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Convicted sex offender Harvey Weinstein is locked in a legal dispute with a young female artist over two crude sketches he made of her posing topless in 2019, DailyMail.com can reveal.
The New York City graffiti artist widely known as ANNA!, who for the first time is agreeing to reveal her true identity as 29-year-old Anna Barratt, is attempting to sell the two sketches as non-fungible tokens, or NFTs.
Barratt, who first met Weinstein through an art gallerist after he had been charged with sex crimes, declined to accuse him outright of sexual misconduct in an essay on her website and an interview with DailyMail.com.
After selling Weinstein three works for $5,000, Barratt says that she initially came up with the idea to pose topless for the disgraced movie mogul in a photo shoot with a disposable camera.
She said that he made the sketches and gave them to her during an ‘impromptu rehearsal’ for the proposed photo session, which never ultimately occurred.
Now, Weinstein’s attorneys are trying to block Barratt from selling the two sketches on the NFT auction site OpenSea, filing a complaint with the company insisting that as the artist of the two rough figure drawings, he is the copyright holder — and noting that he wrote ‘not to be reproduced’ on the sketches.
Convicted sex offender Harvey Weinstein is locked in a legal dispute with a young female artist over these two crude sketches he made of her posing topless in 2019
The New York City graffiti artist Anna Barratt is attempting to sell the two sketches as NFTs. She is seen above posing for a photo shoot in 2019, similar to the one she had asked Weinstein to shoot with a disposable camera, though that idea never came to fruition
Weinstein, 70, is currently serving a 23-year prison sentence on sex offense convictions in New York and faces additional charges in California.
In a notice filed with OpenSea last week, and viewed by DailyMail.com, his attorneys wrote that the sketches ‘were drawn by our client Harvey Weinstein and given to Anna Barratt as a gift, without the conveyance of any of the underlying copyright.’
Barratt’s attorney Todd Spodek furiously disputes that claim, and has filed a counternotice with OpenSea citing legal precedents that allow the purchaser of a copyrighted work to re-sell or gift the work as they please.
‘The artwork and the underlying copyright are Anna’s and she can dispose of it any way her little hipster heart desires,’ Spodek told DailyMail.com.
A spokesman for Weinstein accused Barratt of extortion, saying in a statement that she ‘requested that Harvey pay her for the pieces that he sketched, signed and gave to her’ and in exchange offered ‘not go to media if he gave her money.’
‘She said she would tell the story of them meeting and sketching, but if he paid her, she wouldn’t put this out there,’ said Weinstein spokesman Juda Engelmayer.
A spokesman for Weinstein (seen at trial in 2020) accused Barratt of extortion, saying that she demanded money not to share her story and publish the sketches
Barratt (above) denies trying to extort Weinstein, saying: ‘Harvey is very good at weaving small delightful consumable tales, and that’s just simply not the truth’
Weinstein’s attorneys are trying to block Barratt from selling the two sketches on the NFT auction site OpenSea, filing a complaint (above) with the company
Barratt denies trying to extort Weinstein, saying: ‘Harvey is very good at weaving small delightful consumable tales, and that’s just simply not the truth. This is real life, this is not Hollywood.’
The twisted and at times confusing saga first unfolded in the summer of 2019, when Barratt was effectively homeless after an unexpected eviction.
When an art dealer friend offered to take her in temporarily, and said that Weinstein was a potential buyer for her work, Barratt says that she jumped at the opportunity.
She recalls being excited to meet Weinstein and sell him her artwork, despite the avalanche of sexual misconduct allegations, and criminal charges, that he faced at the time.
‘I liked Harvey Weinstein, he is charismatic as hell,’ she said, recalling that at the time, she didn’t believe he would be convicted of the charges he faced. (The following year, a New York jury found Weinstein guilty of one count of criminal sexual assault in the first degree and one count of rape in the third degree.)
Both sides say that Weinstein purchased artwork from Barratt, a total of three pieces for $5,000.
‘They had a tentative deal for about ten paintings in total, and more would be paid when they were delivered, but the rest were in fact never delivered,’ Weinstein’s spokesman told DailyMail.com.
Barratt (above in a modeling shoot) says that in 2019, she looked up to Weinstein and did not think he would be convicted of sexual assault charges
NYC graffiti artist Anna Barratt argues that she has the right to sell two sketches by Weinstein
After the initial sale of her artwork, Barratt says that she got a call from Weinstein, asking her to come by his office without her gallery owner friend.
It is at that meeting on August 23, 2019 where Weinstein sketched the drawings of Barratt topless.
Barratt says that the two haggled over whether she would undress as a kind of rehearsal for the topless photos she hoped that he would take of her, which she conceived of as an artistic commentary on the MeToo movement.
‘We negotiate the terms of my “dress rehearsal”, and we agree that in exchange for such an “impromptu” rehearsal, I would receive two drawings of me from life, signed and dated as compensation,’ she recalled in an essay about the saga.
Barratt told DailyMail.com that she encouraged Weinstein to be free in his sketching and not worry about the quality of the drawing, and that the movie mogul took to the task eagerly, his pen moving ‘furiously’ across the paper.
The two drawings from two different poses were created with a five minute time limit each, she recalls.
Weinstein’s spokesman says of the sketches: ‘it was just two people having fun with no pretenses.’
‘Harvey did sign them and, on the drawing, wrote “not for reproduction or use”. That was the intent. He didn’t do it for compensation, he didn’t make any prerequisites,’ the spokesman added.
Barratt’s tag ANNA! (seen above) is ubiquitous across New York, though she says she is now giving up the life of illegal graffiti to focus on her work as a legitimate artist
Weinstein’s attorneys in a letter to DailyMail.com wrote: ‘Barratt begged our client to draw her, as she stated that he was her “idol” and “it would mean so much to her.”‘
The letter notes that Weinstein wrote the disclaimers ‘Not To Reproduce’ and ‘Not For Reproduction’ on the two sketches respectively.
‘Although the two Drawings were lawfully possessed by Ms. Barratt, they both explicitly include a disclaimer written on the each one. Our client explained to Ms. Barratt that “these are not for sale, or to be reproduced”,’ wrote Weinstein’s attorneys.
Barratt says that after the sketching session, she then pulled out of the proposed photo shoot, and had a falling out with Weinstein and the gallery owner friend.
In October 2019, the tale took another strange twist when someone forged a check on Weinstein’s account, listing Barratt as the recipient of the funds.
Barratt insists that the check fraud was perpetrated by gangster friends of hers who duped her into gaining access to her bank account. No criminal charges appear to have been filed in the case.
Former film producer Harvey Weinstein listens in court during a pre-trial hearing in Los Angeles after he was extradited from New York to California last year
Weinstein is currently being held at Correctional Facility Twin Towers (above) in Los Angeles
‘I cannot speak to allegations of gangsters and such,’ Weinstein’s spokesman Engelmayer told DailyMail.com. ‘We just may never know who it was. The bank caught the attempts and that was the end of it.’
Barratt is now offering an image of the forged check as an NFT for sale on the OpenSea auction site.
But as of now, the two topless sketches have been removed for sale by OpenSea, after Weinstein’s attorneys filed a complaint with the site on May 17.
OpenSea said in a statement: ‘Infringement of intellectual property rights is a violation of our Terms of Service.’
‘When we receive a [Digital Millennial Copyright Act] notice for an NFT, we act in compliance with the DMCA and remove the item, per our policy,’ the company added.
‘If we receive a counternotice, and the individual or entity who sent the initial notice does not file a lawsuit, the item or collection will be restored, as outlined by the DMCA.’
Barratt’s attorneys did file a counternotice with OpenSea on Tuesday, a copy of which was obtained by DailyMail.com.
‘Mr. Weinstein gifted the work in question to our client, and did so without reservation. Pursuant to the ‘first sale doctrine’ our client, Ms. Barratt has every legal right to sell the work in question, whether by NFT or other means,’ the counternotice argues.
Barratt told DailyMail.com that by auctioning off the sketches, she was ‘trying to make light of what is ultimately a s**tty situation.’
‘Harvey told me he would make me a star,’ she said. ‘He backed it up and I really believed him.’