Harvey Weinstein defense attorney Donna Rotunno told CNN host Michael Smerconish on Friday that jurors in his upcoming rape trial “don’t have to like everything he’s ever done in his life to find that he’s not a rapist.”
Weinstein faces trial next week on several sex-crime charges. Weinstein has pleaded not guilty to all charges, maintaining any sexual encounters were consensual. The trial is certain to be an all-out media circus, given Weinstein’s status as the initial #MeToo figure, with dozens of accusations against him by actresses including Ashley Judd, Rose McGowan and Annabella Sciorra.
Rotunno again said to Smerconish that the defense will argue that any sex Weinstein engaged in was consensual. “We have a wealth of evidence in our arsenal to be able to say these cases don’t rise to the level of rape.”
She also attacked one potential prominent witness against Weinstein.
“You know, Annabella Sciorra is an actress and she has spent an entire life acting for a living and I anticipate that she will be an excellent witness on the stand. I’m sure that she will be prepared to answer my questions, she will be ready for what I’m going to ask her, and again, I think the circumstances and the facts and the evidence in the case will show to the jury that she — her statements don’t rise to the level of what the prosecutor is asking the jury to convict Mr. Weinstein on.”
Rotunno said it’s possible Weinstein may take the stand, “depending on how the case plays out.” She said Weinstein admitted he has made bad choices, including cheating on his wife and how he treated people in business.
Weinstein is out on $5 million cash bail. He has surrendered his passport and must notify the D.A.’s office anytime he wants to travel outside of New York or Connecticut.
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