News, Culture & Society

Harvey Weinstein met by actresses including Marisa Tomei as judge rules he will face rape charge

Harvey Weinstein arrived in Manhattan Criminal Court to try and have the remaining five charges filed against him in his case dismissed on Thursday. 

The appearance turned into a faceoff however, with a number of actresses waiting to join the disgraced executive in the courtroom. 

Oscar-winner Marisa Tomei, Nia Vardalos, Amber Tamblyn, 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 Time’s Up shirts.

The women chose not to speak ahead of the hearing, but Najimy did state: ‘I’m here to hear the proceeding and support survivors.’ 

The judge ultimately ruled that Weinstein would face rape charges, saying that the indictment would not be dismissed in the case. 

Sister act: Kathy Najimy and Marisa Tomei arrive in Manhattan Criminal Court on Thursday (above) 

Suspended: Weinstein could not keep his suspenders on as he made his way through the metal detectors at the courthouse (above) 

Suspended: Weinstein could not keep his suspenders on as he made his way through the metal detectors at the courthouse (above) 

Unity: Tomei and the other women were all wearing Time's Up shirts as they headed into the courthouse 

Unity: Tomei and the other women were all wearing Time’s Up shirts as they headed into the courthouse 

The disgraced mogul is looking to have the five remaining charges that have been filed against him dismissed, and in a letter earlier this month his lawyer lashed out at a comment made by prosecutors.

‘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 the accusing 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 previously 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 the accuser 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.’

Weinstein was married to his now estranged wife Georgina Chapman during the time that all 40 emails were sent.

One month after she was allegedly raped by Weinstein in a midtown hotel, the woman closed out a brief message by writing: ‘Thanks, and I hope to see you sooner thank [sic] later …’

The next day she said: ‘I appreciate all you do for me, it shows.’

Three days after that she expressed a desire to see Weinstein and ‘catch up,’ a desire she again reiterated a few days later in an emails submitted as evidence in the motion.

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.