Investigator Sam Anson told the trial court that Weinstein sent him the email on August 17, 2017 but he did not carry out his instructions
NEW YORK: Harvey Weinstein, who has been facing the multiple sexual assault and rape charges, contacted a private investigator to probe women that he suspected were detailing sexual misconduct allegations against him to media persons, his rape trial heard on Friday.
The prosecutors and a witness told the trial court, which began hearing testimony this week, that the disgraced movie mogul, in late 2017, emailed a "red flag list" of people he wanted investigated. The list included dozens of names, some of which were highlighted in red to indicate individuals that the then Hollywood titan was most concerned about.
Weinstein's list included actress Rose McGowan and "The Sopranos" star Annabella Sciorra, who in testimony on Thursday accused him of rape.
Weinstein, 67, faces life imprisonment if convicted of predatory sexual assault charges related to two women.
He is accused of raping actress Jessica Mann in 2013 and of forcibly performing oral sex on former production assistant Mimi Haleyi.
Investigator Sam Anson told the trial court that Weinstein sent him the the list on August 17, 2017 but he did not carry out his instructions.
Anson, who now works for Guidepost Solutions but then ran his own firm, testified that he also had a telephone conversation with Weinstein around the same time.
"He said that there was concern that articles were being written about him that would discuss his sexual conduct in a negative way," Anson recalled.
American media outlets detailed sexual assault allegations against Weinstein in October 2017, sparking the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment.
More than 80 women, including Hollywood stars Angelina Jolie and Salma Hayek, have since accused him of sexual misconduct.
Weinstein denies all allegations of non-consensual sex.