Harvey Weinstein Loses Bid to Get Immediate Access to Files

(Bloomberg) -- Harvey Weinstein lost a bid to get immediate access to emails and documents tied to allegations that he assaulted and fondled actresses in incidents stretching back to the 1970s.

Delaware Chancery Court Judge Joseph Slights rejected Weinstein’s request Thursday to force the movie studio he co-owns to hand over his personnel file and other records on a fast-track basis. The producer was ousted as chief executive officer of the studio last month after a growing number of actresses accused him of sex crimes.

Slights said he would schedule a hearing in either January or February to decide whether Weinstein has a “proper purpose” in seeking access to the files and concluded that the beleaguered producer wouldn’t be harmed by the delay. Weinstein’s filings didn’t make the case for “super expedited attention,” the judge said.

Sallie Hofmeister, a spokeswoman for Weinstein, didn’t immediately return a call and an email Thursday seeking comment.

Weinstein sued the Weinstein Co. in Delaware last month for access to the records. The company, which the movie producer owns with his brother Robert, said in a filing Tuesday that Harvey Weinstein’s demand for fast-track access to the documents and emails is merely a ploy to bolster his arbitration claims challenging his removal as the company’s top executive.

Weinstein has a “personal motivation” for demanding immediate access to the records, and having to produce them on an expedited basis would cause the studio “severe harm,” Karin DeMasi, a lawyer for the Weinstein Co., told Slights on Thursday.

The producer’s lawyers countered that he needed access to the files to help deal with criminal probes of his past actions and so he could help the studio fend off liability for the sexual-harassment allegations.

“Things are happening almost every day” in connection with criminal investigations and lawsuits, Peter Ladig, one of Harvey Weinstein’s lawyers, told Slights. “Mr. Weinstein doesn’t have access to information” that could be critical, Ladig added.

The case is Weinstein v. Weinstein Company Holdings LLC, 2017-0765, Delaware Court of Chancery.

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