The ultimate feminist

Ed Pilkington on Weinstein’s aggressive lawyer from earlier this month:

Last week, Rotunno reduced one of the two main accusers in the trial, who alleges she was raped by Weinstein in a New York hotel in 2013, to uncontrollable sobbing during a total of nine hours of relentless grilling over two days. On the first of those days, the presiding judge had to halt proceedings after the witness suffered a panic attack.

Rotunno had been firing questions at her like bullets, ending each query with a shotgun “Correct?” “You were manipulating Mr Weinstein so you’d get invited to fancy parties, correct?” “You wanted to benefit from the power, correct?” “You wanted to use his power, correct?”

The lawyer self-identifies as the “ultimate feminist”, but again you wouldn’t know that from her courtroom posture. She has deployed all the old shibboleths that have been used over decades to discredit sex crimes accusers.

The witness was after the money, she was a serial liar, she may not have wanted sex with Weinstein but she did it anyway to get on in the film business – all those arguments and insinuations have been used by Rotunno and her henchmen.

Most extraordinarily, she has turned the very core of #MeToo – the notion that powerful men wield and abuse their power to force sex on women – on its head, suggesting to the jury that it was the six accusers who were the ones doing the manipulating and that the victim here was Weinstein.

And somehow the New York police and prosecutors were unable to ferret that out, and for some strange reason they believed the victims instead.

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