- During her closing statement in Harvey Weinstein’s rape trial, his lawyer Donna Rotunno argued that his alleged victims didn’t take enough responsibility for themselves.
- “In their universe, women are not responsible for the parties they attend, the men they flirt with, the hotel room invitations, the plane tickets they expect, the jobs they hope to obtain,” she told jurors.
- In an interview with Insider before the trial, Rotunno said her opposition to the #MeToo movement is part of her feminist philosophy.
- Jurors will hear the prosecution’s closing statements Friday before receiving deliberation instructions next week from the judge.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Donna Rotunno, the lead defence attorney in Harvey Weinstein’s rape trial, made a promise in her opening statements: That the jury would not hear any “victim-shaming.”
In her closing statements Thursday, however, Rotunno argued that women should be responsible for themselves. She said that his alleged victims, Jessica Mann and Miriam Haley.
“In their universe, women are not responsible for the parties they attend, the men they flirt with, the hotel room invitations, the plane tickets they expect, the jobs they hope to obtain,”Rotunno told jurors, according to Variety. “In this universe, they aren’t even responsible for sitting at their computers and emailing someone across the country.”
The jury has heard from six women about the alleged assaults Weinstein, 67, committed against them. The former Hollywood producer faces five criminal charges for alleged crimes against two of the women, including rape and predatory sexual assault, and could spend the rest of his life in prison if convicted.
“When you came to [court], you might have had a gut feeling that Harvey Weinstein was guilty,” Rotunno said. “During deliberation, I’m going to ask you to use your New York City common sense … every time you feel your emotion taking over, remember that common sense, because it will guide you.”
Rotunno – who describes herself as “the ultimate feminist” – continued to assert that all of the women’s interactions with Weinstein were consensual.
“In this script, the powerful man is the villain and he is so unattractive and large that no woman would want to sleep with him,” she said.
Around 100 women have made sexual misconduct allegations against Weinstein, according to The Cut, including 13 accusations of rape and 16 other forms of sexual assault. The most recent incident allegedly occurred in 2017.
Before the trial began, Rotunno told Insider that she’s opposed to the #MeToo movement, sparked by the allegations against Weinstein, as part of her feminist views.
“Nobody wants to say, ‘If you want real equality, and you want things like #MeToo to not happen to you, you have to take on the risk of making different choices,'” Rotunno said.
The jury of five women and seven men will start deliberations after receiving instructions next week from Judge James Burke. Jurors will hear the prosecution’s closing statements Friday.
- Read more:
- The ‘ultimate feminist’ defending Harvey Weinstein
- Weinstein’s lawyer Donna Rotunno says she’s never been sexually assaulted because she wouldn’t ‘put herself in that position’
- How Harvey Weinstein became one of the most powerful figures in Democratic politics before his career was rocked by a sexual harassment scandal
- The state of #MeToo: Here’s where the movement stands at the start of Harvey Weinstein’s rape trial
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