Harvey Weinstein closing arguments start

  • Harvey Weinstein closing arguments start

Harvey Weinstein closing arguments start

"The pressure to win this case in this climate in this city is vast".

"I feel sorry for Jessica Mann".

Rotunno called the prosecution's narrative an "alternative universe". 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".

"What are we doing to women?" she asked.

The continued communication, coupled with some incomplete and inconsistent testimony from Weinstein's other accusers, could sway the jury toward an acquittal, legal experts say.

Rotunno, who spoke for more than four hours, systematically went through the allegations made by all six women in the case, refuting their claims.

Harvey Weinstein looked cheerful at the end of five hours of closing remarks in the NY supreme court, despite facing possible life imprisonment.

Harvey Weinstein, 67, has pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting former production assistant Mimi Haleyi in 2006 and raping Jessica Mann, a onetime aspiring actress, in 2013.

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.

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. The charges against him include rape and predatory sexual assault.

Rotunno said Sciorra had something to gain by coming forward 27 years later.

"She's the darling of the movement of the minute", Rotunno said.

Rotunno said Sciorra is now "relevant" again and the "darling of the movement".

Allred represents Haley and other women who came forward with allegations against Weinstein.

For this reason, Illuzzi said Weinstein "underestimated them".

The trial featured graphic descriptions about Weinstein's alleged attacks as well as of his "deformed" naked body.

Rotunno told The New York Times' The Daily podcast that she'd never been attacked "because I would never put myself in that position".

'The government will tell you emails don't matter, ' Rotunno said.

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

"How do you reconcile this behavior, because you can't", Rotunno said.

Illuzzi-Orbon suggested that Sciorra was a "major concern" of Weinstein's as she projected photos of Mann and Haleyi - along with "prior bad acts" witnesses Dawn Dunning, Tarale Wulff and Lauren Young - next to a photo of Sciorra.

"I know the history of my relationship with him".

Jurors also heard earlier in the trial from actress Annabella Sciorra, who testified that Mr Weinstein came to her apartment one winter night in 1993 or 1994 and raped her. "If she's telling you the truth, she's the victim of rape".

Some jurors could be seen taking notes at times throughout Rotunno's closing argument.

Since 2017, more than 80 women have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct. But Illuzzi said that part of his scheme was to keep in contact with them so he could point to those encounters as evidence nothing happened, essentially "preparing for a moment just like this".

The defense said that they were the only cases that mattered and if the jury didn't believe them they should acquit.

Mann was the only witness whom prosecutors did not question after defense lawyers finished their cross examination.

The prosecution's final argument was created to undercut the seeds of doubt painstakingly planted by Weinstein's attorneys over three weeks of testimony.

Friday's closing prosecution statement will be presented by Joan Illuzzi-Orbon, a lifelong NY prosecutor who cuts a strikingly low-key figure beside Rotunno.

Deliberations in the landmark #MeToo-era trial are scheduled to start next week.