The Slatest

Harvey Weinstein’s Lawyers Suggest Some Accusers Had Consensual Sex With Him and Developed Regrets Later

Ben Brafman in New York City in 2011.
Ben Brafman in New York City in 2011. Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Fresh off high-powered Harvey Weinstein lawyer David Boies’ random declaration that a model who made an extremely credible accusation against his client two years ago was a prostitute, Team Weinstein is now implying that some of the 80-plus women (!) who have accused the movie producer of inappropriate behavior engaged in “consensual sexual contact” with him that was “later regretted.” The claim is in a statement that attorneys Blair Berk and Ben Brafman distributed to outlets reporting about a New York Times piece which, among other things, recounts several allegations of sexual assault:

“Mr. Weinstein has never at any time committed an act of sexual assault, and it is wrong and irresponsible to conflate claims of impolitic behavior or consensual sexual contact later regretted, with an untrue claim of criminal conduct. There is a wide canyon between mere allegation and truth, and we are confident that any sober calculation of the facts will prove no legal wrongdoing occurred. Nonetheless, to those offended by Mr. Weinstein’s behavior, he remains deeply apologetic.”

To be clear, the many allegations against Weinstein include numerous accusations of unsolicited masturbation, forcible sexual touching, and rape—acts the women say they verbally objected to while they were taking place, not after. (And while this supposition is worth what you paid for it, it seems to me that this kind of aggressive, even insulting, statement about Weinstein’s alleged victims means his team has given up on the possibility of any public-relations redemption and is simply refusing to make concessions that could provide ammunition for prosecutors who might be considering criminal charges against him.)