Manhattan prosecutors accuse Weinstein of trying to influence press, sway public opinion

The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office is accusing Harvey Weinstein and his lawyer of entering a string of court filings in an attempt to sway public opinion about the disgraced Hollywood producer’s rape case.

Assistant District Attorney Kevin Wilson on Friday slammed the filings, saying the details should be brought up in trial “instead of trying the case in the press” as reporters access the public documents, according to BuzzFeed.

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More than 70 women have come forward to accuse Weinstein of sexual assault or misconduct. He pleaded not guilty in June to rape and other sex crimes charges. 

Wilson cited a court letter from Weinstein’s attorney saying Weinstein wanted to “put an end to a case that is riddled with serious misconduct and rape allegations that simply cannot withstand further scrutiny.” Weinstein's attorney attached emails sent by a woman who accused Weinstein of rape that he claims proves her allegations are false.

One of the emails was sent hours after the alleged rape in 2013 in which Weinstein’s assistant invited the woman to a research screening that same night. The woman responded to the email to inform the assistant that she would be in attendance with a friend.

“Why would an alleged rape victim go out of her way to spend time with her ‘rapist’ merely hours after she was allegedly attacked,” Weinstein’s attorney wrote in his court filing.

He also said his legal team interviewed the friend of Weinstein's accuser, who said she did attend the screening that night and that they met Weinstein there. There was never a mention of a rape, he said.

Wilson responded in his own court filing to say Weinstein has “a misguided and antiquated view of a how a rape victim should react after having been assaulted,” adding that Weinstein’s filing was “clearly intended for publication rather than for any legitimate purpose.” 

Weinstein’s efforts were “evidence of a concerted campaign by [Weinstein] to try this case in the press using one-sided, incomplete, and mischaracterized information,” Wilson added.

Judge James Burke is expected to issue a ruling on Dec. 20 on the latest filings.