Weinstein says he hired private eyes 'for days like this'

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Harvey Weinstein, center, leave Manhattan's Criminal Court with his lawyer Arthur Aidala, far left, where he's on trial for rape and sexual assault, Wednesday Jan. 29, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Harvey Weinstein is defending his use of a private spy agency that allegedly dug up dirt on his accusers, saying Thursday he did it “for days like this.”

The unscripted remark came as the former Hollywood producer left his New York City trial, where the woman he’s charged with raping is set to testify on Friday.

Weinstein, who’s been more apt to engage with reporters in recent days, was responding to a question asking why his private lawyers hired Black Cube, a firm founded by former analysts from Israeli intelligence agencies.

Thursday's court session ended with brief testimony about Weinstein’s contract with Black Cube. His relationship with the firm was explored in Ronan Farrow’s book about the Weinstein saga, “Catch and Kill.”

Prosecutors say Black Cube investigators working on Weinstein's behalf used fake identities to gather information on his accusers, with the ultimate goal of thwarting the publication of stories about the film producer’s alleged sex offenses.

Weinstein, 67, turned to Black Cube in 2017 as The New York Times and The New Yorker were pursuing stories about his behavior with women. Those stories, published in October 2017, spawned the #MeToo movement.

Jurors on Thursday also saw an email from Weinstein to someone at Black Cube reading: "Red flags are the ones of interest" — what prosecutors say was a reference to list of names marked in red to identify accusers.

They included “Sopranos” actress Annabella Sciorra, who testified last week that Weinstein overpowered and raped her after barging into her apartment in the mid-1990s.