We­in­stein lawyers pin hopes on Bond girl’s ‘new story’

The Scottish Mail on Sunday - - News - From Caroline Gra­ham IN LOS AN­GE­LES

HARVEY WE­IN­STEIN’S lawyers be­lieve his chances of es­cap­ing jail have been boosted af­ter a Bond girl who claims he at­tacked her has changed her ac­count of the episode.

French ac­tress Léa Sey­doux, 33, who played Dr Madeleine Swann in 2015’s 007 film Spec­tre, gave a graphic de­scrip­tion last year of how We­in­stein al­legedly at­tacked her.

She had said he ‘lost con­trol’ af­ter invit­ing her to his room af­ter a fash­ion show and said she re­sisted his ad­vances. But she has now said in a sub­se­quent in­ter­view that she didn’t need to de­fend her­self.

In an ar­ti­cle for the Guardian last year, Ms Sey­doux said We­in­stein ‘in­vited me to come to his ho­tel room for a drink. We went up to­gether. It was hard to say no be­cause he’s so pow­er­ful. All the girls are scared of him. Soon, his as­sis­tant left and it was just the two of us. That’s the mo­ment where he started los­ing con­trol.

‘We were talk­ing on the sofa when he sud­denly jumped on me and tried to kiss me. I had to de­fend my­self. He’s big and fat, so I had to be force­ful to re­sist him. I left his room, thor­oughly dis­gusted.

‘I wasn’t afraid of him, though. Be­cause I knew what kind of man he was all along... I pushed him phys­i­cally. I think he re­spected me be­cause I re­sisted him.’

But We­in­stein’s lawyers are now seiz­ing upon an in­ter­view Ms Sey­doux gave in the November is­sue of French Marie Claire pub­lished just days ago.

She told the mag­a­zine: ‘If he wanted to rape me, he could have done, but he didn’t.

‘It never came to blows and I didn’t have to de­fend my­self or re­sist. Given his weight, he would have been able to pin me against a wall and force me to do some­thing, but he didn’t.’

Last month, We­in­stein scored a ma­jor vic­tory when one of his ac­cusers, Lu­cia Evans, had her case thrown out af­ter it was re­ported ‘old per­sonal writ­ings’ emerged that sug­gested her en­counter with the pro­ducer was con­sen­sual.

Last night, We­in­stein’s lawyer Ben­jamin Braf­man said: ‘It does not sur­prise me that yet an­other ac­cuser is now chang­ing her story.

‘That’s what hap­pens when the me­dia helps cre­ate a story that catches fire but then be­gins to be ex­tin­guished when hard ex­cul­pa­tory facts start to sur­face show­ing that the ini­tial ac­cu­sa­tion was not true.’

A spokesman for We­in­stein said: ‘Harvey has known Léa for some time, met her fam­ily and had pro­moted her for some im­por­tant pro­jects.

‘He un­der­stands the pressure many were un­der to make claims.’

We­in­stein, who ve­he­mently de­nies all al­le­ga­tions, still faces claims he raped an uniden­ti­fied woman in his New York ho­tel room in 2013 and per­formed a forcible sex act on a dif­fer­ent woman in 2006. He has pleaded not guilty and is free on £770,000 bail. He also faces charges of sex as­saults in LA and Lon­don.

Ms Sey­doux’s rep­re­sen­ta­tives did not re­spond to re­quests for comment last night.

AS­SAULT CLAIM: Léa Sey­doux

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