Prosecutor: Weinstein Viewed Victims As “disposable”

NEW YORK (AP) – Harvey Weinstein believed himself so powerful in Hollywood that he thought he could get away with denigrating would-be actresses he considered “completely disposable,” a prosecutor said Friday in presenting his closing arguments at trial. from the producer on rape charges in New York.

“The universe is run by me and they cannot complain when they are trampled on, spat on, demoralized and, yes, raped and abused by me, the king,” said Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzzi-Orbon, imitating Weinstein.

Using a television monitor next to the jury, prosecutors showed photos of the actress of “The Sopranos” (“The Sopranos”) Annabella Sciorra and five accusers who also testified. Illuzzi told the jury that outside of Sciorra who has had an outstanding career, the others were “completely disposable.”

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“These other women were never in their world,” Illuzzi said. “They were never going to be in their world. They were never going to be strong enough, bold or brave enough to say it. But someone would believe Annabella. ”

Illuzzi also showed a comparison of the testimony of Sciorra, who said he confronted Weinstein in the 1990s after he allegedly raped her, and a similar statement from another rape accuser about how the former magnate reacted when told he had a boyfriend in 2013

“His eyes went blank and I thought he was going to hit me right there,” Sciorra testified. With the click of a button, the rape accuser’s statement appeared: “His eyes changed, he was not there. They were blank and it tore me apart. ”

At times, Weinstein looked at a screen in front of the defense table that reflected what the seven men and five women who were part of the jury were watching during the three-hour hearing.

Illuzzi presented his closing arguments the next day that the defense offered an epic final statement in which he portrayed the prosecution’s case as “a sinister story” without the necessary evidence to condemn Weinstein.

Prosecutors created “an alternate universe” that “strips women of their common sense, autonomy, and responsibility … Repentance does not exist in this world, only repentance renamed rape,” said Weinstein attorney Donna Rotunno.

Illuzzi focused on Mimi Haleyi’s accusations Friday that Weinstein had oral sex by force in her apartment in Soho in 2006.

“When an adult goes to another adult’s house, should he expect that they will have sex?” Asked the prosecutor. “When going to Weinstein’s house, did he deserve what he received?”

He added: “There are no confusing limits here. This is a crime and an excessive disregard for other people. ”

Weinstein, 67, is accused of raping a woman in a hotel room in Manhattan in 2013 and of forcibly giving Haleyi oral sex in 2006. The Associated Press has a policy of not publishing the names of the people he says You have been a victim of sexual abuse without your consent. She is withholding the name of the rape accuser because it is not clear if she wishes to be publicly identified.

Other accusers, including Sciorra, testified as part of the prosecution’s effort to show how Weinstein used the same tactics to victimize women over the years.

In response to defense claims that Haleyi and the alleged rape victim were opportunists who had consensual sex with Weinstein because they thought this would help their careers, prosecutors seek to focus the jury’s attention on the accusers’ overwhelming accounts of alleged violations, abuses, flushing, masturbation, lascivious proposals and experiences of “casting couch”.

Some women stated that Weinstein ignored them when they said “no, no, no” while attacking them. The woman who accuses Weinstein of rape said the producer was violent when his will was not fulfilled: “The word‘ no ’was like a detonator for him.”

Another woman recalled that Weinstein told her, “You will never succeed in this business, this is how the industry works,” when she rejected his advances.

The prosecution’s task has been complicated because the women who accuse Weinstein of rape kept in touch with him after the alleged attacks. But Illuzzi said part of Weinstein’s way of acting was to keep in touch with them so that he could flag those encounters as evidence that nothing had happened, essentially “preparing for a time like this.”

For example, he said that in October 2017 Weinstein responded to an email from a publicist telling him that Sciorra was about to publicly denounce him in a report by Ronan Farrow, saying: “Annabella made ‘Cop Land’ ‘” , a movie produced by him. Sciorra said that when she auditioned she did not know that her study of him was involved.

In instructing his publicist on how to respond to the article, Weinstein wrote: “This was consensual or deny it.”

“I present this as a confession,” Illuzzi told the jury despite a defense objection that was denied.

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Michael Sisak is on Twitter as twitter.com/mikesisak. Tom Hays as twitter.com/aptomhays.

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