Harvey Weinstein's Closing Argument: 'Women Need to Take Responsibility for Their Actions'

Harvey Weinstein leaves court in April 2019

Harvey Weinstein leaves court in April 2019

The Miramax co-founder dangled roles in front of his accusers, she said, some of whom were trying to establish acting careers.

Illuzzi argued that Weinstein did not treat Mann like a mistress, and had never sent her gifts, bought her jewelry, or taken her on trips.

"The irony is that ADAs, in this case, are the producers and they are writing the script in this story", said Rotunno. Without mentioning #MeToo by name, she warned that if it went too far, men accused of sex crimes would be deprived of the fundamental right of the presumption of innocence while women would be stripped of "common sense, autonomy and responsibility". Rotunno dismissed that as an expedient excuse. He saw these women as "disposable" and never thought they'd come forward, she said.

"He was the target of a cause and a movement", Rotunno said, asking jurors to ignore "outside forces" and weigh the facts.

Closing arguments at the Harvey Weinstein rape trial are set to begin Thursday, with the jury hearing first from a Chicago lawyer who's taken #MeToo movement heat for representing the disgraced Hollywood mogul and making provocative mid-trial comments about his case outside of court.

Weinstein is charged with raping a woman in a Manhattan hotel room in 2013 and forcibly performing oral sex on a different woman, Mimi Haleyi, in 2006.

Weinstein, 67, did not testify. Assistant District Attorneys Joan Illuzzi and Meghan Hast had tried to gloss over deep flaws and glaring inconsistencies in their testimony, she said.

"I made The King's Speech", he said, as he shuffled out of court on Thursday with his zimmer frame.

The defense argued in closing arguments that the prosecution had woven "a sinister tale of a man who searched out his victims by putting them through a series of tests" but that story was not supported by evidence. Jurors are scheduled to begin deliberating February 18.

Rotunno's closing argument will come less than a week after she came under fire on social media for a podcast interview in which she blamed victims for getting sexually assaulted.

The rape accuser wrote to him after the alleged assault to accept party invitations, give him her new phone numbers and even express gratitude. One read: "I feel so fabulous and attractive, thank you for everything".

Another read: "Miss you, big guy". She said that several felt they were "tricked" into entering a hotel room or an apartment where Weinstein proceeded to assault them.

The charges stem from accusations by Haley, a former employee of Weinstein's production company who alleges he forcibly performed oral sex on her in 2006, and Mann, a former aspiring actress who testified that the producer raped her in a NY hotel room in 2013. His lawyer pointed to a message the next year in which Haleyi asked Weinstein how he was doing and signed off with "lots of love".

The first, whom the Guardian is not naming because of a lack of clarity over her desire to be identified, is the source of two rape counts against Weinstein, alleging he attacked her in a NY hotel in 2013 and then at a Beverly Hills hotel the following year.

"Historically, you are the last line of defence in this country from the overzealous media, from the overzealous prosecution", she said.

Ms Haleyi then testified that Mr Weinstein pulled her onto a bed and had sex with her.

As for the other four women who testified that Weinstein sexually assaulted them, Rotunno said their accounts were irrelevant and unpersuasive.

Using a TV monitor next to the jury box, the prosecutors displayed photos of "Sopranos" actress Annabella Sciorra and five other accusers who also testified. Fellow actress and friend Rosie Perez testified that a distraught Sciorra told her about the alleged attack soon after it happened.

"They are creating a universe in which they are stripping adult women of common sense, autonomy and responsibility", she said during a almost five-hour closing argument.

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