Disgraced mogul Harvey Weinstein has asked for access to his old e-mails and files as he attempts to defend himself amid ongoing federal and state criminal investigations in New York, Los Angeles and London.
The co-founder of The Weinstein Co. filed a petition with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware today seeking access to his old correspondence — access he says he has been denied, impairing his ability to “exonerate himself.”
“The debtors’ continued refusal to permit Mr. Weinstein to access these emails has significantly impinged his ability to effectively defend himself from these allegations, and is a continuing deprivation of his due-process rights,” Weinstein’s attorneys argue.
The New York Times and The New Yorker’s accounts last fall of Weinstein’s alleged sexual misconduct — which Weinstein has consistently and repeatedly denied — sparked the criminal probes and the broader #MeToo movement.
Weinstein says he gained access to a “handful” of emails related to one pending investigation, which defense attorneys presented to authorities as evidence to cast events in a different, more favorable light. He asked the court to continued access to correspondence to continue mounting a defense.
“Without these exculpatory e-mails, Mr. Weinstein’s ability to refute the charges being levied against him is significantly inhibited, and he is deprived of due process in that he cannot properly defend himself against these investigations,” Weinstein argued.
Weinstein’s lawyers argued that quickly resolving the criminal investigations and civil litigations is in the interest of the bankrupt company, as well, because it would limit potential liability. He’s asking the court to order the bankrupt Weinstein Co. to provide access to his emails, personal files and “effects.”