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.
French actress Léa Seydoux, 33, (pictured with Daniel Craig) played Dr Madeleine Swann in 2015’s 007 film Spectre. She gave a graphic description last year of how Weinstein allegedly attacked her
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.’
Harvey Weinstein was arrested and processed on charges of rape, committing a criminal sex act, sexual abuse and sexual misconduct earlier this year. He has pleaded not guilty and is free on £770,000 bail. He believes slight changes made to her story by French actor Lea Seydoux will help his case
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.
Lea Seydoux had previously said that she had to defend herself against Weinstein (pictured in October at State Supreme Court in New York) but in a recent interview she said ‘it never came to blows’
‘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 spokesperson for Harvey Weinstein said: ‘Harvey appreciates Lea coming forward and recanting her accusation.
‘He understands that people were pressured to make these claims. It is shameful that he was not given immediate access to his own files and information so he could have corrected false allegations.
‘The Weinstein Company intentionally withheld this information as a negotiating tactic to get Mr. Weinstein’s 23% equity share of the company in return.
‘Only through the bankruptcy court was he able to obtain these important pieces of information. We hope others will come forth and correct false allegations.’
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.