January 6, 2020

"The defense’s grilling of the alleged victims is likely to create some of the most dramatic moments of the trial."

"Former prosecutors say that cross-examination will be long, painful for the women, and require deftness from [Harvey Weinstein's lawyer Donna] Rotunno, whose natural forcefulness could backfire. 'If your claim is that someone is lying then you’ve got to act like they’re lying,' said Daniel C. Richman, a Columbia law professor and former prosecutor...."

From "Weinstein Heads to Trial 2 Years After Claims Against Him Fueled #MeToo" (NYT). The trial begins today.

81 comments:

mccullough said...

Weinstein is an ugly guy.

If his accuser is attractive then he’s going to be found guilty. This isn’t the movies. He doesn’t get to have George Clooney play him.

Char Char Binks said...

Women shouldn't be allowed to testify in court. If a lawyer doesn't grill her, his case looks weak. If he does grill her, if he acts like she's lying, even if she is, he'll be seen as bullying her.

Lucid-Ideas said...

If his trial attorneys are good (and I'm sure they are), are prepared to hurt their reps post-trial, and decide to go all the way in being merciless in the cross with these pedowood floozies, they'll fold under the cross.

They'll forgo future American Bar Association event invites for a time, but it won't be forever. Predispostions as follows:

A) There was quid-pro-quo in all of these encounters.
B) You won't win them all. Harvey will get lewd/lascivious for the pee-plant thing and some others, but at least the serious rape charges will fail.
C) Proceed from the assumption that they're all lying, and work your way forward.
D) Use the voir communications info vigorously during the cross. Everything I've seen of that in the news paints the accusers in very very poor light.

traditionalguy said...

With his money and power, by this time Weinstein has already arranged to meet and screw all the female jurors. Money talks , Weinstein walks.

Birkel said...

The rehabilitation of James Comey is leveraged by quoting Richman.
Fuck that guy; he's an ass hole.

mockturtle said...

Women shouldn't be allowed to testify in court. If a lawyer doesn't grill her, his case looks weak. If he does grill her, if he acts like she's lying, even if she is, he'll be seen as bullying her.

Good point, Char Char. Cross-examination in these cases would look sexist, as when defense lawyers grilled rape victims on their sexual histories.

Mark said...

Any defense attorney that is competent is fully sensitive to the need to tread carefully with certain witnesses/complainants.

Give them some credit for not being idiots.

rehajm said...

Is Harvey's walker real or a stage prop?

narciso said...

cy vance helped cover him, re the most likely case, which the new York svu had to protect her against, there's a reason outside of Gervais, no ones jokes about Epstein,

traditionalguy said...


OK. After reading the lengthy article of Lawer Inside Gossip the trial must go on. The play's the thing.

Glad to see that with a name like Rotunno she is actually a very good looking lady. That will help with the male Jurors and the gay Jurors but hurt with the ugly female ones.

After the NCAA Championship game and the Super Bowl game there will be time enough to prognosticate the winner in this big game.

Sebastian said...

"A) There was quid-pro-quo in all of these encounters."

But, but, that was so unfair.

Question for feminists: why do we see the reverse quid pro quo so rarely -- women who build businesses or produce movies and then demand male quid for the quo of opportunity?

Lewis Wetzel said...

If you have men and women working together, often in workplaces with an unequal distribution of power, how do you stop them from sexually interacting & using sex as a bartering tool? I am not going into the right/wrong of it, but I want to know how you stop it. This seems to be the goal of the #metoo people.

Lucid-Ideas said...

@Sebastian

I can't seem to find the source, but Harvey was on record as saying (paraphrasing), "I'm not the best-looking guy in the world. When I was growing up women never paid any attention to me." I guess he said that as a kind of rhetorical justification for the 'quid-pro-quo' he didn't mention, yet implied.

narciso said...

his other attorney, jose baez, had trouble, with Weinstein, as he hadn't killed anyone like his previous client, cayley Anthony,

Fernandistein said...

They've semi-recently arrested over 100 people for wild-fire arson in Australia, most of them under 18.

Nonapod said...

I assume that Harvey Weinstein is alleging that all these encounters were consensual, quid pro quo situations? But is that prostitution?

Lewis Wetzel said...

If the casting couch is not used, how are actors/actresses chosen for a part? It's all subjective, right? There is no objective measure of "this actress is marginally better for the part." Why is it okay for a director or producer to arbitrarily choose to work with certain actors/actresses as long as they are not fucking them? Why is it wrong if they are fucking them? How about if they are married, or unmarried but cohabiting?
How many actresses have used sex to jump start their acting career? Why does "the producer asked for sex in exchange for an acting job" elicit sympathy while "I slept my way into the acting biz" elicits something like contempt?

Achilles said...

Harvey "hooked up" a lot of people together. A lot of men got in on the action.

I can't wait for some names to drop.

rcocean said...

Women are such poor little babies, they always need to be protected and nurtured because its all "So painful" for them. Why are they running for President and demanding to be Admirals and Generals?

rcocean said...

Wein-pig is ugly and guilty as hell. He was protected for years by a code of silence, and the thread of retaliation. We know now, he was using ex-Mossad agents to dig up dirt on his accusers. Yeah, he's a wonderful guy.

And the fact that the actresses were ambitious doesn't give him the right to commit sexual assault.

Lucid-Ideas said...

@rcocean

Agreed. Just remember - pig that he is - it's not sexual-assault if they say yes, keep saying yes, and thank him via txt message afterwards for the opportunity.

Not. Sexual. Assault.

Prostitution? Maybe. Lewd? Definitely. But not sexual assault.

rcocean said...

I wonder how many other Weinn-pigs are out there in the Media/Entertainment "Industry"? Who knew there was all these freaks out there with locking doors, showers, and cute phrases like "Hey can i masturbate in front of you".

Oh well, I blame society. It forced them to do it.

rcocean said...

Some of them did NOT say "Yes" - in fact one went to the police and it went nowhere.

narciso said...

yes, that was a case I was referring to, brett rattner, supposedly luc besson, brian singer, just a few that come to mind, that victor silva fellow that McGowan cheerfully went to work for,

rcocean said...

BTW, what crime is it, when you say to someone, "Hey, want a part in my movie, lets go to my place and have a "Shower"? I suppose there isn't one. OTOH, whipping out your dick and masturbating in front of someone *is* a crime. So is grabbing, touching, and/or kissing someone without their consent.

Who cares if its not Rape. I guess if you love Wein-pig, that's your defense. "Hey, he didn't rape anyone". Well, all-righty.

traditionalguy said...

As for the walker,if you screwed as many 20 year olds as Harvey did, you would have a bad back too.

Shouting Thomas said...

I'm interesting in learning about the evidence, if it exists, and it there is anything concrete.

The world of the arts is a pig sty. I've been in it my entire life, in the popular music biz. I insulated myself against the worst of the shit by having real, valuable tech job skills, having a church musician gig, and by refusing all offers to take it on the road.

I'm dubious that the world of the arts can, or even should, be changed. Ruthless exploitation is what the popular music biz is built on. To the extent I've been involved in the world of video and film, that world doesn't look any better.

Being bad, fucking around and, in general, giving your middle finger to the work-a-day world is what attracts most of the hopefuls to the popular music biz. I am incredibly skeptical that this world, or the film world, can or should be changed. I doubt, in fact, that most of the people involved want it to change.

Greg Hlatky said...

Every softball interview with an actress should start with, "Who did you have to sleep with to get this role?"

narciso said...

wait Daniel richman, one of the conduits of the comey memos is commenting here,

Lewis Wetzel said...

Blogger Greg Hlatky said...

Every softball interview with an actress should start with, "Who did you have to sleep with to get this role?"

for most of European history, to some extent through today, "actress" was a synonym for "prostitute."

Bob Smith said...

“A wiggle in the walk, and a giggle in the Talk makes the world go round, round, round”

RIP Big Bopper

Big Mike said...

As far as some of the accusers, well, as they say here in the South, she ought to just strap a mattress on her back and skip the pleasantries.

Didn't some Columbia co-ed actually do that?

Lewis Wetzel said...

In _Warbirds:Diary of an Unknown Aviator_ (1926) the anonymous narrator gives an overview of the sex lives of US servicemen in Britain during WWI.
Enlisted men used prostitutes. Those who could afford it kept prostitute "girlfriends." Officers used "actresses" or kept "actress" girlfriends. The author describes the fist fight that broke out when one drunken officer had the nerve to show up at a party escorted by an ordinary prostitute.
The goal of the officers was to have an English girlfriend who was middle class or higher, but these were hard to find since their families would forbid usually forbid the match.
It is interesting that modern historical fiction (or Medieval fantasies) depict a class of strong, independent young women. There was no such thing. Until sometime around WWI, a young woman who had no identifiable male protector (a husband or family member) was assumed to make her living with her sex, whether she wanted to or not.

Skookum John said...

The world of the arts is a pig sty.

I can't count the number of well-meaning people (mostly women) who cooed over my gorgeous young daughter and told me she ought to be a model or movie star, and were taken aback when I replied that it would only be over my dead body that she would ever set foot in the sewer of entertainment and fashion.

Bay Area Guy said...

Attorney (A): Sir, I understand that you were once President of Miramax Films in Hollywood, is that true?

Weinstein (HW): Yes.

A: And, as President, I bet you had a real nice office, true?

HW: Er, yes.

A: You had nice furnishings?

HW: Umm, Yes

A: You had a mahogany desk?

HW: Yes.

A: You had framed pictures of all sorts of Hollywood starlets on your walls?

HW: Yes.

A: Mr. Weinstein, did you or did you not have a large potted ficus plant in your office?

HW: (nervous, starting to sweat) Well, um, ... I had a potted plant in the corner, and the staff would water it.

A: It was a FICUS plant, wasn't it?

HW: (twitching, reaches for glass of water) Umm, I'm not sure what type of plant it was, just a tasteful, well manicured potted plant.

A: Sir, we have a expert botanist from University of Southern California who analyzed genetic samples of the plant and will testify that it was a FICUS plant -- do you have any basis to dispute those findings?

HW: No.

A: Okay, now, Mr. Weinstein, so when you were President of Miramax Film in Hollwood, in your nice offices, with your nice mahogany desk, with framed photographs of Selma Hayek, and Gwynneth Paltrow, and Rose MacGowan on your walls, did you ever walk over to your FICUS plant, drop trou, expose yourself and then self-stimulate your fat member into the innocent FICUS plant, without permission?

Defense Counsel: OBJECTION! The witness has rights! Don't answer that question under the 5th and 6th Amendments!

Lucid-Ideas said...

I was just thinking about how tectonic a Weinstein 'not guilty' verdict on the heavy rape and sexual assault charges would be. Even if he got nailed on lesser charges but skated on the heavy stuff it would still be tectonic and catastrophic for the #shetoons. Right up there with Zimmerman and Officer Darren Wilson trials in recent memory.

Which is exactly why I'm thinking they've got to nail him hard first go and avoid a hung jury or worse. Anything less than that causes a cascade failure in the 'women never lie' narrative.

traditionalguy said...

Wait a minute Bay Area Guy. Was it a Ficus Tree or Woman Eating Tree from Little Shop of Horrors fame. Botanists want to know.

William said...

I don't see how Weinstein can possibly be found innocent, but all the people who enabled him and covered for him will probably skate. Cyrus Vance didn't even have an opponent in the primary. There is no outcome to this trial that will not increase my cynicism about everyone involved with Weinstein and his various enterprises, sexual or otherwise.

readering said...

Where I come to read how women are sluts.

Lewis Wetzel said...

readering apparently does not believe that there is a subset of women who are willing to sleep their way to success, and that this subset is over-represented in the acting profession.

Otto said...

readering - what is your definition of a slut?

Gahrie said...

Where I come to read how women are sluts.

At least they're not splooge stooges.

narayanan said...

mccullough said...

Weinstein is an ugly guy.

If his accuser is attractive then he’s going to be found guilty.
___________+++++++++++
now Take a look at his lawyer - cat fight

Rotunno has made such work enough of a specialty that, in the wake of #MeToo, Chicago magazine put her on its cover as “the anti-Gloria Allred.”

https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2020/01/harvey-weinstein-rape-trial-lawyers

BUMBLE BEE said...

Perhaps The Rolling Stones "Star Star" would help unworldly readering acclimate. Perhaps this documentary would suffice https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BjzzYE5PGXs.

Leland said...

What if you believe they are lying because they are actors acting like they are telling the truth; do you still act that they are lying?

I wonder how many videos the Defense can show of the accusers ability to cry on demand by a director?

I ask the question based on the comments by the Columbia law professor. I have no interest in defending Weinstein. However, I do think it reasonable to think someone is lying and then to behave accordingly when dealing with a liar. I also think some of the accusers were originally fine with the quid-pro-quo that was negotiated.

Big Mike said...

@readering, I’m sure that there were virtuous, not slutty women who turned Weinstein down cold. You don’t know who they are because they never got the part despite their looks and acting talent, so eventually they went back home and sometimes act in local dinner theaters and maybe not even that. It’s called the casting couch. It would be great if women got opportunities based on their talent, but Hollywood has never worked that way.

As long as there are women willing to trade a naked, sweaty half hour on a couch (a couch that would rival Pollock’s best work if you ever turned a black light on it) in exchange for something valuable — a promotion at work, a part in a movie, support for tenure, political advancement, whatever — there will be sleazy men willing to take advantage. Feminists gnash their teeth about the sleazy men, but the paradigm could equally be broken if feminists squared around the women. Of course that might take some real work, so it will not happen.

narayanan said...

if their orgasms were faked is that fraud in the quid pro quo

Le Stain du Poop said...

What do they call a girl who sells her body for sex? A prostitute. What do they call that same "girl" when she comes around 20 years later trying to get paid again for that same sex act? A "victim." $Metoo.

Shouting Thomas said...

Believe me, readering, the whoring is required for men in the acting biz, too.

In fact, it’s even worse.

Todd said...

Bay Area Guy said...

A: Okay, now, Mr. Weinstein, so when you were President of Miramax Film in Hollwood, in your nice offices, with your nice mahogany desk, with framed photographs of Selma Hayek, and Gwynneth Paltrow, and Rose MacGowan on your walls, did you ever walk over to your FICUS plant, drop trou, expose yourself and then self-stimulate your fat member into the innocent FICUS plant, without permission?

1/6/20, 11:36 AM


Assumes facts NOT in evidence! The FICUS was of age and able to consent AND not under the undo influence of Miracle Grow! How, pray tell do you KNOW it in fact did NOT consent? I rest my case!

Mark said...

I don't see how Weinstein can possibly be found innocent

William Kennedy Smith.

Otto said...

Can a slut be raped?

Darrell said...

Hey, he didn't rape anyone

But he did. Nine of the 87 women who came forward said it was PiV rape. About a dozen claim forced oral sex--on them or being forced to do him with facial slaps and grabbing their heads, etc. And more than a few with him forcing them to the bed, ripping their clothes, and ejaculating on them--either as a result of the struggle or intentionally. Media and Hollywood shills emphasize the "quirky" stuff like exhibitionism and masturbation at a distance. "Normies" like to dismiss stuff like that as almost-no-harm-no-foul. There is more to the Louis C.K. allegations, too.

Darrell said...

Of course, Weinstein isn't on trial for most of those, and will never be.

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
n.n said...

Were any feminine females, trans/homo or bi females, trans/neo-males exonerated?

Superior exploitation. #MeToo before it was politically congruent.

Darrell said...

BTW, Weinstein's M.O. was to ghost the women after the incidents. Parts were withdrawn, scripts were canceled, negotiations stopped, deals broken. Often, different production companies walked away from negotiations in progress, too. Lawyers suddenly appeared--some claiming to represent other victim, asking all sorts of question and looking for a complete life story. Some women claim they later found out that these "lawyers" actually worked for Weinstein.

Lucid-Ideas said...

@Leland

I would like to second that. I am also not defending Weinstein and never would. I'm also willing to extrapolate that some - maybe a lot of what he did - wasn't consensual.

It's academic. If we're to assume that such things can exist how in the modern era do we A) account for the length of time till such things come to light, B) the nature of the environment in which they take place, and C) the blatant understanding that the accused is allowed due process in the face of what could very well be baseless accusations under the umbrella of quid-pro-quo sexual contact negotiated at a time in the far distant past.

These are worthwhile considerations for a defending attorney to mull over if they're not trying to give their client short-shrift. Weinstein is a pig who's days - guilty or not guilty - are over. But saying one's a victim and the other a perp is a humongous stretch in all these cases.

Spiros said...

One hundred years ago, acting was associated as a place where prostitution occurred. Prostitutes AND actresses were both seen as "fallen women" in need of rescue. Are these attitudes still with us? Many people (men especially) though Mr. Weinstein was a loathsome pimp in need of thrashing. Weinstein threatened and intimidated his victims and his attitude was one of ownership. But this doesn't feel like the right way to approach his behavior...

Darrell said...

The point is that quid-pro-quo only applies (perhaps) in the stories that HAVEN'T come forward, HAVEN'T been heard. The 87 women got screwed figuratively and literally. Most tried to move forward and salvage their careers somewhere else, if they weren't completely blackballed.

Howard said...

Thank You Darrell.

Leland said...

I'm also willing to extrapolate that some - maybe a lot of what he did - wasn't consensual. #MeToo (err) Me too.


As long as there are women willing to trade a naked, sweaty half hour on a couch

Apparently even the FBI and members of Congress have such a couch. The White House used to as well. But only consensual quid-pro-quo's occur on those couches. Alas, poor readering doesn't seem to think women can decide to trade sex for favors, or if they do, people shouldn't talk about it. People like Weinstein thrive when surrounded by readerings.

Crazy Jane said...

Any work that has more applicants than openings is rife for abuse. Guys who want to get into sports management get stuck washing athletes' uniforms and jock straps and doing personal errands for coaches, sometimes for years after college, and still don't make it to the C-suite. Ad agencies still have mailrooms full of minimum-wage wannabes.

Weinstein's a grade-A creep, but the bigger problem is perhaps his environment -- people who said nothing, ignored his behavior for years and then pretended to be shocked when Ronan Farrow finally managed to publish something.

I'm mildly sympathetic to the women who complain and then settle for money and NDAs, and I think I understand those who view sex with a slug as a transactional tradeoff on the way to a career. But still; people of character do not believe that getting something you want justifies any low means.

I got blackballed once for a job I very well deserved by a married colleague whose come-ons I had ignored/avoided/pretended not to notice. I look forward to telling him what I think of him -- using my outside voice -- the next time our paths cross, preferably at a large social gathering. But I also know that I have a better life than he does, and it's just possible I deserve it.

readering said...

"People like Weinstein thrive when surrounded by readerings."

Now THAT'S a weird take.

Gahrie said...

I don't see how Weinstein can possibly be found innocent

William Kennedy Smith.

O.J. Simpson

Gahrie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Otto said...

Let's say a women has consensual sex with a man x times. She refuses at X+1 but is forced to have sex. For x<N it is considered rape. What is N? Is N bounded?

readering said...

Isn't that the marital rape situation?

readering said...

Which first Mrs Trump accused Mr Trump of under oath before disavowing . . . .

Lewis Wetzel said...

Woman are not allowed to retract rape allegations, sayeth misogynist readering . . .

readering said...

Commenters are not supposed to gratuitously insult one another sayeth blogger Althouse.

Jupiter said...

No, Otto. N is not bounded.

Glad that was so simple to straighten out.

The Vault Dweller said...

Meh, I think people are overwrought about seeming like a meanie in front of the jury. Assuming the jury excludes anyone who themselves or someone close to them has been a victim of sexual assault they will be open to the idea that sometimes people lie. And that a woman claiming sexual assault isn't a unique situation where no woman would ever lie. This advice reads more like what the advice giver wants to be the cultural norm for society where everyone is very gentle and careful with any woman who claims sexual assault.

Birkel said...

So readering is mad that some women slept their ways to successes.
readering must be ugly AF.

One assumes when readering isn't telling women what they can and cannot do, she is telling men what to do.
What a catty bitch, eh?

Personally, I hope Weinstein is the first of many steps toward destroying Hollywood.
Let's make those shitty people live up to their own rules.
All the men who take advantage of men, women, boys, and girls for their own sexual gratification should be in jail.
Corey Haim and Corey Feldman and Lindsey Lohan and Brittney Spears deserve better.
All those Disney kids deserve better, too.

The children who are abused within Hollywood need the law to be stronger.
They deserve protection.

Birkel said...

And Richman is a leaking fuck.
He should be drummed out of society.
Fuck him.

Marc said...

Weinstein didn't kill himself.

Perhaps some extra-judicial event will resolve this nasty business.

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readering said...

"readering must be ugly as fuck"


Ok. Much stranger take.

Birkel said...

Truth is stranger than fiction.

Nichevo said...


readering said...
"readering must be ugly as fuck"


Ok. Much stranger take.


Quite right...readering is only ugly on the inside.