Harvey Weinstein's lawyers have asked a judge to delay a civil lawsuit against the movie mogul until his criminal trial on numerous charges of sexual assault is over.
The disgraced producer is being sued for $45 million (£34 million) by loan company AI International Holdings, who claim they didn't receive a repayment from Weinstein and his namesake Weinstein Company after he was axed from the organisation in October 2017. Weinstein became responsible for repaying the money to the loan organisation after his own companies went bankrupt.
But as the former Miramax boss' legal team put the finishing touches to his defence ahead of his trial beginning on 6 January, his lawyer Imran Ansari has written to a judge asking for the civil suit to be delayed - as the combination of both lawsuits and Weinstein's spinal injuries makes it "too much to bear" for the fallen moviemaker.
"Already encumbered with preparation for his impending criminal trial, coupled with the pain of orthopaedic injuries causing significant ambulatory issues and requiring surgery, the weight is too much to bear all at once for Mr. Weinstein," Ansari wrote in his letter, according to the New York Post.
Weinstein was seen arriving at Manhattan Criminal Court last week with the aid of a walker, after undergoing spinal surgery. However, pictures of him a day later without the walker prompted rumours he was using the injuries following his car accident in August to get sympathy from the judge.
Ansari added in his letter that AI International Holdings are happy for the case to be delayed until after Weinstein's criminal trial is complete.
"Given the monetary amount at issue here, we hope that the court grants Mr. Weinstein's request so he can focus his energy on vigorously defending against the criminal allegations against him," Ansari added to the New York Post.
The producer will stand trial for multiple counts of predatory sexual assault, one of criminal sexual act in the first degree, and one each of first-degree rape and third-degree rape in January. He denies all charges.
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