Alleged sexual predator is met at court by lineup of accusers – actresses including Marisa Tomei, Nia Vardalos, Amber Tamblyn, Jennifer Esposito and Kathy Najimy
Former industry giant was hoping to have the remaining five charges in his criminal case dismissed by a Manhattan judge on Thursday
The judge ruled however that Harvey Weinstei’s indictment in the case would not be dismissed
Weinstein was met with a gallery filled with actresses as he arrived in court on Thursday
Accusers who were on hand for the proceedings were dressed in ‘Time’s Up’ T-shirts
Weinstein with a pronounced limp left the courtroom after pre-trial hearing in the case was set for March 7, 2019
Weinstein confers with his lawyer at the hearing on Thursday in criminal court
Harvey Weinstein will stand trial for rape after a judge refused to dismiss five charges against him on Thursday. The mogul’s short Manhattan Criminal Court appearance turned into a face-off on Thursday with a number of his accusers, all actresses who were waiting to stare down the one time indusrty force dejure in the courtroom. Oscar-winner Marisa Tomei, Amber Tamblyn, Michelle Hurd, Jennifer Esposito and Kathy Najimy were just a few of the Hollywood stars sitting in the gallery ahead of the court proceedings.
The women were all wearing shirts emblazoned with the inscription ‘Time’s Up’ did their best to stare down their erstwhile tormrntor.
The court finds that there is no basis for the defendant’s claim of prosecutorial or law enforcement misconduct in the proceedings, or pervasive falsity in and around the Grand Jury presentation,’ the judge ruled. ‘Moreover there is no basis in law that the conduct of law enforcement must be imputed to the prosecutor. ‘ Weinstein’s team had argued that the Grand Jury was not presented exculpatory evidence that would have established the nature of the relationship between himself and his accusers.
Weinstein accusers Jennifer Esposito, Marissa Tomei, Amber Tamblyn and Michelle Hurd
These included emails he exchanged with one victim and texts from another woman thanking him for his help in securing a job. One of the women was also advised to delete text messages by a member of law enforcement. Harvey Weinstein was met with a gallery filled with actresses after arriving in court on Thursday including Jennifer Esposito, Marissa Tomei, Amber Tamblyn and Michelle Hurd.
Although the women chose not to speak ahead of the hearing, Najimy did state that she was in court ” to hear the proceeding and support [Weinstein rape] survivors”. The judge ultimately ruled that Weinstein would face rape charges, saying that the indictment would not be dismissed in the case. The pre-trial hearing was set for March 7. The actresses who appeared in court all did so in support of the victims and Time’s Up movement. Weinstein meanwhile was seen limping in and out of the courtroom, and his suspenders had come undone at one point causing his gut to hang over his pants. Weinstein was seeking to have the five remaining charges of sexual misconduct that have been filed against him dismissed, and in a letter earlier this month, his lawyer railed at a comment made by prosecutors.
Marissa Tomei [photo], joined the other women in the messaging. They all wore the inscription ‘Time’s Up ‘ on their shirts as they headed into the courthouse in NY on Thursday
‘The defendant has a misguided and antiquated view of how a rape victim should react after having been assaulted,’ wrote prosecutor Kevin Wilson in response to a letter submitted to the court last week. In the letter, Weinstein’s lawyer wrote: ‘What is misguided and antiquated is the breathtaking assertion by the prosecution that it was free to present the Grand Jury in this case with a knowingly incomplete, untrue, and distorted picture of the true facts of this case and thereby suppress from the Grand Jury critical exculpatory evidence which went directly to Mr. Weinstein’s factual innocence of any criminal wrongdoing.’ The attack did not stop there, going on to accuse witnesses of being untruthful. ‘Contrary to what Mr. Wilson would have us believe, the issue before this Court is one of law and not political correctness,’ read the letter. ‘At the time they made their presentment to the Grand Jury in this case, the prosecution (1) failed to present witness statements which revealed material untruths told by the complaining witnesses and (2) willfully chose not to present documentary evidence which reflected immediate and then continuing contact with the alleged rapist-beginning just hours after the alleged rape and continuing on for several years thereafter.’ Weinstein’s attorney earlier, filed a letter with the judge seeking to dismiss three of the charges that he was indicted on over the summer. Ben Brafman, Weinstein’s attorney in the case, claimed in his letter to Judge James M Burke that the Manhattan District Attorney’s office withheld evidence from the grand jury who indicted his client and provides four emails that show Weinstein and his accuser spent time together after her alleged assault. He also claimed that this particular accuser previously told a friend that her relationship with Weinstein was consensual.
Weinstein had previously filed a motion to dismiss the criminal charges against him in August that contained a number of emails sent by the same accuser between 2013 and 2017. That woman, whose allegations against Weinstein resulted in charges of rape in the first degree, rape in the third degree and predatory sexual assault, wrote in the emails that Weinstein ‘is the bar’ for the movie industry and comments on his ‘smile and beautiful eyes. In one of the emails submitted by Brafman, she also agreed to attend a screening hosted by Weinstein, just hours after she was allegedly raped by the mogul. Documents show Weinstein’s office sent the woman an invitation to a movie screening the evening of March 18, 2013 – the day of the alleged assault. The accuser replied, ‘I’m just going with [redacted]. Thank you [redacted].’ The letter stated that defense lawyers interviewed the friend who confirmed that she had gone to the event with the accuser and the two met Weinstein there that night. During that interview, the friend allegedly confirmed that Weinstein and the accuser were in a ‘consensual, sexual relationship’ at the time and claimed the accuser tried to enlist her help in going after Weinstein, according Brafman.
Brafman argued that the emails, as well as the previous ones he submitted along with an earlier motion, should have been seen by members of the grand jury. ‘Had the Grand Jury been aware that [accuser] continued her friendship with Mr Weinstein hours after the alleged rape (not just in the months and years after, as evidenced by her emails), there is little chance that her narrative would have been accepted by the Grand Jury,’ Brafman states. ‘This new email evidence makes [the accuser’s] attempt even more egregious because, as it turns out, the witness was with [the accuser] hours after the alleged rape, yet [the accuser] did not say anything about being raped; instead, she chose to spend the evening with her friend and her alleged rapist!’ Brafman also contends that the accuser must have talked about Weinstein in ‘glowing terms’ after an email from New Year’s Day 2014 revealed the friend had thanked the producer for ‘the things you did for [accuser] in 2013 and for the things you did for me as well.’ Those things included Oscar party invitations, dinners, premieres, and auditions, according to documents. An earlier email from October 2013 also shows the same friend telling Weinstein that the accuser ‘adores’ him. More than a year after the alleged rape, the accuser herself had an email exchange with Weinstein organizing dinner plans.
On July 9, 2014, Weinstein emailed the woman asking: ‘Are you around on Friday evening? I’m going to be in [redacted].’ The accuser replied: ‘There is no one else I would enjoy catching up with that understands me quite like you.’ ‘I know I will be hungry, what is your timing? Do you have time for dinner?’ In a response to the December 7 filing, New York Assistant District Attorney Kevin Wilson said Brafman’s letter only repeats previous arguments made in earlier submissions – which have been contested. He argued the findings did not constitute as exculpatory information and claimed the lawyer was using ‘one-sided, incomplete, and mischaracterized information.’ ‘That the defendant has a misguided and antiquated view of how a rape victim should react after having been assaulted does not change this reality,’ Wilson wrote in a letter on Friday.
In August, Brafman asked for the charge of Criminal Sex Act to be tossed because of inconsistencies. ‘Mr. Weinstein was indicted for an alleged act of forcible oral sex by someone who claims she does not remember when it occurred and asserts only that it was purportedly sometime during a three-month period in 2004, nearly fourteen years ago,’ read the August motion. ‘He was also indicted for the rape of [email accuser], whose extensive communications and contact immediately following the now claimed forcible rape instead reflect a consensual, intimate relationship with Mr. Weinstein in an exchange of more than 400 warm, complimentary and solicitous emails with an alleged rapist for more than four years after the alleged rape, never once in those 9 communications claiming to have ever been harmed by Mr. Weinstein.’ The final email, from 2017, was less effusive than the others submitted by Weinstein, reading: ‘I love you, always do. But hate feeling like a booty call.’ That came in response to an email from Weisntein in which he tried to schedule a meeting with the woman before heading off to a redacted city. He wrote that he could meet in the afternoon, and when the woman responded to ask the address Weinstein replied with the name of a hotel, even though he was in New York at the time. The August filing stated that it was one year after that email, in February 2018 when, ‘upon information and belief, [Weinstein’s accuser] for the first time ever made any claim of an alleged rape to any law enforcement authority.’
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Another email in which the woman is incredibly complimentary to Weinstein read: ‘You have mastered storytelling and continually Are outdoing yourself and the competition. You are the bar.’ She then signed off with: ‘Miss you big guy.’ One month prior she had requested a private audience with Weinstein, saying: ‘I was hoping for some time privately with you to share the direction I am going in life and catch up because its been awhile.’ The woman also gave Weinstein her contact information after changing her phone number.