Weinstein’s Defense Tells Jurors To Use ‘Common Sense’ In Closing Arguments

WCBS 880 Newsroom
February 13, 2020 - 10:07 am
Harvey Weinstein

David Dee Delgado/Getty Images


NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — Harvey Weinstein’s defense team claimed the prosecution failed to meet the burden of proving rape charges against him beyond a reasonable doubt during closing arguments on Thursday.

Attorney Donna Rotunno asked the jury to use their “New York City common sense” to find Weinstein not guilty – adding that they should not give in to emotions and other “outside forces.”

As WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reported, she also accused the assistant district attorney in creating a universe that stripped women of autonomy and common sense.

“In their universe, women are not responsible” for their behavior when they engage with men, Rotunno said.

She said the prosecutors and witnesses’ “universe” does not hold woman accountable for “sitting at their computers and emailing someone across the country.”

Rotunno, who has taken heat from the #MeToo movement for her advocacy for the disgraced movie mogul, argued that prosecutors turned the trial into a movie script where Weinstein was the powerful villain who is so unattractive and large that no woman would want to sleep with him.

She finished by telling the jury: “You don’t have to like Mr. Weinstein. This is not a popularity contest.”

The 67-year-old former movie producer is charged with raping one woman in a Manhattan hotel room in 2013 and forcibly performing oral sex on another woman in 2006. Both accusers, Miriam "Mimi" Haleyi and Jessica Mann, testified during the trial.

Six other accusers also came forward with their stories to bolster the prosecution argument that Weinstein has a long, terrible history with women.

Weinstein, who did not testify, has maintained any sexual encounters were consensual.

The trial began last month and is expected to go to the jury next Tuesday.

(© 2020 WCBS 880. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)