An email sent by Harvey Weinstein to friends that has been widely circulated is believed to be a plea for sympathy by his accusers.
Weinstein, who still faces trial for charges related to two women, began the email: "I've had one hell of a year. The worst nightmare of my life." He sent the message on Monday from his personal email account, reports Daily Telegraph.
The email went on to criticise police investigators and was swiftly forwarded around the close Hollywood network that the former producer had once been a mogul of. It included several links to articles that, Weinstein wrote, demonstrated that "the police have played a very difficult role in my investigation." He added: "The articles are self explanatory, but I'd like to speak to you on the phone if you have some time. There is more to this story … I appreciate your confidentiality."
Weinstein has been keeping an extremely low profile since the first accusations of sexual assault and rape started being made in October 2017. Since then, more than 80 women, including many well-known actresses, have added their accusations to the list.
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His lawyers said they were unaware of Weinstein's plans to send the email, and that it was sent to close friends and not part of any legal strategy.
However, Weinstein's accusers believe that the message had more widespread intentions beyond clearing his name with some of his inner circle.
Katherine Kendall, who was one of the first people to publicly accuse Weinstein – telling the New York Times that Weinstein chased her, while naked, and stopped her from leaving his apartment – compared the email to the Oscar campaigns Weinstein famously invented.
"It's all about him," Kendall said. "He knows how to run a marketing campaign, that's for sure."
She continued: "I know there are people who are afraid that he's been planning his comeback for a while. I think there are so many people who see him as a master manipulator, that nothing will surprise them. And that they're afraid of him."
Benjamin Brafman, Weinstein's lawyer, denied this. "The emails from Harvey have to be viewed from the perspective of someone who is very distressed," he told The New York Times. "It's him asking for help. This was not an aggressive move by Harvey Weinstein."