Harvey Weinstein will be exonerated, predicts lawyer
Harvey Weinstein’s lawyer has said he believes the film producer will be exonerated after he was charged with two counts of rape and one count of a criminal sexual act.
Weinstein posted a cash bail of one million dollars (£751,060) and has agreed to wear an electronic tracking device as he was arraigned on Friday in New York.
Speaking outside the Manhattan court, Weinstein’s lawyer Benjamin Brafman said the movie mogul will enter a plea of not guilty against the charges, which relate to two separate women.
Mr Brafman said: “We intend to move very quickly to dismiss these charges. We believe that they are constitutionally flawed. We believe that they are not factually supported by the evidence and we believe that by the end of the process, Mr Weinstein will be exonerated.”
He said Weinstein is doing “as well as can be expected when you are accused of a crime that you vehemently deny having committed.”
Mr Brafman, who was accompanied by Weinstein outside the court, said his client has “always maintained that any sexual activity he engaged in was consensual”.
“He has vehemently denied any of the allegations which suggest that he engaged in non-consensual sexual activity,” he added.
“Many of these allegations are long overdue, quite frankly, having been made about events that are alleged to have occurred many years ago.”
Mr Brafman cast doubt over whether a jury would believe Weinstein’s accusers, and he appeared to refer to the MeToo and Time’s Up movements that were prompted following an avalanche of accusations against Weinstein since October last year.
He said: “They were not reported to the police at the time these events occurred and I anticipate that the women who have made these allegations, when subjected to cross examination – in the event we even get that far – that the charges will not be believed by 12 people, assuming we get 12 fair people who are not consumed by the movement that seems to have overtaken this case.”
Mr Brafman said his job is “not to defend behaviour”, adding “my job is to defend something that is criminal behaviour”.
“Mr Weinstein did not invent the casting couch in Hollywood, and to the extent that there is bad behaviour in that industry, that is not what this is about,” he said.
“Bad behaviour is not on trial in this case, it’s only if you intentionally committed a criminal act, and Mr Weinstein vigorously denies that.”