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Harvey Weinstein’s Defense Lawyer Says Accusers Had a Choice in Sexual Encounters
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Harvey Weinstein’s defense wrapped up its case Thursday, with a closing argument: “Women need to take responsibility for ‘the men they flirt with.

Weinstein’s lead defense attorney Donna Rotunno told jurors that prosecutors of the rape case against the former Hollywood powerhouse were acting like moviemakers, creating an “alternative universe where women had no free willthe Associated Press reported.

“The irony is that they are the producers and they are writing the script,” Rotunno said.

  
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Rotunno accused the prosecutors of creating a damning story about the once-powerful movie producer because they lack evidence to prove the charges.

In the alternative universe that prosecutors have created for you, Harvey Weinstein is a monster,”  Rotunno told the 12 member jury. But, she said, “he’s an innocent man relying on jurors not to be swayed by a sinister tale.” 

In their universe, women are not responsible for the parties they attend, the men they flirt with, the choices they make to further their own careers, the hotel room invitations, the plane tickets they accept, the jobs they ask for help to obtain, or the messages they send” Rotunno argued.

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Rotunno spoke for nearly five hours in front of the jury, systematically going through the allegations made by six women in the case.  

The defense disproved witnesses’ claims and questioned certain testimonies by reading aloud emails that were sent to Weinstein.



One of the rape accusers wrote to Weinstein after the alleged assault to give him her new phone number, accept party invitations, and even express gratitude.

One message read: “I feel so fabulous and beautiful, thank you for everything.”

Another read: “Miss you, big guy.”

Not words you say to your rapist,” Rotunno told jurors Thursday, portraying the accuser as a manipulator who met Weinstein as an aspiring actress, “was going to do anything she needed to do to have the career she wanted to have” and wasn’t forced to have sexual encounters with him.

Witnesses said in the testimony they were seeking a professional relationship with the producer of Oscar-winning movies such as “Shakespeare in Love,” and “Pulp Fiction.” Rotunno, however, dismissed these claims as an expedient excuse, saying “If they label it what it was, we wouldn’t be here.”

Weinstein’s defense even portrayed the condemned producer “as the target of a cause and a movement,” in front of the jury of seven men and five women, in a case seen as a watershed for the #MeToo movement against sexual misconduct.

Weinstein, 67 is charged with “rape, criminal sex act, sex abuse and sexual misconduct for incidents involving two separate women”

The fallen producer did not take the stand. He said he “loved” Rotunno’s closing remarks as he left court Thursday.

“I made ‘The King’s Speech.’ It was the Queen’s speech,” Weinstein remarked.



 

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