Harvey Weinstein’s defence team told jurors, on February 13, that prosecutors created an “alternate universe” and projected the movie mogul as “monster” where women had no free will. Donna Rotunno, Weinstein’s lead Attorney, said that her client is an innocent man and relies on jurors to be not 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,” said Rotunno, in her closing arguments.
Weinstein’s lawyer asked jurors to use their “common sense” and weigh on facts and not get swayed by “the story they spun”. The prosecutors will make their final case against the disgraced film producer with their closing arguments on February 14.
Weinstein is accused of several sexual misconducts, assault, and rape and will face life in prison if gets convicted for the most serious charges. Former actress Jessica Mann alleged that Weinstein raped her in a Manhattan hotel room but the film producer denied all allegations and pleaded not guilty.
Rotunno grilled Mann’s friends with aggressive cross-examination to undermine her claims and tried to establish that all the relations of Weinstein were consensual. Tommy Lozano, a friend of primary accuser Jessica Mann, took the witness stand on Tuesday where he testified that the former actress looked “normal” on the morning after she was allegedly raped by Weinstein in a hotel room in March 2013. Lozano said that she didn’t appear to be in distress when they had breakfast with Weinstein and look like “her everyday self”.
The defence team had also called Mann’s former friend and actress Talita Maia to take the witness stand on February 10. Maia had testified that the 34-year-old former actress didn’t seem distressed on the day of the alleged rape and described the movie mogul as her “spiritual soulmate”.
Mann, during her testimony, had said that her claims should not be dismissed just because she had a complicated relationship with Weinstein. Mann testified that Weinstein forced her to perform sexual acts and raped her twice over the period of ‘abusive relationship’.
“I know the history of my relationship with him. I know it was complicated and difficult. But that doesn’t change the fact that he raped me,” said Mann.
(With AP inputs)
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