The Manhattan District Attorney’s office has informed Harvey Weinstein’s attorneys that the lead detective investigating alleged sexual assault allegations against the disgraced Hollywood producer told an accuser to delete texts from her phone before handing it over to authorities.
The new revelation comes as questions have arisen about the handling of the investigation, with the district attorney’s office dropping part of the case against Mr Weinstein after it was discovered the the same detective had allegedly coached another witness.
Mr Weinstein, who has denied all allegations of non-consensual sex or touching, has been accused by dozens of women of sexual misconduct, but is facing an investigation in New York related to three accusations.
The district attorney’s office sent Mr Weinstein’s attorney, Benjamin Brafman, a letter on Tuesday that indicate the office had been contacted by an attorney representing “Complainant 2”. The letter indicated that the woman had been concerned about giving her phone to investigators because it contained personal information.
Detective Nicholas DiGaudio then allegedly told her to “delete anything she did not want anyone to see”, according to the letter. The woman who is one of three who have accused Mr Weinstein of sexual misconduct in the New York investigation, said that she did not delete anything before handing over her phone.
Mr Weinstein's lawyer Mr Brafman said the latest allegation “even further undermines the integrity of this already deeply flawed indictment of Mr. Weinstein.”
Mr DiGaudio was removed from the Weinstein case last week after evidence surfaced that he urged a witness to keep quiet when she raised doubts about whether a different accuser's alleged sexual encounter with Weinstein was consensual.
Mr Weinstein’s alleged sexual offences became the subject of public outcry just over a year ago after bombshell reports in The New York Times and New Yorker elevated the stories of women who had decided to come forward and describe his behaviour towards them.
Mr Weinstein has been told he cannot legally leave the state of New York or Connecticut, and has handed over his passport to federal officials while he awaits the outcome of the investigation against him.
He is also being investigated by authorities in London and California.