Harvey Weinstein sues former studio to gain access to emails ‘exonerating' him
Harvey Weinstein is suing his former studio to gain access to his emails that he believes contain information “exonerating” him from claims of sexual harassment and assault.
The disgraced movie mogul lodged the lawsuit against The Weinstein Company (TWC), which he co-founded with his younger brother, to help defend himself against civil and criminal allegations.
The studio sacked the Oscar winner after a series of sexual assault and abuse allegations mounted against him and Weinstein now claims it is withholding his company emails and personal file.
The lawsuit filed in Delaware on Thursday is demanding access to the documents, and suggests he could use them to fight a wrongful termination case or another legal battle with the studio.
“Mr Weinstein believes that his email account – which is the primary, if not only, account he used during the term of his employment by the company – will contain information exonerating him, and therefore the company, from claims that may be asserted against him or the company,” it says.
Weinstein is the subject of police investigations in London, Los Angeles and New York, while the firm is facing civil battles.
The lawsuit states Weinstein could specifically use his emails to investigate the claim of actress Dominique Huett, who is suing TWC for five million dollars (£3.8 million) claiming the firm knew of Weinstein’s alleged offending.
The lawsuit says “similar improper conduct” has been levelled against his brother Bob Weinstein, who has denied sexually harassing a female producer.
“Mr Weinstein seeks no more than to be able to have access to the same information as his brother does to prevent further harm to the company,” it adds.
After the initial allegations broke, Bob Weinstein, 63, said he was “mortified and disgusted by my brother’s actions”.
Harvey Weinstein, 65, also wants access to his personal file so he can investigate whether information from it was leaked to the press and then pursue a claim against TWC and its representatives, the document says.
The legal action came after actress Ashley Judd detailed on US television her alleged sexual harassment at the hands of Weinstein.
It was her first public comments since she made allegations to The New York Times, triggering more than 60 other women to come forward to make allegations against Weinstein.
Actresses including Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow and Lupita Nyong’o were among those to accuse him of sexual harassment.
Weinstein has “unequivocally denied” allegations of non-consensual sex.