Harvey Weinstein

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Weinstein's Attorney Concerned About Client's State Of Mind, Chances For Fair Trial

May 29, 2018 - 2:56 pm
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NEW YORK (WCBS 880/AP) -- Harvey Weinstein’s attorney says he is worried about the movie mogul’s state of mind, and his chances of getting a fair trial.

Attorney Ben Brafman addressed reporters Tuesday, after a 90-minute meeting in a Manhattan judge’s chambers with the assistant district attorney handling the case.

“Handling criminal cases on both sides, I’ve really never been in that position where I am defending a crime which is serious on its face, but when you drill down into it – based on my investigation – also, in my opinion, absurd,” Brafman said.

Brafman said the rape charge against Weinstein is “absurd” because Weinstein had a 10-year consensual relationship with the accuser.

Brafman also called Weinstein’s state of mind “serious.”

“And you can only imagine what your state of mind would be if you’ve been accused of a very serious crime which you maintain you did not commit,” Brafman said.

Brafman also said he is concerned with what he called the “unprecedented” pressure on the Manhattan District Attorney’s office to seek an indictment.

On Monday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he believes Weinstein will get a fair trial in New York when asked about it at the Little Neck Memorial Day Parade in Queens.

Cuomo said, “I'm sure the District Attorney is… going to have a fair trial.”

Weinstein surrendered to authorities on Friday at the NYPD 1st Precinct police station in Tribeca to face charges stemming from an investigation by the Manhattan DA’soffice into allegations of sexual abuse. The NYPD said Weinstein was booked on rape, criminal sex act, sex abuse and sexual misconduct charges for incidents involving two separate women. 

He was released on $1 million bail and is due back in court on July 30. He has until Wednesday to decide whether to testify before a grand jury.

More than 75 women have accused Weinstein of wrongdoing. Several actresses and models accused him of criminal sexual assaults, including film actress Rose McGowan, who said Weinstein raped her in 1997 in Utah, "Sopranos" actress Annabella Sciorra, who said he raped her in her New York apartment in 1992, and the Norwegian actress Natassia Malthe, who said he attacked her in a London hotel room in 2008. Another aspiring actress, Mimi Haleyi, said Weinstein forcibly performed oral sex on her in his New York apartment in 2006.

New York City police detectives said in early November that they were investigating allegations by another accuser, "Boardwalk Empire" actress Paz de la Huerta, who told police in October that Weinstein raped her twice in 2010.

Authorities in California and London are also investigating assault allegations. Britain has no statute of limits on rape cases; some of the allegations under investigation there go back to the 1980s.

(© 2018 WCBS 880. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)