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Weinstein defense to cite ‘loving emails’ from accusers in opening statements

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#BelieveHer and #MeToo to be challenged in court
NEW YORK — Harvey Weinstein's defense team can present to the jury in opening statements the details of email exchanges the former top producer had with his accusers that indicate affectionate relationships before and after they lodged allegations of sexual assault, a judge ruled Tuesday.
The contents of the emails are expected to be key to Weinstein’s defense that encounters with women who say he forced them into sexual acts were actually consensual. His attorneys have also suggested that women sought to advance their careers by getting involved with Weinstein sexually.
Justice James Burke prohibited defense attorney Damon Cheronis from presenting replicas of the emails in a PowerPoint presentation on a large TV screen but said he could cite from them when he addresses the panel in opening statements Wednesday.
“The evidence will show that the complaining witnesses in this case sent dozens and dozens and dozens of loving emails to Mr. Weinstein,” Cheronis said at a hearing Tuesday. “One of the complaining witnesses in this case, after she claims he sexually assaulted her, reached out to Harvey Weinstein to give him her new phone number.”
Before the opening statements, a hearing is expected to be held to find out whether Juror No. 11, a novelist, misrepresented during jury selection the nature of her book. The book relates to “predatory older men,” but she denied the subject matter, even though her website described it as such.
The defense called for a mistrial Friday on the grounds that she should be excused, but the judge put her on the panel anyway. There are just three alternate jurors, although the parties originally agreed on appointing six backup jurors.