The lead detective in the case against disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein was accused Wednesday of suggesting to one of the accusers that she delete information from her cellphone before handing it over to prosecutors, officials say.
In a letter obtained by The Associated Press, Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzzi-Orbon disclosed to Weinstein’s attorney that she received information on Oct. 10 about alleged misconduct between Detective Nicholas DiGaudio and an unnamed woman who is accusing Weinstein of raping her in his Manhattan hotel room in 2013.
Illuzzi-Orbon said the woman was asked by prosecutors to provide “any and all cellphones” that were used during the time she interacted with Weinstein. The woman, concerned about her privacy, consulted with DiGaudio about the request.
The woman reportedly told DiGaudio that she had “several” phones she used during that time, containing, "in addition to communications with the defendant, data of personal nature that she regarded as private.”
The woman claimed that DiGaudio told her to “delete anything she did not want anyone to see,” according to prosecutors.
“We just won’t tell Joan,” he allegedly said, in an apparent reference to Illuzzi-Orbon.
According to the letter, the woman immediately contacted her lawyer, who in turn contacted the DA’s office.
Illuzzi-Orbon said that the woman did not delete anything from her phones before handing them over, and that there was nothing to indicate that DiGaudio had influenced her testimony.
DiGaudio was removed from the Weinstein case last week after evidence surfaced that he'd urged a witness to keep quiet when she raised doubts about whether a different accuser's alleged sexual encounter with Weinstein was consensual.
That revelation led prosecutors to drop a charge related to that allegation
Weinstein lawyer Benjamin Brafman said the latest allegation against DiGaudio "even further undermines the integrity of this already deeply flawed indictment of Mr. Weinstein."