Harvey Weinstein’s attorney accused prosecutors Thursday of creating a fictional “universe” that “strips women of common sense” and “autonomy” while wrapping her case in his rape trial.
Attorney Donna Rotunno made her closing argument after the defense rested earlier this week, telling jurors that prosecutors have told them “a story” about the disgraced producer because the facts aren’t on their side.
“The irony is that the ADAs [assistant district attorneys] in the case are the producer, and they are writing the script,” she said, The Wrap reports. “In their story, they’ve created a universe that strips women of common sense, autonomy. 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 invitations, the plane tickets they accept.”
Weinstein is facing sexual assault and rape charges, to which he has pleaded not guilty. The trial has centered around the accusations of two women, one of whom alleges he forcibly performed oral sex on her in 2006 and another who alleges he raped her in 2013. Six accusers testified as prosecutors sought to establish a pattern of criminal behavior. Weinstein’s attorneys argued the women had consensual encounters with him; he has denied all allegations of nonconsensual sex acts.
Rotunno, who was recently criticized for saying in an interview she hasn’t been sexually assaulted “because I would never put myself in that position,” asked the jury to use their “New York City common sense” and ignore the “gut feeling” they may have had coming into the trial while evaluating the evidence, per The Hollywood Reporter. She also told the jury they’re the “last line of defense in this country from the overzealous media, from the overzealous prosecutors.”
Prosecutor Joan Illuzzi will make her closing argument on Friday, and jury deliberations are set to begin next week. Brendan Morrow