a relatively small role).
Now, however, he's got adult-sized responsibilities, which include finding time for his own daughter. Having survived World War II, he's working for a large luggage company, but thanks to his officious boss (Mark Gatiss), faces arduous hours and the unsettling prospect of slashing jobs to make ends meet.
Christopher doesn't pray for guidance, but it nevertheless comes -- along with a reminder about what's truly important -- when Pooh (voiced, as in his animated likeness, by Jim Cummings), stumbles back into his life. And while he remains a "bear of very little brain," he's prone to saying some rather profound things -- at least, when he can get his mind off his rumbly tummy long enough to do so.
Christopher Robin is also reintroduced to the rest of the gang, including Eeyore (Brad Garrett, receiving most of the best lines), Tigger (also Cummings), Piglet (Nick Mohammed) and Rabbit (Peter Capaldi).
A.A. Milne's creation is among the most durable of children's literary characters for a reason, and has already produced one fine movie in the last nine months, the biographical "Goodbye Christopher Robin."
That film was obviously a lot darker than this one, and the latest movie gets off to a somewhat slow start before the plot kicks into gear. As a result, younger kids might grow a bit fidgety while the story (conjured by multiple writers) establishes the groundwork for Christopher's plight.
Gradually, though, "Christopher Robin" settles in, exhibiting a genuine sweetness without becoming saccharine -- again, no small feat. Give much of the credit to McGregor in the thankless task of playing opposite his adorably furry co-stars, ably handling the comedy derived from the fact that he doesn't dare let others see them.
In one of their languid early moments, Pooh muses about those signature do-nothing days in the Hundred Acre Wood, "I would've liked it to go on for a while longer."
Frankly, "Christopher Robin" would be stretching things if it tried to prolong this relatively slim premise for one more minute. But as is, the movie mostly works-- a fleeting reminder of the simple pleasures of hanging out with family and a talking bear, which, in these frenetic times, is the kind of silliness that's worth savoring.
"Christopher Robin" premieres Aug. 3 in the U.S. It's rated PG.