Harvey Weinstein's suffered a life-threatening infection in 1999 that left him with a permanent genital deformity, a new report has claimed.

Weinstein's genitalia were a key piece of evidence in his trial earlier this year, with the jury shown full-frontal photos and one victim saying she even felt "compassion" for her attacker after she saw him naked.

Jessica Mann said in court: "The first time I saw him fully naked, I felt, I thought he was deformed and intersex.

"He has extreme scarring that I didn't know if maybe he was a burn victim. He does not have testicles, and it appears like he has a vagina."

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Film producer Harvey Weinstein arrives at the courtroom for his sexual assault trial in February. Photo / Getty
Film producer Harvey Weinstein arrives at the courtroom for his sexual assault trial in February. Photo / Getty

Now a report from Graydon Carter's Digital News Weekly Airmail claims that a brush with death in 1999 was the cause of Weinstein's deformity.

In the days after Christmas that year the movie mogul was rushed from the Caribbean at death's door, with his company only saying he had suffered from a bacterial infection and Weinstein himself blamed something he ate.

The report claims the truth was much more serious.

He had battled Fournier's gangrene, an acute infection of the genitals that strikes middle-aged men and diabetics.

Weinstein was in both risk groups.

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Skin grafts are often needed as patients recover and in extreme cases the testicles are removed.

Sexual dysfunction commonly results from the infection.

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Phoebe Eaton, writing in the Airmail, said that in the years after the infection Weinstein would send his "hapless assistants" rushing to fetch him Caverject - a medication injected directly into the penis to increase blood flow.

When Weinstein faced accusations of sexual misconduct in 2017 he alluded to his condition in a sworn statement.

"My body has trauma. Vets tell me I have PTSD," he said.

"Doctors tell me I'm lucky to be alive … but lucky is not how I feel."

Weinstein is currently serving a 23-year sentence for rape and still faces more charges.

SEXUAL HARM - DO YOU NEED HELP?

If it's an emergency and you feel that you or someone else is at risk, call 111.

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If you've ever experienced sexual assault or abuse and need to talk to someone contact Safe to Talk confidentially:

• Call 0800 044 334

• Text 4334

• Email support@safetotalk.nz

• For more info or to web chat visit www.safetotalk.nz

Alternatively contact your local police station -

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