Defense attorneys in the rape trial of Harvey Weinstein failed in their attempt to obtain a gag order against attorney and victims rights advocate Gloria Allred on Wednesday, prompting Allred to tell Deadline, “Harvey Weinstein is not going to silence me.”
Allred is not directly involved in this criminal trial, but has been in the courtroom every day. She represents accusers Miriam Haley, Annabella Sciorra and Lauren Marie Young outside this criminal case.
“Harvey Weinstein has obviously made efforts to silence some of my clients,” Allred told Deadline after the courtroom was cleared for a lunch break today. “He is not going to silence me.”
Defense attorney Damon Cheronis suggested earlier Wednesday that Allred is, in effect, a de facto spokeswoman for prosecutors, and that the judge’s previous admonition to the defense and prosecution against talking to the press should apply to Allred.
“Well, I wish I had that kind of authority,” responded New York Supreme Court Judge James Burke, dismissing the request before breaking for lunch. “See you at 2:15.”
In addition to being a front-row presence at the trial, Allred on Wednesday held a press conference outside the Lower Manhattan courthouse after the day’s proceedings. Cheronis said that Allred’s accusations of “victim shaming” by the defense is “an attempt to influence the jury.”
In the interview with Deadline, Allred didn’t disavow the “victim shaming” charge. “In my opinion that’s what they did,” she said about the defense’s cross-examination of her clients. “I am going to call it as I see it — that’s their problem, not mine.”
Yesterday, Burke ordered defense attorney Donna Rotunno to stop speaking to the press until after a verdict is reached. Rotunno had recently penned an op-ed column for Newsweek as a plea to jurors to “do what they know is right” and find Weinstein not guilty. Rotunno had previously recorded an interview with a New York Times podcast in which she said she had never been sexually assaulted because she never put herself “in the position.”
Cheronis, in making his plea for an Allred gag order (after the jury had left the room), conceded that while prosecutors haven’t “said anything” to the press, “they don’t have to” since Allred is, in essence, serving as the D.A.’s pipeline to reporters.
This isn’t the first swipe at Allred taken by defense lawyers. Earlier, Rotunno said the activist attorney sees “a pot of gold” at the end of this trial.
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