Weinstein’s chilling Jen Aniston threat
Explosive emails show convicted rapist Harvey Weinstein told his publicist that Hollywood star "Jennifer Aniston should be killed" after she reported that he sexually assaulted her.
Weinstein, 67, was found guilty of rape and criminal sexual act against another two women on February 24. The disgraced movie mogul is facing up to 29 years in prison and will be sentenced tomorrow.
In an email made public in court today, on October 31, 2017, Sitrick public relations company executive Sallie Hofmeister, who at the time was working as Weinstein's spokeswoman, forwarded him an email from the National Enquirer, and wrote, "Not sure if you saw this one. Jennifer Aniston."
In the email, the Enquirer said: "Jennifer confided to a friend that during the production of the 2005 movie Derailed Weinstein sexually assaulted her by pressing up against her back in (sic) grabbing her buttocks."
The email continued: "Through the years he would frequently stare at her cleavage/breast and move his mouth around, making Jennifer uncomfortable.
"We also quote a source close to Jennifer who tells the Enquirer: 'Harvey was infatuated with Jennifer Aniston - he had a massive crush on her and constantly talked about how hot she was.'"
About 45 minutes after Weinstein received the email, he replied to Ms Hofmeister: "Jen Aniston should be killed," court documents show.
The emails were among a trove of documents filed under seal in Manhattan Supreme Court but made public ahead of Weinstein's scheduled sentencing on Wednesday for raping a hairdresser and forcibly performing oral sex on a former Project Runway production assistant.
The Enquirer never published the allegations regarding Aniston, and a spokesman for the former Friends star called them "false".
"Jennifer has never been harassed or assaulted by Harvey Weinstein," publicist Stephen Huvane said.
"He never got close enough to touch her and she has never been alone with him."
But last year, Aniston told Variety Weinstein's "piggish behaviour" during the premiere dinner for Derailed, the New York Post reports.
"I remember I was sitting at the dinner table with Clive (Owen), and our producers and a friend of mine was sitting with me," she said.
"And he literally came to the table and said to my friend: 'Get up!' And I was like, 'Oh my gosh.' And so my friend got up and moved and Harvey sat down. It was just such a level of gross entitlement and piggish behaviour."
Aniston also told Variety that Weinstein tried to bully her into wearing a dress designed by his then-wife, Georgina Chapman, to the movie's premiere, but she refused.
After five days of deliberations last month, a jury unanimously agreed that Weinstein was guilty of raping an aspiring actress in a Manhattan hotel room in 2013 and forcibly performing oral sex on another woman, TV and film production assistant Mimi Haleyi, in 2006.
Weinstein was convicted of first degree sexual assault and third degree rape.
The first charge carries a sentence of five to 25 years in prison and the second carries a minimum probationary period and a maximum four-year jail term.
Weinstein's lawyer Arthur Aidala told news.com.au his team will appeal the convictions which he described as "disappointing".
"Harvey was unbelievably stoic and strong and powerful," Mr Aidala said of his client's response to the verdict.
"The words he said over and over again to me is: 'I'm innocent, I'm innocent, I'm innocent. How could this happen in America?'"
A torrent of allegations against Weinstein in October 2017 spawned the #MeToo movement.
In total, more than 100 women have accused the father-of-five of sexual misconduct dating back decades. Most of the accusers, who refer to themselves as "the Silence Breakers", weren't involved in his prosecution. A total of six accusers testified as part of a prosecution effort to show he used the same tactics to victimise many others over the years.
In often emotional testimony stretching over three weeks, Weinstein's accusers described in explicit detail how he lured them to hotels in New York and Los Angeles on the pretence of promoting their acting careers before sexually assaulting them.
In her closing argument, Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzzi-Orbon said Weinstein treated the women who accused him like "complete disposables" and made them feel ashamed even though he was the one who was at fault.
"What he wants to do is he wants to get them in a situation where they feel stupid. If you feel stupid and belittled, belittled, stupid people do not complain," the prosecutor told jurors.
BREAKING: A New York jury has found Harvey Weinstein guilty on two counts - criminal sexual act in the first degree and rape in the third degree.— TIME'S UP (@TIMESUPNOW) February 24, 2020
The following is a statement in response from 23 #Silencebreakers: pic.twitter.com/fXtoZ3Evzc
His trial was considered a watershed moment for the cause and has been watched closely by #MeToo activists, many of whom doubted for years that Weinstein's alleged mistreatment of women would ever result in legal action.
Following the verdict, Weinstein was being transported by authorities from the courthouse to Rikers, when he suffered heart palpitations and high blood pressure and was taken instead to Bellevue Hospital. He had been holed up in a private hospital room until he underwent heart surgery and was last week transferred to the North Infirmary at Rikers Island prison ahead of his sentencing tomorrow.
Bellevue is known for its psychiatric facility, but it also serves as a hospital for jail inmates.
Weinstein is also scheduled to face trial in Los Angeles, where he is charged with raping one woman and sexually assaulting another in separate incidents in 2013. He has not yet entered a plea in that case.