Closing Argument: Weinstein Considered Victims ‘Disposable’
Written by Ricardo Waddell Lewis on 14/02/2020
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Harvey Weinstein considered himself such a Hollywood big shot that he thought he could get away with treating aspiring actresses like “complete disposables,” Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzzi-Orbon told a jury in closing arguments Friday at his New York City rape trial. On a TV monitor next to the jury box, prosecutors displayed photos of Sopranos actress Annabella Sciorra and five other accusers who testified. Illuzzi told jurors that aside from the more successful Sciorra, the others were “complete disposables. They were never going to be in his world.” Illuzzi showed a side-by-side comparison of Sciorra’s testimony about confronting Weinstein in the mid-1990s after he allegedly raped her, and similar testimony by his rape accuser about the mogul’s reaction when she told him she had a boyfriend in 2013. “His eyes went black and I thought he was going to hit me right there,” Sciorra testified. With the click of a button, the rape accuser’s testimony popped up: “His eyes changed and he was not there. They were very black and he ripped me up.”
After sitting through the three-hour summation, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. shot reporters a thumbs-up. Weinstein’s lawyers said the film producer was confident. “The evidence is all on our side,” Donna Rotunno said. The day before, Rotunno had offered an epic, hourslong closing argument for the defense, painting the prosecution case as a “sinister tale” absent proof. Prosecutors created an “alternate universe” that “strips adult women of common sense, autonomy and responsibility,” Rotunno argued. “Regret does not exist in this world, only regret renamed as rape,” she said. Illuzzi pushed back Friday. “There are no blurred lines here,” she said. “This is a crime and a wanton disregard of other people.” Deliberations begin Tuesday.
(Read more Harvey Weinstein stories.)