Gross Weinstein Attorney Says Victim Will Be 'Excellent Witness' Because She's An Actress
Tomorrow will begin the criminal trial of Harvey Weinstein, the disgraced Hollywood movie mogul accused by at least 80 women of sexual assault or harassment.
As you might imagine, the woman who will be leading his team of lawyers is a real piece of work. Donna Rotunno claims that not only are the victims in this particular trial lying, but so is literally every other woman who has accused Weinstein of anything other than cheating on his wife. Apparently, unbeknownst to them, everything was all very consensual. After all, he paid out $25 million to his victims who were unable to bring criminal charges against him in civil court, and is that something a guilty man would do?
These are the three victims bringing criminal charges against Weinstein: a woman who is staying anonymous and claims Weinstein raped her in 2013, Mimi Haleyi, a former personal assistant who claims Weinstein forcibly performed oral sex on her in 2006, and Annabella Sciorra, who played Gloria Trillo on "The Sopranos." Sciorra claims that Weinstein violently raped her in 1993 while the two were working together on the film "The Night We Never Met."
In an appearance on CNN yesterday, Rotunno stated that she doesn't think the testimony of Weinstein's accusers, nor the prior bad acts witnesses, will present a compelling case to the jury.
She then, in a rather obvious dig, told host Michael Smerconish that she believes Sciorra will be an "excellent witness" on account of how she is an actress.
Via Law and Crime:
"You know, Annabella Sciorra is an actress and she has spent an entire life acting for a living and I anticipate that she will be an excellent witness on the stand," Rotunno said. "I'm sure that she will be prepared to answer my questions, she will be ready for what I'm going to ask her, and again, I think the circumstances and the facts and the evidence in the case will show to the jury that she — her statements don't rise to the level of what the prosecutor is asking the jury to convict Mr. Weinstein on."
It's not hard to see what Rotunno is doing there. When she says that Sciorra is an actress, she's not really saying that she is just wonderfully well-spoken. She's insinuating that she's going to get up there and lie.
Rotunno was also asked if she was going to be playing the "I don't like this guy either, but you have to find him innocent in this particular case" gambit in court, but she insisted that she actually does like him and gets along with him rather well. Given that she has spent much of her law career in Chicago defending men on sexual assault charges, it appears that this is just the company she is used to.
She's also been very vocal about how she is opposed to the whole #MeToo movement and appears to think that women should be totally cool with being raped if they made what she considers to be a poor decision.
Ms. Rotunno, a former Cook County prosecutor who specializes in representing men accused of sex crimes, said in an interview that the #MeToo movement has done a disservice to women. "I'm not a woman who has ever subscribed to it," she said. "I believe women are responsible for the choices that they make."
She said that by representing Mr. Weinstein, she hoped to encourage women to take responsibility for their actions, "and say to women, 'Maybe don't go to the hotel room, maybe we are having a different conversation.'"
She wants women to be responsible for the choices they make, but also appears to believe that men cannot be held accountable for the choices they make? Because I'm pretty sure that raping a woman in a hotel room would also be a choice. A woman can be alone with a man, drunk, dressed like Kelly Bundy, even passed out — if that man isn't a rapist, he's not going to rape her. Duh. Once again, it appears that I, the man-hating feminist, have a higher opinion of men than does the #MeToo hating rapist defender.
This mindset is why they say you don't ever want women on your jury in a rape trial. Unfortunately, there are a lot of women out there who need to believe that women who are sexually assaulted bring it upon themselves somehow, because it allows them to believe that as long as they follow the rules, it can't happen to them.
The first hearing in the criminal trial will take place tomorrow, with jury selection on Tuesday. We'll keep you posted.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. In addition to her work at Wonkette, she also has a biweekly column at Dame. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse