UPDATE, video added In an appearance on ABC’s The View today, Miriam “Mimi” Haley, whose courtroom testimony of being sexually assaulted by Harvey Weinstein resulted in a conviction that could see the ex-producer in prison for 25 years, spoke out against the victim-blaming tactic of Weinstein’s defense team.
Without mentioning defense attorney Donna Rotunno by name, Haley told The View audience, “I don’t think we should be telling people, like Harvey Weinstein’s attorney did, ‘Don’t put yourself in that position.” She added that the message should be, “Don’t rape people.”
Throughout the trial, Rotunno and other defense attorneys portrayed Weinstein’s accusers, including Haley, as women used the producer for career advancement and failed to accept responsibility for the results. Rotunno said on a New York Times podcast that she had never been sexually assaulted because she had never put herself “in that position” or “any vulnerable circumstance.”
Watch video from The View interview above and below.
Weinstein was convicted yesterday in New York State Supreme Court on one count of a criminal sexual act in the first degree (stemming from Haley’s charge of Weinstein forcibly performing oral sex on her in 2006) and one count of third-degree rape in the case of Jessica Mann, who accused Weinstein of raping her in a Manhattan hotel room in 2013.
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Haley, who appeared on today’s live episode with her attorney Gloria Allred, told The View‘s Joy Behar that the court battle against Weinstein was “a really draining and frankly terrifying process.” She said she was “relieved” and “grateful” by the jury verdict.
Allred described Haley’s cross-examination by the defense as “brutal, intense and invasive,” adding, “but she stood in her truth, she was not intimidated, she did not allow herself to be bullied or shamed.“
“This is a new age,” Allred said of the conviction. “It’s the legal reckoning, and women refuse to be silent against injustices against them anymore.”
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Allred declined to speak for another client, actress Annabella Sciorra, whose testimony about being raped by Weinstein during the winter of 1993-1994 did not result in charges.
“I think there are jurors who did believe Annabella Sciorra it’s just that they felt it didn’t rise to the level of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt,” Allred said. The attorney added that she was “so proud” of Sciorra, whom she described as “an amazing witness…she just would refuse to be rattled.”
“She knows, I hope, that what she did was really important, no matter the result,” Allred said. The attorney said Weinstein will face charges in Los Angeles “very quickly” after his New York sentencing on March 11, including a sexual assault allegation made by another of her clients, Lauren Young, who testified in the New York trial.
“I think Mr. Weinstein is in a world of trouble,” Allred said, “and this is not going to end for a while.”
Earlier today, Haley and Allred appeared on CBS This Morning, with Haley saying she’d initially been unsure what decision to expect from the jury. “I’m just very relieved and grateful and happy,” she said, adding, “It feels like we’re making progress.”
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