Harvey Weinstein Defense Grills Accuser on Selfies, Social Media Posts After Alleged Rape: 'I Have to Act Like Normal'


Defense attorneys for Harvey Weinstein had their final say Friday in a Los Angeles criminal court, telling the jury that the eight women who testified were “fame and fortune seekers” who all have five words in common: “Take my word for it.”

Weinstein’s closing-statement duties fell to Alan Jackson, who has been taking over for lead defense attorney Mark Werksman in several key cross-examinations throughout the trial, now deep into its second month. Jackson has been the most animated and pugnacious of the two litigators, and he wasn’t holding back Thursday.

“Everything…is smoke and mirrors,” Jackson said. “Can you accept what they say as gospel? They were untruthful with you. They all told you lies.”

Prosecutors started their closing statements the day before, calling Weinstein a “degenerate rapist” and predator whose tactics were repeated over and over again across multiple witnesses. Deputy District Attorney Marlene Martinez wrapped up her closing statements from ella Thursday, spending some time focused on the testimony of Jennifer Siebel Newsom, wife of Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Martinez called back to Werksman’s opening statement, when the defense lead called Newsom a Hollywood “bimbo” looking to use Harvey to further her acting and filmmaking career.

“[The accusers] came to court and his attorney called them bimbos,” Martinez said, dramatically pointing at Werksman and Weinstein. “They knew his attorney would call them bimbos in open court… [Newsom] knew exactly what she was walking into, but came forward and told the truth. She had nothing to gain but to ensure that justice was sought.”

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Weinstein furiously scribbled some notes on his legal pad during this moment, and silently showed it to Werksman. But when Jackson was presenting the defense closing, Weinstein turned and looked directly at the jury, as he has been doing throughout the trial.

When it was Jackson’s turn, his first words were:

“’Take my word for it’ … five words that sum up the entirety of the prosecution’s case.”

Weinstein’s defense has maintained that the alleged assaults of Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 2 never happened, and that Jane Does 3 and 4 (Newsom) had “transactional” sex with Weinstein: “He benefited, she benefited,” Jackson said.

Now wound up into an animated passion, Jackson began working at the credibility of the witnesses themselves.

“If you decide a witness deliberately lied over something significant in this case you should consider not believing anything that witness says,” he said, emphasizing a standard criminal-defense mantra.

Closing arguments were to continue after the lunch break.

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Weinstein is already serving 23 years in a New York prison for criminal first-degree sexual assault and third-degree rape, a conviction he has been granted the right to appeal. He has maintained his innocence since the New York Times first published accusations against him five years ago.

Prosecutors originally brought 11 counts based on the accusations of eight women; however, Jane Doe 5 never materialized and without her testimony, four of the charges were dropped. Weinstein could still face up to 140 years in a California prison from the remaining five counts of sexual assault and two counts of rape.

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Reference-www.thewrap.com

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