Harvey Weinstein’s Closing Argument: Women Need To Take Responsibility For ‘the Men They Flirt With’

Posted on Monday, March 16th, 2020 at 3:23 am    

In Harvey Weinstein’s trial, his defense attorney’s closing argument conveyed to the jurors that the prosecutors against him were acting like movie producers, with the story line focusing on a world where women had no choice. Weinstein’s lawyer argued that the prosecutors fabricated an elaborate, damaging story about a movie producer who was once very powerful man, as a way to get around the fact that they don’t have the evidence needed to prove the charges. Rotunno expressed to the jurors that Weinstein is an innocent man, and that this innocent man’s life depends on the jurors not being swayed by the prosecutions sinister tale. Rotunno urged the jury not to fall for this fictitious tale where women could not make their own choices.

Rotunno argued, “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,” of the messages they send. Rotunno is making her point by saying that the women are to blame for these heinous acts against them; it’s the women’s fault for being sexually assaulted and abused. These women had a “choice” as to whether they wanted to engage in sexual conduct with Mr. Weinstein, according to his defense attorney.

Rotunno further stated that the prosecutions fabricated story has resulted in the creation of a world that rids women of autonomy, common sense and responsibility. Weinstein’s defense attorney and co-counsel have illustrated the women as devious liars who were the masterminds behind their relationships with Mr. Weinstein. The team managed to reverse the narrative of the tycoon as a predator on its head. The defense barely touched on Weinstein’s character, apart from the fact that he was always willing to help his accusers when they came knocking.
There are numerous reasons as to why a survivor of sexual assault would stay in contact with their abuser. Often times, the survivors depend financially and/or emotionally on their abusers; they fear personal or professional retaliation, or; they blame themselves for the abuse. The previously stated reasons should not, however, allow any person to state that it is the women’s own fault for being a victim of sexual assault. Such a statement, as painted by Weinstein’s defense attorney, is a heinous, repugnant and immoral way to blame the victims. Rotunno went even further by arguing that one of the victims may have altered her story and memories of the alleged encounter with Weinstein in a “desperate attempt to gain attention and revive her acting career.”

In her closing arguments, Rotunno harped on the idea that memory is frail and thus, unreliable. She noted that Weinstein’s fate relies mainly on the testimony by the accusers of the accounts that allegedly transpired, which were sometimes incomplete or contradictory to what they had told investigators in the past. Rotunno asserted that the testimonies were driven by the interviews with investigators and media coverage, rather than the truth of what transpired.

Rotunno’s closing argument should be received by listeners and readers as nothing more than what it is; a sad, desperate and final attempt to cast doubt on the victim’s motive and intent for coming forward against Harvey Weinstein. Victims and survivors of sexual assault should persevere, and continue to fight for the justice they deserve. The first step a victim can take to achieve justice requires you to immediately consult and hire a knowledgeable, compassionate and dedicated attorney who knows how to aggressively protect your rights.

At Hach & Rose, LLP, we are committed to achieving that justice. We will work thoroughly and passionately to represent those who felt they could not protect themselves. If you or a loved one has suffered from any form of sexual assault, it is crucial to act now. Do not hesitate to contact the New York sexual abuse lawyers at Hach & Rose, LLP today at (212) 779-0057. Our compassionate, caring, and experienced attorneys will work diligently to uncover whether criminal charges, a civil lawsuit – or both – can be filed against the perpetrator or negligent third party who is responsible for the abuse and its damages to you.

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