She’s Harvey Weinstein’s Lawyer, and She Thinks #MeToo Is ‘Dangerous’

“We can’t have movements that strip us of our fundamental rights,” said Donna Rotunno, who has faced criticism from feminists.

Comments: 272

  1. It will be an epic battle between these two legal heavyweights. But the only thing that really matters is that in the end Justice is served.

  2. Whatever her motivations, she’s correct. We either ascribe to the principle that accused deserve a fair trial, or we go down a very dark path. It’s not only possible but critical to oppose rape culture and defend due process.

  3. @Half Sour Due process is a right for those accused of crimes, but perhaps the slander and vilification of victims by the law profession should be a crime in itself.

  4. @Half Sour Some voices have been raised questioning the concept of 'rape culture'. I won't try to to argue the case here, but this is a trial about one man and his alleged crime. 'That has earned her the scorn of some women’s rights advocates, who have suggested she may be motivated as much by the recognition and future work the case will bring her as by her legal principles'. In other words, ambition, not a necessarily a big check. It is equally possible she is enjoying the fight without denying there are two sides, a tao, to everything.

  5. @Half Sour SHE'S the one fouling the jury pool with propaganda for her client, defaming victims who are going to testify. The Court ordered her to stop. Weinstein can't get off his cell phone despite several warnings and has been threatened with contempt. What was that about due process and respecting the judicial system?

  6. For a lawyer, she’s remarkably unintelligent. Mr Weinstein is allowed due process and will receive it in a court of law. The court of public opinion abides by no such due process restrictions, nor should it. Corporations, employment contracts, commercial interactions and personal interactions also have no necessity to operate under a due process or beyond a reasonable doubt standard, but a can formulate opinions as they see fit and can freely operate under the more likely than not standard. It’s a reach for her to claim that a jury of intelligence individuals cannot judge her client on the facts, while aware of the reporting of the case. In fact, a jury - which she gets a significant role in choosing - of individuals that take their civic duty seriously may even be more likely to separate themselves from any bias as a concern for any unconscious bias they might have.

  7. @Tex Murphy [a jury...of individuals that take their civic duty seriously may even be more likely to separate themselves from any bias as a concern for any unconscious bias they might have.] That's not the Brooklyn that I know.

  8. She's right. Due Process is critical. It cannot be compromised for any ideology. Period.

  9. Presumption of innocence is critical for justice to be served. As the trial proceeds and witnesses testify however, if she feels that he is indeed guilty it’s hard to see how she could in conscience continue to defend him and assert his innocence.

  10. @Bronx Jon Well, she would have to continue defending him as it's his legal right and her legal responsibility--she's being paid. But she would not have to attack MeToo or the prosecution. She seems to be someone who cleverly found a niche career which is also lucrative. The main requirement is a hard shell. Only she knows what her conscience is saying.

  11. There is a difference between the principle of getting a fair trial and actually doing so. The court of public opinion has always been manipulated to taint possible jurors by swaying their opinion. In this day with social media and 24 hour coverage it is almost impossible to find someone who has no opinion. It is definitely true the accusation is tantamount to conviction. The trial becomes secondary. Even after acquittal the accused is often guilty in the eyes of the the public and media. The outcome is not what we want so it is minimized. Mob rule takes precedent before, during and after the trial. Much of this has to do with dissatisfaction of the judicial process itself. Blind justice is rarely blind and unequal justice under the law is the primary culprit. We are suspicious of a fair trial and rightly so.

  12. #me too ushered in a cultural shift that was long overdue, and is ongoing. But the stakes are high and for that reason, we need to be deliberative, not reactionary. The very fact that we’re having a debate about whether one class of crimes that can result in incarceration ought to be prosecuted under a lesser burden of proof - or even reversing the presumption of innocence - is frightening. I don’t think that the advocates for easier prosecution recognize that the presumption of innocence is a check against the power of the state. It is not meant to protect predators, it’s meant to protect individuals against the awesome power of the government. We have gotten very comfortable with the idea that we are protected from arbitrary actions of the state precisely because of the presumption of innocence and the effort required to turn an accusation into a conviction. Not surprisingly, when it seems too easy to convict, people begin to doubt the credibility of victims and the motivations of prosecutors - we’re already seeing that. Where the evidence proves, beyond reasonable doubt, that a crime was committed, the conviction is credible (most of the time), the victim is believed, and most importantly, the public is more confident that justice has been served. You don’t mess lightly with this sort of stuff.

  13. @MWR What, exactly, is this "lesser" degree of proof?

  14. @amy Like, instead of "beyond a reasonable doubt" we'd accept "a preponderance of the evidence." Rest easy. That is not happening in criminal trials and has always been the case for civil matters.

  15. Kudos to Rotunno for being good at her job. Under innocent until proven guilty, as a defense lawyer, it is her duty to try out all angles and leave no stone unturned. That said, the commentary of some here, along with a general mood and attitudes apparent in the media and in some workplaces, points to a dangerous pendulum swing against #MeToo in an effort to restore the status quo. Any movement that challenges centuries of oppression will not be easily accommodated by the dominant oppressive society. I fear for the women who will testify. Like Professor Christine Blasey Ford, they will put their own selves on the line for a greater good and justice, yet they are likely to be further scarred and damaged for the rest of their lives by a dominant male-oriented culture of privilege that will defend itself to the very end. Rotunno is merely an actor in this theatre of cruelty.

  16. @Chicago Resident Not just an actor, but an opportunistic profiteer. The woman clearly lacks a moral compass. Some things are beyond the pale and this is one of them.

  17. So far we have not heard witnesses and the views they bring in accusation. On the other hand, most Americans are tired of 'bulldog' attorneys and the old fashioned bullying techniques that fixers and other now-discredited lawyers bring in an attempt to use obnoxious behavior to sway juries who are supposed to weigh the facts. Sure, this has been used for decades and has been the stereotype of a high priced, aggressive lawyer, but more than ever with the national news being full of such tactics (rather than facts and truth as sole factors) we are tiring of this and need judges in firm control of their courtroom, our courtroom. Another Judge Ito we do not need.

  18. Fifteen years ago, I had a young woman on my staff. She started off as a very good worker, but steadily went downhill. I had several private discussions with her about improving her job performance. And there wasn’t anything untoward in any of those talks. And then Human Resources called to say that she accused me of sexual harassment! I was really in shock. Flash forward. We eventually discharged her. And HR discovered that she had applied for a co-op loan and couldn’t take the chance of being unemployed. So in desperation, she accused me. So yes, of course, always believe the woman’s accusations.

  19. @david g this isn’t a single woman accusing hm. There seems to be a pattern of abuse. No means no.

  20. For every false accusation, there are 100 of us who are afraid to come forward.

  21. @David G And as with every story I've heard about false accusations, the truth came out. I do not mean to minimize in any way what you went through, as I imagine it is exceedingly stressful to be falsely accused of a serious misconduct. However, there was no permanent damage to your career or reputation and the liar was fired (accountability) and publicly discredited (denounced in the court of pubic opinion). You were free to file a civil suit against her if you saw fit. Most women's stories of faithful accusations do not end so happily. That is what metoo is about, not defending the immoral and criminal actions of a minority of women.

  22. Thank you, Ms. Rotunno, for having the courage to speak truth to what has become an extreme and powerful movement. While I agree that perpetrators must face the law I agree that not every man is a criminal and not every woman is a victim. Most cases are not black and white, most men are not perpetrators, inappropriate behavior is not the same as criminal behavior, women must take responsibility for their decisions and actions and - yes - there must be due process. Women can not be believed on the basis of their sex alone just like men can not be accused based on theirs.

  23. @Katherine Don’t forget that women have been disbelieved on the basis of their sex for a long, long time. Original sin and all that. Perhaps a hard correction of this is in order. And in fact, “inappropriate” behavior is often criminal behavior. Put your hands, mouth, etc. on my body purposely and without consent? Assault.

  24. @Katherine Except that over 80 women accusing the same dude is a little bit uh, grounds for being accused? And which decisions, exactly, do raped and assaulted women have to "take responsibility for"?

  25. @Katherine if the message you’re taking away from metoo is that “every man is a criminal and every woman a victim” perhaps, may I gently suggest, the problem is not the movement - it’s you.

  26. Law enforcement has a bad track record when it comes to protecting women victims of sex crimes, think the nationwide epidemic of untested rape kits in the tens of thousands for one. Short statute of limitations for sex crimes is another egregious way of keeping abusers free to abuse decade after decade. Think Epstein. Consider the legal profession’s rampant use of NDAs to shield men from the consequences of their appalling actions. There is little fair in this system and I see the deck stacked against the victims every time, which is why Rotunno’s whining that Weinstein’s reputation is being shredded without “due process” seems so wrong. He’s getting his day in court backed by high-priced lawyers, something many victims will never experience. That, to me, is what’s truly unfair

  27. I welcome this sort of voice in our discussion on the #metoo movement. There has been an overcorrection in the rhetoric since #metoo, we all know it, and it needs to be re-balanced to be fair to both men and women. Also, rape is a very serious crime and a victim’s statement must leave no shadow of doubt about consent, especially in the absence of evidence.

  28. It is mockery to question the ethics of the defendant for hiring a skilled woman as his attorney in a sex crimes case and not to question the ethics of the prosecutor’s office for assigning a woman to prosecute him. Maybe gender is irrelevant. The law and the facts are relevant. Granted, this news story is engaging.

  29. Males and females are very much the same. The false narrative that females are morally better due to some genetic trait is false yet as a society we continue to expect “better”. True equality will happen when we realize that some of us represent the worst of us AND it will not matter what their gender is. Equality is we judge the person by their acts and not gender. Hence these articles are wasteful at best and harmful as thy perpetuate the false narrative of the “fairer” sex (used intentionally).

  30. Harvey Weinstein has become the poster child for sexual predators. His defence counsel however talented will have a tough time defending HW in the face of multiple witness telling similar stories about the sexual predatory practices of HW. Even good faith jurors will have difficulty judging HW given the negative image he brings to court.

  31. @Milton Lewis An image he earned for himself over decades

  32. Just as nobody should automatically assume that a man accused of rape is guilty, nobody should assume that his victim is lying. I think we need to stop accepting both types of behavior in our culture. It is wrong to use sex to gain power over another person, for people of any sexual orientation. However, we are kidding ourselves if we think this is an “equal” problem for both sexes: Man: “I don’t think “bad dates” are so awful? What’s the worst that could happen? We both get bored and leave.” Woman: “What’s the worst that could happen? I could get raped and killed.”

  33. An incredibly naive statement. I’ve mentioned something in another post about this. My own experience was with a woman who employed me as an actor with her theatre company 40 years ago. She pestered me ceaselessly, and I felt in an incredibly difficult situation as I wanted to keep the job. One time we were out together in the company vehicle and she actually kidnapped me and drove me back to her home. It was the most awful feeling of powerlessness as I was desperately trying to be assertive without hurting her feelings. I had no interest in her sexually or emotionally but I still gag at the smell of her perfume. I told her straight when we got there I didn’t want a relationship, and she dumped on me emotionally. Then she’d come to my home and call through the letter box, pester me with phone calls, and leave rambling, incoherent messages on my voice mail. And, sure enough, she got me fired from the job. And the London agent she knew and helped me with? She dumped me a week later. One of the most awful things I’ve ever had to endure. And when I talk about the kidnapping, even with my (female) therapist? She laughs. Men are not expected to be taken seriously when abused by women. But women abusers are much more subtle, and it’s a very different, but equally distressing.

  34. @Jack Lee of course it is the same whomever is being abused. those who miss that truth lack compassion the truth is that ALL women need to be careful whom they are with, where they are walking, and on and on and on, and in general men don't. Still there are terrible situations where men are the victims and it is just as bad for them. Please find a way to address the reality of your victimization and the general victimization of most women on every level of society. I am so sorry you had all those bad experiences with women. It was wrong of each of them to not hear you.

  35. @Jack Lee - While I agree with your comment; except for the "much more subtle"part. Your assaulter certainly wasn't that. Over the years, I (and I believe most men) have also had women physically push themselves at me in situations where what most of us think of as a "normal relationship" was never on the table. As opposed to "subtle", they were often graphic to the point of being unprintable in the NYT.

  36. The walker is a bit much

  37. @Eric Old Mafia guys have been playing that one forever. Hope nobody in this court is fooled.

  38. @Eric and not a mention of it in the article. Whatever he claims about the past, if he gets out or not, the man's days of consensual sex with younger woman are numbered/over.

  39. I’m surprised it’s not a wheelchair and an oxygen tank.

  40. High profile payday. Nothing else really matters here.

  41. @JCGMD 100% right. Just pure greed mask behind the law.

  42. Defending her client and calling a movement to end decades of accepted sexual abuse in the work place are two very different things.

  43. "The Paper Chase" is a great movie, which John Houseman deservingly won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor...

  44. First let me say that predators in the workplace usually men have, are now and will always be a serious problem. With the groundbreaking work done by the original feminists, it all changed circa app. 1980 when women gained the legal right to do something about it and countless did. Then the perverters came in, the Me Too Movement in general but you can add HR Depts. to that group. Instead of complaining, suing like the original women did circa 1980, they waited 10+ yrs. to complain, only complained when the roles, money stopped, protected predators like Weinstein because they were contributing to their causes, like Hillary, Dench, Streep, NOW etc., or worse start the sexual activity and condemn all men for being part of the male race. The HR departments chimed in by becoming defense lawyers for well protected predators higher up or the reverse defense lawyers for the accusers if the alleged predator was not protected.

  45. HR departments exist to ensure compliance with the law for the protection of the company, not the employees. When HR’s response is damage control over justice, what recourse does a female employee really have other than leaving or legal action? As for waiting, let’s be clear that deciding to risk it all (reputation, job security, future employment, personal safety) is a bold decision made easier when there is a groundswell of support and protection from a larger class. If you are heterosexual man who’s never been harassed or threatened, then believe me you have NO idea how much courage it takes to step into this particular ring of fire.

  46. @Bird Thank you for you reply. I agree with you. HR main goal is damage control, not even compliance with the law and it hurts both men and women. The original feminists had the courage and many women followed not the me too hypocrites today as mentioned in my previous post. I was discriminated against big time by my major employer re age discrimination. I fought and won despite the fact age discrimination is legal, accepted, widespread and ugly unlike discrimination against women today.

  47. A fair trial and due process is critical -especially in life if we are to respect the equality of our humanity. Apparently fair trial these days means preventing witnesses from testifying, intimidating and bullying potential witnesses if they, media character assassination, and as with Brett Kavanaugh- a quick good ole' boy hall pass to the highest court in the nation for a drunk memory over a traumatic life threatening experience. #Same as it ever was...

  48. Good for her. All she is doing is following the law, which presumes innocence as its foundational concept. Anyone who believes in fairness and law should see Weinstein as legally not guilty, which at this point he is. To claim otherwise, to assume his guilt and shout for a massive sentence, is a mockery of the law.

  49. @keith Not quite. He is "presumed" to be innocent. You're saying that at this point, he actually "is." A presumption is not a fact. Big difference.

  50. This is totally incorrect. At trial, the judge will in fact instruct the jury that he is not guilty up to the point and unless he is proven guilty.

  51. @Dino I think Keith is saying that at this point Weinstein is not legally guilty. He misspoke a bit there ("legally not guilty" means something else). But I don't read him as saying that Weinstein is not "actually" guilty. There is little doubt that Weinstein is "actually" guilty of leveraging his power for sex that he almost certainly could not charm himself into. The question to be settled - Is he legally guilty -- is something it may take more than one court to decide.

  52. I agree the pendulum shouldn’t swing so far as to be unfair. All we want is justice. This current system has allowed facilitating criminal activity, and protection of the criminal without consequences for anyone except the victims. This must end. The pendulum has not swung far enough yet to right these wrongs.

  53. @Lilly The "pendulum" - as you put it - needs to stop swinging, period. You cannot right old wrongs by being vengeful.

  54. Justice is not vengeance. And the pendulum has been stuck since the dawn of time in powerful men’s favor. We deserve justice and fairness. That’s not too much to ask for, I think.

  55. When I was a bit younger I was most certainly pursued and many times sexually harassed by men, and yes women too, though with fewer incidents. I had opportunities evaporate because I resisted. I had bouts of feeling lonely and letdown by people I was working with. It was attention everyone thought was so great because they didn't have to deal with the flip side of it. However, I never compromised myself and I never felt I had no choice but to give in. I was broke and I walked away from many a situation because I was being hit on and I saw clearly the shadow trade off of what achieving my goals would bring. I wanted respect for my mind, my ideas, my decency. It was a longer road for sure, one built on my terms. I sympathize with anyone who doesn't have this fortitude. It shouldn't be this way, but to criminalise behavior that one doesn't like, is very dangerous. Some women use their sexuality to get what they want. There's a flip side to this, a risk. Finally an adult man or woman must take responsibility for their choices. It seems to me, there are some women who want it both ways indeed. Much of what I read about these cases seems like regret sex or revenge when they didn't get what they wanted. These are things one must consider when getting involved with unsavory people. I spotted this when I was only 20 years old. I am a man. I'm proud of my young self.

  56. Spoken through male privilege perhaps?

  57. @MCS One thing that constantly crosses my mind is if these women had become successful actresses would they be in court.

  58. @Greg When men are accused of harassment, the refrain is "Believe women". When a man comes forward indicating he has been harassed and has left jobs because of it, it is "male privilege"? This is precisely why the MeToo movement has lost integrity and is fading quickly. Double standards and hypocrisy are not foundations for a movement.

  59. While the metoo movement is vitally important, it must respect and protect the constitution’s presumption of innocence. If it fails to do so, any gains should be viewed alongside the instances where individuals were denied this most basic of human rights.

  60. Excuse me, but how can a movement be respectful of the constitution? Only citizens - including those acting in their roles as judges.lawyers, jurors- are tasked as gatekeepers of the constitutional rights of the accused- in this case Harvey Weinstein. Does anyone seriously doubt that this powerful, wealthy titan of industry will get a ( more than) fair trial with his stable of pitbulls?

  61. @Charlie #MeToo citizens have freedom of speech per the constitution. Women are considered citizens. Presumption of innocence covers treatment by the legal profession, police, the rest of government -- it does NOT silence reporting by the media on the dozens of women who have come forward on what this guy did, nor does it silence me from writing that I believe them, personally.

  62. @Yvonne it actually did used to constrain the press to use the word "alleged" when talking about someone who hadn't been to court yet. But press standards have fallen along with everyone else's.

  63. Reminds me of a song.... I used her, she used me, neither one cared, we were getting' our share, workin' on a night move..

  64. @Steve Your comment shows that Ms. Rotunno's use of media to manipulate opinion has been very successful. She said:"Ms. Rotunno said her job would be to convince the jury not only that the sexual encounters were consensual, but that the women were also manipulating Mr. Weinstein... “Yes, he’s a powerful guy,” she said. “But I think that because he’s a powerful guy, they would use him and use him and use him for anything they could.” and you bought it hook, line, and sinker.

  65. @Steve Wonder what the lyric might have looked like if it had been written by a woman....

  66. "She put the teenage girl through a brutal cross-examination, because 'her story was not great.' Afterward, she asked the prosecutor to pass a message on to the girl: 'Tell her I had a job to do. I don’t want this to define what happens to her.'" Who's trying to have it both ways now?

  67. @Atlanta It is almost like other defence attorneys actually strongly defending heinous murderers or something similar. You do know how the criminal justice system works - right?

  68. @SteveRR I'm an attorney. I know exactly how it works. And it's brutal on victims of sexual assault. Absolutely brutal.

  69. @SteveRR Most defense lawyers don't send notes like that to young rape victims they've brutalized on the stand. And I do know how the legal system works, I'm a lawyer.

  70. Rotunno is a courageous hero. When an adult makes a decision to go along, that adult is NOT a victim. A sap, perhaps, but being a sap doesn't entitle you to cash in.

  71. @EEE What part of rape do you not understand? They have evidence of rape. You refuse to recognize they have evidence. At this point I'm not surprised those who think Weinstein is innocent are also flat-earthers and anti-vaxxers.

  72. @Natalie what part of 'fair trial' don't you get ?

  73. It is a dangerous movement. unfortunate, after centuries of victimization, even in the "modern", "enlightened" age, it's the only way many victims have gotten any kind of recognition. Patriarchy brought this on itself.

  74. Interesting. But then again, I, as a woman, have to think twice about many things I want to do just because some men are predators. What we do need to work on is not jumping to conclusions just because someone is accused. Let a fair trial ensue before judgement is made.

  75. This isn’t Trump after all, so getting all of the facts and allegations and presenting them in a fair manner, is in order, unlike the impeachment circus.

  76. My partner and I had this conversation the other day: How many women made it big in Hollywood by "sleeping" their way to starring roles? How many women TRIED to sleep their way to the top and didn't make it? How many women bear some responsibility for creating the Hollywood culture that made "sleeping" your way to the top an acceptable behavior?

  77. @Chris ah yes let's blame the victims! That's always an excellent defense of sexual assault. Or we could flip the script and ask-how many directors have offered women's roles contingent upon sexual favors? To how many women? Have the same percentage of men had to perform for roles? (we already know the answer to that question) Why do we feel the need to protect the men at the women's expense? This has been going on for time immemorial and it's high time we put a stop to it.

  78. @Chris Wrong Question. The Question you should ask is how many, if any, made it to the top without having to sleep with anyone?

  79. @Chris does that analogy work well with something like slavery? How many slaves earned freedom by being good slaves? How many slaves tried to earn freedom by being good and didn’t make it? How many slaves bear some responsibility for creating the culture of good slaves are capable of being free people? Don’t blame the oppressed for not fighting hard enough against the system. It’s MEN who abused their power to increase their sexual score. And it was never ‘acceptable’. Women have ALWAYS been shamed for ‘sleeping their way to the top’, and men have always been condoned for advancing women who have acquiesced to pressure for sex.

  80. This article made me feel conflicted. On one hand I believe that Harvey Weinstein is guilty and hope he rots. On the other hand I feel grateful that individuals like Ms. Rotunno champion the presumption of innocence and the right to a fair trial. I suppose someone like me shouldn't be a juror, but to Ms Rotunno's point, who could offer him a fair trial given the press this case has received? I hope the truth prevails.

  81. It is one thing to respect these guys' right to a fair trial; it is another thing altogether to champion the cause of defending alleged predators. Trial lawyers do NOT go into court with the aim of being fair and objective; they go in with the aim to win cases.

  82. @Laurie Defense attorneys and prosecutors are the same. All lawyers represent their clients, and their only goal is to win their case.

  83. Women need the right to work without being harassed by men. Men tend to run the workplaces. Ergo, at this point, women need some protection from men. It's not just Hollywood stars and producers. It's the woman at the Taco Bell getting a bad schedule because she evades the managers advances. It's the new hire that gets comments from a VP at a work event who has to look the other way and avoid being alone with the VP. Men brought this upon themselves, and while the very public nature of exposing these men before trial may be unfair, so is how many women are treated in the workplace. There is no "ideal" way of handling this situation that is fair to both parties. But shifting some power to the powerless is needed because men have had the power for so long now.

  84. @MC, yes. As someone who "got the bad schedule" and had to wriggle away, laugh off or outright quit several paycheck-to-paycheck jobs as a result of blatant harassment from bosses or upper-level coworkers (I just counted 8 different positions where this happened between the ages of 16 and 28), I attest to the truth of this statement, 100 percent. The stakes were not even a coveted role or a huge promotion, just menial hard work that paid the rent and kept me fed. It was defeating and upsetting and grim. And it's still happening out there, all of the time.

  85. I am a working film actor, also a man, and I can say without reservation that there is a double standard. Aspiring actresses have used men in power for career advancement and then complain after the fact. I was invited once as a young actor to crawl under a desk and perform a sex act on a powerful female manager, I politely declined. I. Eli eve adamantly in women’s equal rights, unfortunately the pursuit of those rights seems to have made some women openly hostile to men, and yet they want to play the victim too. I was sexually molested for years by a woman when I was a little boy. The response I got when I told people was “ lucky you”. People are equal regardless of sex, and men deserve equal rights too.

  86. @Yankee Christian Thank you for telling your story. My biggest peeve with MeToo and TimesUp is their relative silence when it comes to female perpetrators.

  87. Men are from Mars and women from Venus when it comes to this topic and the rules and lines crossed need better definition. This discussion is long, long over due, but unfortunately it’s now taking place in the courts, where the laws haven’t yet been updated to reflect the nuances at play in most of these incidents. In the absence of such understandings and ground rules many gains made in women’s positions of power and prestige will be regressive as men, the proverbial gate keepers, shut them out. Fearful of accusations they don’t really understand. So don’t blame the prosecutor who’s just doing her job. Change the laws.

  88. @KD I think you may be making a false assumption. On this particular topic, I can speak for one person, me. I am not from Mars on this topic, but from Massachusetts which has laws and guidelines about these types of things. And of course, there is the respect that I have for my parents and the care they took to install positive values in both their sons. I tend to see both sides of this issue and am concerned about the excesses, but my emotions tend to run for the victim rather than the accused as the accused are most often, operating from a position of power. For me, understanding the "ground rules" is simply common sense. Treating any person with respect is the correct behavior. Not rocket science. When a women says no, I assume that it is really no. It is not a game with ground rules and referees. If someone feels the need for amplification regarding the ground rules, they probably are not mature enough to be on the field and should stay on the sidelines to avoid someone getting seriously hurt.

  89. Balance and moderation is always the best course. #MeToo places too much reliance on mere unsubstantiated allegation. We saw that during the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings. Attacking him for his political views and judicial opinions was fine. Attacking him on the basis of mere unproven allegations was not. We are a nation of laws and as such, a premium must always be placed on due process. If any person, male or female, feels that they are the victim of sexual abuse or attack, I'm fully supportive of them filing a complaint with law enforcement which can then be vetted and if warranted, pursued in a court of law. I don't personally care at all for Weinstein and his activities but he, like every other American, is entitled to due process.

  90. @Mike F. Excellent post.

  91. Thank you for the article. This is why I read The NY Times. Everything is always anti-Trump and this was very well written.

  92. It's one thing to defend Weinstein in a court of law (everyone is entitled to a robust defense, after all), but it is an entirely different thing to defend this man in the court of public opinion. His predatory behavior was Hollywood's open secret for years (a testament to the dysfunction of the industry). Her words crossed a line that any sane person can recognize as attempting to damage the credibility of victims everywhere.

  93. @CraiginKC Your argument doesn't hold water. You're essentially saying that it's inappropriate to defend Weinstein in the court of public opinion while at the same time saying nothing whatsoever about the appropriateness of attacking him in the court of public opinion instead. The impaneling of an impartial jury becomes virtually impossible under such circumstances. Rotunno is right to return fire.

  94. What fundamental rights are being stripped here, exactly? There is no fundamental right not to be accused, publicly, of sexual assault or harassment. If one believes the accusation to be untrue and damaging, one can sue for defamation. The only party trying to strip anyone of fundamental rights is Harvey Weinstein, through his lawyer, by trying to limit the accusers' First Amendment rights by using the court to inhibit their speech. Whether #metoo has gone too far politically, socially, or morally is another matter. But, as a legal argument, nothing she said holds water. And, as a former prosecutor, she should know that sex crimes are still far more highly underreported and prosecuted than false accusations are reported to criminal law enforcement.

  95. @JL If there is no fundamental right not to be accused, there is also no fundamental right not to be defended in the court of public opinion.

  96. @JL There actually is a fundamental right not to be falsely accused, and even in the court of public opinion, there is a right not to be slandered or libeled. So no, you are wrong, there are lines drawn and you cannot accuse someone falsely.

  97. @JL "no fundamental right not to be accused, publicly, of sexual assault or harassment". So you wouldn't mind being publicly accused of molesting children? I mean if you don't think it's true, you could just sue, right?

  98. What is truly sad, is what some will do for money and fame.

  99. Does Weinstein believe the walking frame will generate sympathy for him? If anything the opposite I'd say, it seems like a blatant attempt to manipulate people's feelings. Or maybe they've focus grouped it...

  100. There is a difference between being a man being complimentary and pleasant towards women, and being a sexual predator who assaults them. I’d like to think that men and women are astute enough to know the difference. Also, why it is that sexual predators who are prosecuted and brought to trial use the same props to convey that they are too frail and feeble to rape a woman? I’m referring to Bill Cosby’s cane and Mr. Weinstein’s walker. Their legal teams need to come up with a new gimmick, like rolling them in on a gurney.

  101. RE: "defending men accused of sex crimes." This is simply the cynical ploy to get a lawyer of the same type of person the defendant is accused of hurting. A woman, a person of color, etc., expecting the jury to feel "Well, they can't be all bad if that is the person is defending them" - forgetting that person is being paid to do so. RE: " a rush to condemn... was shredding reputations and careers without due process" Welcome to the club. What? You don't like the club? Well, it's a club that through "locker room talk", lies, and gossip women have been forced to be in for years. Ruined reputations, futures, and careers. How many women's lives have been ruined because locker room talk was she was "easy"? But wait, now that it is happening to men in the court of public opinion, now, it's a tragedy? Even here the double standard lives on.

  102. @Marie Why would we do to others what we've identified as heinous when done to us? That's revenge, which may be sweet, but is not justice.

  103. @Marie Great comment. However, one thing that I have found is that women can be very hard on other women. I have caught my wife making statements about other women (public figures mostly) that I find harsh and very judgemental. I have asked her about it and although she is a fire-breathing liberal and feminist (well maybe not fire breathing), she defends her attacks on these women. She, to this do, believes that Hillary Clinton enabled Bill and she should have left him. She voted for Obama, but in the last election voted for Hillary because there was no alternative. And, as much as she likes Liz Warren as our Senator from MA, she is not that thrilled with her run for President. She believes that a woman cannot win in 2020. When Biden was attacked by a staff member for putting his hand on her shoulder and smelling her hair, I defended this woman's right to come forward and said that if another man put his hand on her shoulder (my wife that is), I would be seriously offended. She stood her ground and said it would not be a problem for her. I strongly disagreed.

  104. @HotGumption That's not what I was calling for. I was pointing out the rank hypocrisy that it is only an injustice when it happens to men. Why is that that injustice against women is not recognized? It's just part of life. But when men find themselves in the same position it's tweeted out as "Not fair!" What I've seen in the comments here is that many men just want the system to continue as it is. Women can suffer in the court of popular opinion or from their "locker room talk", but not men. That woman shall not be believed in court because ant number of ulterior motives ascribed to them. I.e., women bear the burdens of men's irresponsibility.

  105. let's be clear, you are entitled to due process under the law before being imprisoned by the state. you are not entitled to due process before losing your job or your reputation. how many women have lost both as a result of hw's predation (and others like him) without anyone batting an eye? I have zero sympathy for him, for lauer, for 45, for Cosby, etc etc

  106. Imagine all the great inventions, discoveries, creations, problem solving and ideas we as a society have missed out on because women were barred and then harassed and abused out of their workplaces by men. All that human potential wasted.

  107. @DF But redemption must not come from corrupting due process. What about all the black men who have been accused and presumed to be guilty of any number of crimes, rather than being accorded protections of law?

  108. Don’t dare equate rich privileged Harvey Weinstein’s situation to a poor black’s person situation in the criminal justice system! That analogy is absurd, unnecessary and unfair.

  109. This is so frustrating. My relative’s case is in litigation so I can’t comment about his case but your reader’s jaws would drop if they could read about his case. The way things currently are is that a person or woman can make up any claim and the accused has no way to refute the accuser’s statements which in this case are lies and she knows it. And then the dominoes fall.

  110. @Ozma Really? The problem is that we cannot read about this "case in litigation" because I believe that it falls into the category of hearsay. Quoting from the Book of Ozma: "The way things are is that a person or woman [is a woman a person?] can make up any claim and the people who read the comments on this NYT article have no way to refute the accuser's statements" It goes both ways kiddo...bummer... Dominoes anyone?

  111. So Donna Suffers, "The scorn of some women’s rights advocates, who have suggested she may be motivated as much by the recognition and future work ..." ? Right on, Donna! About time we examined #MeToo from different points of view. As a criminal law attorney, I see prosecutions enhanced -if not motivated- by public outrage. We've become far too polarized, ignoring huge grey areas involved in sexual encounters. If a person cannot accept that at least SOME women use sex to achieve status and SOME #MeToo women seek only fame and exposure, then that person is naive and cannot participate in the discussion. Donna suggests 1 in 500. I submit a significant percentage.

  112. @Paul Kramer Maybe, Paul, you should draw up a list of people who "cannot participate in the discussion." I mean that really makes a lot of sense. I would guess that means that at least half maybe more of the people who commented here should be on that list. Maybe even YOU. And guess what, MOST women, even if they have solid grounds and evidence of sexual misconduct, choose not to come forward for obvious reasons. Let's see, you suggest that Donna's estimate of women who have used sex as a tool and a weapon against their attackers is incorrect at 1 in 500. So, what is your estimate? Inquiring minds want to know. Let's really nail this down so we can find out if this sexual misconduct thing is just a passing political phase that will disappear when the MeToo movement goes away. At what point do we dismiss the pain and suffering that is well-documented by health care providers by women, men, and children who have been abused who never fully recover, who carry their humiliation and anger for their entire lives. Is it 5%, 10%, 25%, 50%? Abraham argued with God until He agreed that if only one righteous person was found in Sodom, that the city would be saved. Well, Abraham lost that argument and the cities of Sodom and Gomorah were destroyed because not even one person was deemed by God to be worthy to save the entire city. So by the bible's standards, even Donna's guestimate of 1 per 500 is enough to condemn every woman who has claimed to sexually assaulted.

  113. The MeToo movement has had two significant problems that have undercut its integrity. One is that it has insisted an accusation equals guilt. While most accusations are credible, all accused must be granted an opportunity to respond and rebut the accusation. That is a fundamental value of Americans and must be upheld. The other problem with MeToo is that it gendered sexual harassment and sexual abuse with a very narrow narrative that most of us know is not accurate: "Believe women". As a man, I have been badly harassed by women in the past, as well as gay men, to the point of leaving an internship in one case and considering filing a police report in another. Harassment and abuse is a complex power play that involves a lot of diversity in its perpetrators and its victims. MeToo wanted to ignore that diversity, and make the movement about confronting bad men. One of the leaders of MeToo, Asia Argento, was alleged to have committed sexual abuse of a minor. When a woman professor at NYU was alleged to have harassed a male student, feminists from throughout academia, many of whom had been vocal in MeToo, wrote to defend the professor and condemn the student, an act of utterly disgraceful hypocrisy. MeToo never dealt with this complexity, and never addressed the problem of sexual harassment and abuse as an issue of power, not gender. As a result, MeToo is fading quickly, as most movements based on partial truths eventually do.

  114. The article says she's paradoxical, but doesn't say why. Is it paradoxical, I wonder, merely being a woman defending a man?

  115. Ms. Arred: “I don’t believe it is appropriate to go after a victim on the stand with venom.” This is really non-sensical when a trial's main function is to determine who is a victim (in a legal sense). Victimhood is established through court rulings, so before that there are only supposed victims.

  116. To be totally clear, speaking openly about sexual assault does not rob anyone of any of the rights that we openly agreed to as a society. No laws changed. No standards for conviction were altered. You never had the right to sexually assault someone and expect them to shut up about it. You never had the right to expect people in society to keep their opinion of you unchanged when they found out that you had committed sexual assault. And to be totally clear, public opinion has never ever operated on a standard of innocent until proven guilty. Nobody who commits sexual assault is due any more than that.

  117. Ms. Rotunno is certainly correct that everyone has a right to a fair trial and that we must presume innocence until proven guilty. But what evidence has she pointed to that men accused of sex crimes are not getting fair trials in this country? Are there cases she can point to where due process was absent? As for the presumption of innocence: yes, the court of public opinion convicts people before the trial begins, but this is true for nearly ALL persons charged with a crime, not only men accused of sexual abuse. And wearing a medallion saying "Not Guilty"? How childish.

  118. The evidence is Mr Weinstein himself. Until this week, he has been toast. I am no fan of Weinstein. I met him once, and trust me, that was enough. But in our system, everyone - no matter how vile - deserves a fair trial from a jury that is free of media spin and bias. In Weinstein’s case, good luck with that.

  119. @unreceivedogma Media spin and bias in public opinion do not preclude a fair trial. The system is stronger than that. I'd expect the chances of an unfair trial in this case to be slight.

  120. For thousands of years men used and abused women. Men wrote the laws and enforced them as they pleased, yet women continued to be abused, and still are. What we should understand is that that Metoo is a radical paradigm shift, a movement for the ages. Therefore, Laws must be interpreted and enforcement applied correctly in order to reflect the millennia old ethos that gave men dominion over women and previous edge in courts. Punishing sexual abuse is a process that is not just legal gymnastics but a cultural one that carries immense moral responsibility. I believe Ms. Rotondo is emasculating the law and doing a great disservice to women and to society in general, by prolonging an age old injustice, the suffering of women at the hands of men!

  121. @Nicholas Some "emasculation" may be just the thing we all need. However, defending the accused and the assumption of innocence until proven otherwise is *not* an age old injustice that needs to be rectified. Just because many women have suffered grievously at the hands of men through the ages does not make it okay to forget our legal principles and punish every man accused without due process. We can't simply emasculate men for the crimes of their forebears or the crimes that they *may* have committed or might commit in the future.

  122. @Nicholas Bravo! victimizing women in the process.

  123. @Nicholas This concludes our utterly predictable "What Do Portlanders Think?" segment.

  124. RE: "presumed to be innocent until proven guilty" That is a great standard when the crime was stealing Mr. Jones cow and the heifer was found in your barn. Or you witnesses saw you hold up the bank. It remains our way based on the premise that it is better to see a guilty man set free than an innocent one falsely imprisoned. But "proven" in the cases of sex crimes such as assault and rape can be almost impossible because of the circumstances. And let's not forget, it was men who wrote the laws and rules protecting themselves from the accusations off women, setting a bar that would protect them. First, predators are smart. At least in the natures of their crimes. They aren't going to commit them where there are witnesses that could testify against them. They are going to make sure that they are alone. Second, predators are going to use camouflage and the environment in the commission of their acts and in their defense if needed. In the case of women predators will use the old tropes of women being evil and liars (right out of the Bible) who cannot be believed in their defense. "She can't be believed" has been part of parcel of every single case that we have seen whether in the Supreme Court hearings or in the cases of Hollywood moguls. In the tried and true manta presumed innocent until proven guilty the deck is most certainly stacked in the male accused favor by the rules of evidence and the societal norms that back him up.

  125. @Marie The Duke lacrosse team case? The UVa fraternity case? How were those stacked in favor of men?

  126. @Talbot , Um, the cases were dropped?No men suffered lasting damage of any sort? You can think of two false report cases, which were pretty speedily dismantled. Why don't you watch "Unbelievable," about a victim of a serial rapist who wasn't believed, letting the guy rape and terrify several more women? How about the millions of rapes/assaults that were/are never reported? Don't your sympathies apply there? The facts, according to science, are that sexual abuse is common and false reports are rare.

  127. Every accused person has a right to a strong , vigorous defense. However, just like in politics, money should not be part of this. The rich white man can afford to hire a team willing to do anything to allow him to continue his behaviors into the future. The state lacks these same funds. Certainly the victims of his aggression do not have access to the same level of defense against his attorneys. And, yes, they need to mount a defense against the attacks they are about to face.

  128. @Sean Casey junior I disagree that "The state lacks these same funds." Anytime a state decides to focus it's resources on a case, those resources are almost always overwhelming.

  129. @Sean Casey junior : The percentage that resources affects outcomes is an accurate measure of the extent to which our system is unfair.

  130. @Sean Casey junior "... rich white man..." Wealthy, yes, but please leave racism out of this. Aside from racist intent, there's no such thing as a "white" person or a "black" person.

  131. The examples of Atty. Rotunno's courtroom successes appear to be one-time sexual events with victims whose motivations were questionable and mitigating factors were uncovered under blistering cross examination. That is a lawyer's job. Mr. Weinstein is not a one-time offender. He's not a youthful dupe whose honey has a vindictive mama. He's at best a man whose understanding of consent to sexual behavior is flawed. He's a powerful man with no good excuse for how he has acted, not once, but many times over decades in connection with his business. While some women who wanted his approval and employment may have gone along to get along, many were taken by surprise by the inappropriate acts he imposed on them, whether they participated or fled. This case is not about a single poor decision - it is about a depraved way of doing business. Jurors will be asked to examine a lifetime of poor decisions by Weinstein and women who acuse him and the common denominator will be power. Harvey will always be the one whose poor choices were made from a position of power to get sexual satisfaction as the price for women to get work from his business.

  132. @Honey I like your comment. Most of the other comments are predictable, some attacking Metoo and defending Weinstein against pre-judgement. Others on the other side see Weinstein as a monster. But the article is biased in favor of her success in winning her cases leading readers to the dangerous conclusion that her victories suggest that many of the claims by women of assault are not true or simply exaggerations or even a way to "get even" for bad decisions made early in their careers. However, as you suggest, many of her cases are one time events and not a pattern of behavior. After watching several movies on Roger Ailes, it is disheartening to me to read the comments of people who obviously feel that the MeToo movement has gone too far. For my part, I can see the danger of going too far, but we are a long way from being a society that values the protection of the individual from people in positions of power. It often seems as if things are going in the wrong direction. People like Donald Trump and the people that surround him in Washington, Mitch McConnell, Lindsay Graham, Vladminir Putin, and so many high-profile leaders here in America and around the world have selfishly guarded their power and seem to promote the idea that victims are either stupid or unimportant or, as Ms. Rotunno suggests, taking advantage of a legal system that favors the accuser.

  133. As the husband of a victim of sexual assault by her doctor at age 14, I can speak to the long-term damage predators like Weinstein do to their prey. 65 years later, my wife still struggles with the emotional damage done by a powerful guy that was unaccountable. As the statistics show, for the most part these predators are NEVER held to account. It's rare when one actually comes to trial. Typically, when they are caught and prosecuted, these predators have a very long list of victims. Predators like Weinstein with their money and power shouldn't be allowed to escape justice because of the torrent of legal talent they can bring. Put him in a deep dark hole for the rest of his disgusting life.

  134. @Hjalmer But even the worst are entitled to due process, not media trial.

  135. @Hjalmer I had one serious girlfriend who had been a victim of serial sexual abuse years earlier. It was impossible, and by far the worst relationship of my life. She simply had no ability to trust and I was young enough to believe in time she would realize she could trust me, but no matter how consistent, caring and loving I was it never happened. She could also be quite manipulative and abusive. Though we only dated for 6 months, it took me years to get over the experience. I haven't seen her in decades. She's married now and I honestly hope she's happy, but I can't imagine she will ever put her demons to rest. There are some things one never gets past, I suppose.

  136. The metoo movement was long overdue. That said, metoo has gone too far, and the pendulum needs to return to the center. We need more people like Ms. Rotunno to help make this happen. Perhaps the most egregious example of the excesses of metoo was the recall of California judge Aaron Persky. Then-judge Persky presided over the trial of a Stanford student, Brock Turner, accused and convicted of sexual assault. Some felt the sentence Persky imposed, 6 months in jail, was too lenient. The sentence was supported by the local probation board, which was comprised of two women. Nonetheless, emotions ran high, and a movement was formed to recall him, led by Stanford Prof. of Law Michelle Dauber. The local newspaper, the influential liberal San Jose Mercury News, published a very inappropriate editorial supporting the recall. The recall was successful, and Persky was removed from the bench. It didn't stop there. Persky was sued by the recall activists, and required to pay their legal fees. In September, 2019, he was forced to resign from a job as coach of a girl's high school tennis team, solely because of the sentence he imposed. It will be difficult or impossible for anyone accused of sex crimes in California to get a fair trial nowadays because of the Persky recall, including Harvey Weinstein. Even Mr. Weinstein is entitled to due process. Metoo has done much good, but the movement has gone too far, and basic justice is suffering as a result.

  137. @Alex I disagree. The judge had to take responsibility for the slap on the wrist for rape. The judge clearly stated that more than 6 months sentence would ruin the life of the predator and his future. The judge blatantly protected the rapist minimizing the rape and justice for victim. Why are the rights of the rapist more important than those of the victim's? Why should any judge, with bias against victims or women, and not interested in justice, be allowed to remain on the bench? Divine Justice was served here.

  138. @Alex Brock Turner was convicted of sexual assault. The judge said it shouldn't "ruin his life since it was his first offense."You have got to be kidding me with this example. The judge has no business anywhere near a courtroom or teaching at any school for any reason.

  139. Ms. Rotunno (and some comments below) imply a movement has stripped her client (and others accused) of due process, Who is on trial here: Harvey Weinstein or the #MeToo movement? Also, historically women have been stripped of due process by the status quo which is a system that puts the onus on women to have to prove she didn’t ask for it or in fact that she was using sex to her benefit. This case regardless of outcome will open up new conversations on the nuances of consent and the insidious impacts of those who abuse power abetted by other powerful actors and institutions.

  140. I love this woman! At last a little sanity against the aggressive Woke.

  141. sorry, but when did rape become a "fundamental right"?

  142. @BKLYNJ Honestly! Where is the evidence? It's HER word against HIS the end. I agree with Ms. Rotunno: How have we gotten to a place where an individual's life is destroyed even before they are shown to be guilty?!!?

  143. @BKLYNJ Rape is definitely not a right at all but one of the most serious crimes one can commit. The fundamental right here is the right to the assumption of innocence until proven guilty. The right to face your accuser and the right to a fair trial by a jury of your peers.

  144. @Paul Innocence is not an assumption - It's a presumption. There's a world of difference in the law between the two.

  145. She is good, but Weinstein is a terrible client. That hobbling on a walker, with his collar askew for sympathy, fools no-one.

  146. @PeterH Hobbling is irrelevant. Like someone or not, believe them or not, we are a country of courtroom justice.

  147. So. A woman gets a chance to be the big bucks celebrity lawyer. Hope this case doesn't end like OJ's.

  148. “It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, but it can stop him from lynching me, and I think that's pretty important.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.

  149. Wow, this woman should be put on Mt. Rushmore. Finally someone who is capable of standing up to the mob.

  150. Even if Weinstein is guilty of everything he is accused of. Ms. Rotunno is correct. It is always in the face of some perceived danger or social ill that we commit our most insidious attack on human rights and civil liberties. The USA locked up American citizens of Japanese decent because of the widespread fear that they were not loyal. The current government of the Philippines has waged a war of extrajudicial killings that is "justified" by the necessity to rid the country of violent drug users. In the 1950s, Americans lost their jobs and were blacklisted because a fear of the Red Menace. After the US Civil war, African Americans in The South were subject to a wave of terror fueled by the widespread belief that 'white', civilized culture was threatened by primitive people of color. The list goes on and on, and should provide a warning in today's #metoo climate: While it is good that there is a spotlight on sexual assault and sexual harassment, people need to accept that to maintain a just, liberal society, it is much better that some guilty people go free rather than all innocent people lose their rights.

  151. @Celeste I'd like to see your liberal democracy stance work more for people without the money and the power to higher an expensive lawyer.

  152. @Celeste Yeah. Rich white men like Weinstein are exactly like Japanese internees, those exercising their First Amendment rights during the McCarthy hearings and former slaves. Can we have some perspective here? Private people outing rapists and serial harassers doesn't mean that folks like Harvey Weinstein are victims. He gets to hire a really expensive lawyer to trash his accusers (right to a defense/dupe process). His lawyer doesn't get to squelch the First Amendment rights of the real victims here: women who can't earn a living because men like Weinstein are criminals.

  153. I agree with Ms Rotunno, #MeToo has gone too far on thin evidence. I don’t “believe the women” in all cases. She is right that women who looked to make relationships with powerful men have to take some responsibility for their own actions. Aside from cases where women were drugged or forcibly held against their will, women can always walk away. Might they lose a job? Maybe. But isn’t it worth losing a job so that one can look in the mirror without shame and guilt? The time to make a complaint is at the time, not years later. And Gloria Allred has no room to talk when it comes to being a glory hound.

  154. @MDR: So you think that it's okay that the women who were able to get away from him lost jobs or were blacklisted? (See: Mira Sorvino, Cara Delevigne, one of his assistants, an Italian actress who went to the cops right after and went back with a wire on to catch him, to start). That "looking in the mirror without shame" as opposed to being able to work in your chosen field without this guy calling you in for a meeting while he's in his bathrobe pleasuring himself is perfectly okay? Harvey Weinstein had a virtual and often literal stranglehold for decades and if he had not finally been called out by Ronan Farrow's article he'd be doing this to this day, not hobbling around with his prop walker like a Hollywood Vinnie the Chin. I don't believe that every single accusation in the metoo movement is gospel truth. Harvey Weinstein is not the man to use as an example for that, though. Come on. It is undeniable that power-play sexual harassment has been rampant in the workplace and that all too frequently, the men got away with it scot-free. That this dynamic is changing and women don't have to suffer its consequences in silence anymore is a good and necessary thing.

  155. I sincerely hope that this New York jury sends Ms. Rotunno back to Chicago with the strong message that women will be treated equally, going forward, in the great city of New York!

  156. Men have been behaving badly towards women for centuries; they've had all the power and the upper hand, giving them freedom to treat women as possessions. Sorry that the proverbial pendulum has swung towards the favor of the woman. Burden of proof? Men shouldn't have to prove innocence if they treat women with respect. Don't want to be blamed? Don't put yourself in situations that can be misinterpreted while understanding the meaning of the word "NO". This goes double for those of you out drinking and feeling randy. Good judgement should always prevail, lest one of these man-children be accused of not having any self-control (or worse). It's about time that the voices of the abused are given a chance to be heard. Let's not dilute their cries in the name of equal justice- society has been unjust to them for too long.

  157. @dansworld23 Equal justice is critical. However, our justice system has rules. This is why people, such as me, howl when an assumption of guilt is made (one example) against a black man. Everyone deserves due process, not media trials, no matter how much we may revile the charges or sympathize with accusers. That's our system.

  158. @HotGumption No one is saying not to pursue due process- however, in order for the system to do it's job the victims must be heard and treated with respect. law enforcement and the judicial system should be able to do both- provide a fair trial for the accused while treating the victims with respect while treating their accusations seriously by thoroughly investigating every situation.

  159. I think it’s sad to have actual comments like this: It’s sad,” she said, “that men have to worry about being complimentary and pleasant to women.” Really? Shouldn’t we all be trying to be pleasant to another? Isn’t the fact that many men absolutely are not pleasant to women what got her here, defending these defenseless men in the first place? Ugh

  160. @Suzanne Agreed. There's a bog difference between being pleasant and complimentary and having the assumption that you can say and do whatever you want to a woman. Women put up with harassment because men have such fragile egos, that to say "go away" can make them angry and potentially volatile. It is easier for a woman to "make nice" and hope they go away. And this is the way we are all raised. Men fear being rejected by a woman, a woman fears a man killing her for it. And this, is something that no man can ever understand.

  161. We are no longer innocent until proven guilty. We are not anything until the media makes it's popular decision and labels us. Is he a despicable human being? Of course. Let's let the legal process take it's course.

  162. Her client is the dangerous one. Not the movement.

  163. White collar criminal defense attorneys are truly some of the worst people on the planet. They knowingly seek to defame and destroy the lives of the victims of their clients, for massive amounts of money, all in the guise of “everyone deserves a fair trial.” But the trial isn’t fair, is it? How is it FAIR for a powerful and politically connected millionaire who has already gotten away with abuse for decades, to suffer no liability for such conduct?

  164. @Austin Ouellette On the other hand, is it fair for someone's life to be destroyed based on allegations, before ever setting foot in a courtroom?

  165. @Talbot It's the American way. The women have been equally vilified. Those who support Weinstein are simply taking his side and pre-judging the women. How is that better or more "just"?

  166. What about the women who spurned Harvey’s advances and were then punished/blacklisted for their not succumbing to Harvey’s vile wishes? Actors who are eminently capable who never found meaningful work Bc Harvey made sure to put in a bad word about them with other Hollywood decision makers. What about them? Do they get any compensation? Likely not Bc how do you determine lost earnings? I’m all for “innocent until proven guilty.” Harvey like Bill Cosby, Epstein (special category Bc of children as victims) before him had an ecosystem of enablers, coconspirators who helped him continue this atrocious and likely illegal behavior? Folks like Harvey milk the system for what it’s worth. And our society is far the worse for it... except for the actors who apparently succumbed to his demands/appetites and have, as a result, had super star careers. Oh, and btw, this former NYer is not buying the whole “poor old me, I can barely walk, I have to use a walker. Bwahahahaha.” Nope. We know a con man when we see him.

  167. @LexLex A lot of times, refusing consent has negative consequences. That does not make it rape.

  168. agreed, mr. weinstein is not the holy figure one might want when speaking of individuals nailed to a cross, but the lady says what i have said from the beginning -- this mob justice "me too" thing would end up causing a lot of regrets. not that i regret seeing harvey in the dock, powerful men must play dramatic roles and all that, a movie mogul should know how it works. but, particularly among undergraduates, and twentysomethings generally, there needs to be a more forensic method of approaching women's rights, and the testimony that women give that can't be corroborated except with tears.

  169. Weinstein isn’t just another defendant, he’s the totem, he’s the face of male predatory behavior, with a 4 decade track record and a long long list of victims, women scarred by his actions and some shut out of their chosen career for not debasing themselves before him. All this presumption of innocence is fine and dandy but breaks down in the face of numbed repetition. Like Cosby, there’s just too many accusers, all telling the same sordid story. If he gets acquitted thanks to his deep pockets, there will be a Rodney King style reckoning and this defense lawyer will reap the whirlwind. To those commenters who think #MeToo went to far and pine for the days of paternalistic and inappropriate male workplace behavior, as a father of two daughters in a field where this behavior persists, I would say: Evolve. I doubt you would want your career advancement linked to your physical appearance and willingness to put out.

  170. @Xoxarle The reason why Weinstein might be found not guilty is because the evidence presented at trial doesn't meet the "beyond a reasonable doubt" threshold - no matter how many victims he allegedly had, not because of his deep pockets. But make no mistake, the prosecutors reap the whirlwind also. Think about how many cases they've successfully prosecuted against people who were really innocent and didn't have deep pockets to defend themselves. Yes, Weinstein is just another defendant. And the lawyers will always reap the windfall.

  171. ...public rush to condemn men accused of sexual misconduct and assault was shredding reputations and careers without due process.... I agree. Everyone deserves due process. It's not about feminism, it's about law.

  172. Amazing what some people will do and say for money.

  173. @Cold Liberal: You refer to the women who engaged in sexual activity with Mr. Weinstein and later regretted it when it didn't get them what they expected from him?

  174. She's a showboat. Not on the side of the angels or the demons or justice. A very effective showboat. Like many many men before her. In the end, no matter what happens, her profile will have been raised. See the NYT story. Don't mistake this as a thought piece on sexual harassment or rape.

  175. Look at Weinstein all shrunken and using a walker. A Hollywood equivalent of Vincent Gigante. I hope the prosecutors and plaintiffs' attorneys are allowed to show photos of the bear sized man he was when the alleged incidents occurred

  176. She is a lawyer, it is what they do.

  177. At last, a woman talks sense in regards to the very disturbing and out of control path “#metoo” has tried to drag this country down. Trial and conviction by way of mob justice with no limitations on defamation and slander. I hope Ms Rotunno wins her case.

  178. A necklace reading "not guilty" is not dressing well.

  179. Men in power have been able to abuse others and lie about it for as long as we have records. Sure, lawyers have a duty to protect their clients, no matter how evil the client, but she is working for a liar and predator. He is not having his rights taken away from him, no matter how much he whines about not being allowed to be privileged any more.

  180. @David your response it literally what she is talking about. Please re-read the 6th Amendment.

  181. The predators and their defenders are trying to frame the debate as "women want to be unequivocally believed 100% of the time so they can lock men up" where what women are asking is that we be heard and considered and not rejected out out hand which would be a step up from not being believed at all, ever. Which is essentially where we were before the MeToo movement. All you have to do is see the Supreme Court hearings (as well as a number of comments hear alluding to all the reasons that women can't be trusted) to see that the women were simply dismissed as unbelievable and what they said had no bearing while the man could be taken at his word. MeToo is not about locking up all the men, it is about being heard and being taken seriously as people.

  182. @Marie Thank you Marie. I agree.

  183. @Marie As a father of two teenage daughters, I could not be more adamant about protecting women. But the mantra, "I believe women" is not asking to be heard and considered, but believed without question. That is not a just system or helpful for anyone. These are tricky times, but we must come out of it where women are taken seriously with their claims, but men are not convicted simultaneously with being accused.

  184. @Sparky These are not tricky times but a tiny beginning to a long awaited reckoning. Let's hope neither of your daughters are exposed to Weinstein's or even milder forms of abuse. Then it will be very clear to you which way the deck is stacked. All of these comments from the men here make me think "The gentlemen doth protest too much."

  185. So, her tactic is to call out inconsistency in an accuser's account of a traumatic event. Isn't it well established that we don't make very good memories while experiencing trauma? How is this still an acceptable approach to questioning victims?

  186. @Amy Without memories, there is no case against Weinstein. It is based entirely on memories.

  187. When the only evidence of a crime is the witness’s story, and the jury is the sole decider of the witness’s credibility for truthfulness, then inconsistencies in the witness’s story become reasonable doubt for the jury.

  188. @amy, you have zeroed in on exactly why this kind of case - where there is no physical evidence - is so difficult to prove. If a traumatic event leads to a memory that is potentially unreliable, the testimony (unfortunately, but by definition) is immediately in doubt. And while it is painful - and may seem unfair - to see someone who has gone through a traumatic event be put through a series of questions, there really is no alternative. Someone testifying has to be questioned, otherwise truth tellers and liars would both be believed equally at face value. The more difficult scenario is someone who truly believes they are telling the truth, but who remembers details inaccurately. As you mentioned in your comment, traumatic events are often difficult to remember accurately. The attempt to achieve a level of justice in cases like this without any physical evidence is very difficult and both sides deserve to be treated fairly and justly, otherwise the entire process collapses. Unfortunately, it’s the best we can do. All of that said, the idea of prevention is important, so people can avoid being in this situation in the first place. It seems to me that there were many men who knew about Weinstein’s treatment of women in the movie business and should have done more to stop him a long time ago. Hopefully, one result of the metoo movement is that it will help to prevent situations like this in the future and to hold those accountable who continue to commit reprehensible acts.

  189. In a way, she's everything a feminist could hope to be. Strong, independent, capable, recognized for her skills and expertise - not her sex. Puts principal above "how it looks". And her accusers say she's puts her career and recognition above principals. I say not, a lawyer has a duty to represent her client whether guilty or not. Anyway, lady's you wanted to have it all...this is the price you pay.

  190. Dude, “the price we pay?” The whole point is there shouldn’t be a price to pay in order to go after your dreams and pursue your career - not for this lawyer, not for the actresses involved, not for you, and not for me. The thing about #metoo is that it got caught up in the sensational/ sexual part and not about the power part in which a powerful person puts someone under their thumb just because they can. What they spend their power on is less important than the fact that they abused it.

  191. Always interesting to see perps, in this instance, Weinstein, going to the "hunched-over-a-walker" visual aid in an effort to draw sympathy and appear weak.

  192. I don't know but this picture reminds me Darth Vader and the emperor palpatine.

  193. Ms. Allred said. “I don’t believe it is appropriate to go after a victim on the stand with venom.” If Ms. Allred and the prosecuting attorneys aren't prepared for a vigorous defense by Ms. Rotunno, they will surely lose.

  194. Excellent piece. NYT we want more like that!

  195. It was some time ago when I had to take a Criminal Law class. Most of the students were working NYC Police Officers. The professor, also a legal aid attorney, assigned us Supreme Court decisions to analyze and to write commentary. After being assigned a particular decision where the court held for the prosecutor, an outraged police officer spoke up and said, " That's not fair! That's not justice!" The legal attorney attorney paused and then replied: " We are not here studying justice. We are studying law and sometimes the two don't meet."

  196. One of the most neglected aspects of this is that everyone in Hollywood knew Weinstein was who he was. He didn’t just bully women into sex he bullied everyone in the business. Yet...They allowed him to reign supreme. In other words they enabled him. Other heavy weights could have collectively brought him down rather than allow him to be the abusive bully he was. We see this everywhere, currently with our president. The enablers are just as responsible morally for the damage. We as a culture and society need to honestly self reflect. Ms. Rotunno talks a good game with personal responsibility regarding the women but doesn’t seem to apply that edict to her client. They too need to be called upon for their choices. One of the foundations of misogyny is to always lays the burden of moral decision making (ie to hold the line and say no, resist or be passive) on females especially regarding sex. Males are expected to pursue, dominate and take advantage of an opportunity. That juxtaposition seems ubiquitous in human consciousness. Why, is the question? Different disciplines will give you a different answer, socialization, biology etc. Regardless, we to help both men and women create a new paradigm for sexual engagement. One where they are both heard and understood. One where they have the power to protect themselves from assault and false accusations. The dialogue needs to start somewhere. Me too has pushed that needle for dialogue and is an important cultural movement.

  197. To many of us, Mr. Weinstein's accusers are an other-worldly tribe - beautiful, rich, well-groomed. Their "out for a coffee" wardrobe costs more than our annual clothing budget. They seem rarified, with imagined power and agency that we do not feel. They do not look like victims. Mr. Weinstein has chosen one who "reads" to be of that tribe to defend him. The intended calculus? She is an insider and she says the accusers are lying so she must know. When I started my career in the early 1980s, I had to be stronger, smarter, more clinical ... and beautiful and impeccably dressed. I had to prove my right to be the only woman in the room. The equivalent of "backwards and in heels" for 1980s finance. I see echoes of this in Ms. Rotunno and her "Tell her I had a job to do" apology. I have no doubt that the case did define what happened in the future to that young girl. Sexual abuse powerfully defines what happens to the victim. It occurs when there is an unequal power dynamic. And despite the apparent power of Mr. Weinstein's accusers, he had infinitely more power over them. Ms. Rotunno is arguing that by even coming forward and telling their story, these women are stripping Mr. Weinstein's right to due process. The implication is that they should stay silent. But they too have a fundamental right - to be heard.

  198. Yes, there is a whole lot going on here in this article that could generate another five years of sociological research on Power. Once all the theatrical props are in place, like wardrobe, the conversation the jury thinks they hear is only a small part of the package. Theatre in law. Once you hear all the coaching, costuming, makeup, acting that goes into the law profession...then you know, as an ordinary citizen, how powerless you really are and how vulnerable one is when silhouetted against the Kavanaughs of this world. Interesting that morality is a taught value based on reflection. It served Elijah Cummings well in his need to be tough, strong and forceful. When we are about to die, do we get all dressed up and practice our lines?

  199. @Ask Your Questions But modern-day feminism glorifies unequal power dynamics in both transactional and nontransactional sex. If there is consent, it can't be rape.

  200. @Ask Your Questions I hear you, with several women friends who were among a small band of females to attend L.S.E. in the early 1970s, and some American friends who blazed the trail in investment banking in Chicago and New York in the early 80s.They were denigrated and preyed upon, excluded from forays to the Limelight, etc. but they were strong willed individuals, who were savvy about danger signals and when to exit a scene. Admittedly, as a teenager working for a summer alone in New York, a fashion designer attacked me because I foolishly failed to exit the dinner party when both the hosts left to allegedly buy something they forgot, where a physical fight ensued.As I rushed out to the street, a great taxi driver screeched to a halt, offering to take me to the police, with the Frenchman running after shouting he had not sexually touched me to the driver. I admitted he had not, failing to understand that assault was also a crime since I had started it by slapping him. And later that same summer, a law student from NYU invited me to allegedly meet his parents who lived in an apartment overlooking Central Park, yet when I arrived the place was empty. He had borrowed a key to get in from a Real Estate friend. I learned by then to exit immediately.

  201. she's making bank on him,, good for her..

  202. Give me a break with Weinstein and his walker. Being charged with a crime apparently causes many defendants to suddenly develop disabilities (recall Paul Manafort on trial).

  203. @Harry F, Pennington,nj I believe the walker is related to his recent back surgery.

  204. @Lola Thanks, didn't know that! I have had two back surgeries over the years and never required a cane or walker, but I am aware that some people have had such a need because of the severity of their condition. But, there is no denying that optics are part of the "show" in criminal cases.

  205. @Harry F, Pennington,nj Of course!

  206. Amazing what-who money can buy.

  207. Why does the Times frame everything in terms of identity? Why does the Times assume that since Mr. Weinstein’s attorney is a woman she should automatically believe in the tenants of the me too movement? Isn’t it misogynistic of the Times to posit that a woman should not think for herself?

  208. @The Woodwose Don't believe it's misogyny so much as misandry which is au Courant. Readers should take a look at some books from the early 1970s, such as "The Manipulated Man" 1971 (Esther Vilar) to gain more perspective of dialectic so can reach synthesis in understanding that men need help to some degree as well, in other areas, such as feeling open to express sensitivity, crying, and being the person expected automatically to take out garbage instead of doing the care taking. Of course world has changed a lot for the better in this regard, where even gender fluidity allowed, without the shaming that occurred in Boomer generation.

  209. Ms. Rotunno said. “Having voluntary sex with someone even if it is a begrudging act is not a crime after the fact.” What about the testimony of a dozen or more women?

  210. @Steve Depends upon whether or not those women caved in to Weinstein's cloying pushiness and drooling, allowing what used to be referred to as "mercy......."; or voluntarily went ahead in hopes of obtaining something which they didn't ultimately receive (part in movie, etc). I f they feel remorse ex post facto, and characterize themselves as victims afterwards, it doesn't necessarily mean they are victims. Rather, they may be weak willed, unless his pushiness gave way to forcefulness. Of course this shouldn't apply to minors of either sex, and I believe Rotunno regrets how far she went interrogating the 15 year old. Not everyone who calls herself a feminist subscribes to the victimhood stream of this movement, which currently prevails, affording grown women little agency of their own. Lack of equal opportunity is the goal of some; or if sex is used as a quid pro quo to get into a university, or get ahead in the media business or any business.

  211. @Steve 80 women have come forward about Weinstein.

  212. @Steve Having voluntary sex with a dozen women is still not a crime.

  213. She’s Harvey Weinstein’s lawyer. Getting paid the big bucks. What else is she going to say?

  214. @Two Americas Make no mistake about it. Every "victim" is also looking for a payday.

  215. @nydoc Exactly. The world needs to stop thinking that the likes of Gloria Allred and David Boies are defending accusers because they have such good in their hearts. The gamble is that a big payday & national recognition is oncoming.

  216. Harvey Weinstein is dangerous. That much is clear. And his attorney is correct that the MeToo crowd can be destructive as well if its members overstep and create a world where all men are the enemy.

  217. @John Jabo What percentage of sex abusers are men, and what percentage are women? I'll wait for your answer.

  218. It most likely IS dangerous to me who deserve it!

  219. I’m a feminist, yet I totally agree with defense counsel here. This was a very weak case for the grandstanding NY DAs office to take to trial. It will almost certainly fail and make it harder for real rape victims to come forward and succeed. Weinstein was a pig and he deserves to be “cancelled” and these victims deserve compensatory and punitive damages, but there seems no credible evidence in this trial that he committed criminal rape. Harassment yes (which is not a crime but a civil claim), extortion maybe? But rape, no.

  220. What hourly rate is Weinstein, or other paying clients, paying?

  221. Ms. Rotunno is self-serving plain and simple. When she speaks of the #Metoo movement going too far, it is only to serve her clients and her paycheck. She's playing a game and playing it well. And, how dare Ms. Rotunno brutally cross examine a minor and then send her a note to say, basically, "Don't take it personally." That child will more than likely take that cross examination to her grave as Ms. Rotunno takes her checks to the bank.

  222. @Kelly have you not seen the studies that indicate men are less likely to give women opportunities for career advancement after #MeToo?

  223. @Kelly Children are constantly being used in custody and divorce cases. "If you want to stay with mommy, you need to tell them daddy touched you there. Lets practice this until you get it right."

  224. You mean now they have an excuse to be unfair? They must be so relieved!

  225. What I'm wondering is if Weinstein's lawyer will allow him to testify. I realize defendants don't have to testify but if Weinstein is innocent of all of the accusations against him, why wouldn't he testify? Whether people like it or not when a defendant chooses not to testify juries take notice.

  226. @susan His lawyer may consider that he has an unlikeable personality, or one that cannot be reined in (like a Trump). The notice by the jury has to be balanced against the potential damage posed by certain witnesses, who cannot come across as sympathetic to anyone. Of course his lawyer will not allow Weinstein to testify.

  227. @susan Whether or not the defendant testifies, the onus of evidence is still on the prosecution to make a case that proves the defendant committed a crime beyond a reasonable doubt. In fact, many defendants actually get acquitted simply because they kept their mouth shut in court.

  228. Good lawyers are indeed motivated by their reputation and opportunities for future business. They are professionals. That's not inconsistent (in fact, it's perfectly consistent) with their obligation to zealously represent their client. Her principle -- that even the most heinous accused is entitled to due process -- is hard to argue with.

  229. @mh12345 Have you heard even one person say we should get rid of due process? There is a way to defend heinous criminals that is not a slap in the face to victims. But attorneys like Rotunno love the attention and the chaos. It's more important than personal integrity.

  230. It really doesn't matter who or what they're defending, lawyers like this -- and I include Gloria Allred, Avenatti, and Dershowitz in this group -- all have one thing in common: the relentless pursuit of personal wealth regardless of morals, ethics, or the damage they are doing to society. They'll say and do anything to exploit their clients for good cause or for bad, so long as they make a few million bucks in the process. Justice has nothing to do with it.

  231. @Brannon Perkison Yep, and Gloria Allreds own daughter actively tried to smear one of weinsteins accusers when she wouldn't shut up. It was only when the tide had incontrovertibly turned against him that she suddenly found her morals.

  232. @Brannon Perkison Defense lawyers are still better than prosecutors who are clearly above the law. Cyrus Vance sat on what is now believed to be incriminating tapes of Harvey Weinstien. His office also tried to downgrade the pedophile status of Jeffrey Epstein.

  233. Bravo Ms. Rotunno! Our legal system calls for the right of defense. Ms. Rotunno is that in spades. I am glad that finally there is more scrutiny over MeToo especially from more level headed women that understand that there will always be excess and plenty of casualties along the way of the MeToo movement's accusations. Focusing on Harvey Weinstein makes for an easy and comfortable conversation. There are many other lives and careers more silently ruined in academia and sports coaching over false and unsubstantiated allegations. The schools would rather fire those accused for no cause than support their own employees and risk losing tuition money.

  234. @Casual Observer You must know that Mr Ms. Rotunno is attempting to get the focus on the MeToo! movement as a real problem, and not Mr Weinstein's rape indictment. But I see from your comment that she's got you.

  235. Greed wrapped in self-righteousness, masquerading as justice.

  236. @Steve Leeke Unclear which side you are referring to. We should take out the money factor to individuals, offering alleged victims only what is appropriate for lifetime medical and psychological purposes only, and relegate the rest to a legal defense fund for victims. With less money incentive, the testimony is more credible.

  237. @She Do you believe that all victim compensation should be limited to medical and psychological expenses? Or just in the case of rape?

  238. Yes, everyone should get due process and the best money their money can buy. Isn't that how justice works in America? Individual cases have an impact on the conversation about gender relations, but they cannot be the entire conversation. Change needs to be systemic - and that should be, among other things, about equality in justice and avoiding attacking the victim.

  239. She is a fantastic lawyer and I wish her well with exposing the political hoax called ‘Metoo’.

  240. @Paul And so it goes for Ms. Rotunno. And so it will go for her for the rest of her career. All the PAUL's of this world will fall at her feet while any man, woman, or child of either sex who as suffered a sexual assault or sexual harassment will cross to the other side of the street to avoid even the slightest risk of contact.

  241. @Tony's mom Please do not enter children into this conversation. Pedophilia is a completely different issue, and an abhorrent crime under ANY circumstances. Sexual crimes between adults have their way of falling outside the strict lines of guilt, intent, desire, force, etc.

  242. @Paul Is a "political hoax" the equivalent of a "witch hunt"?

  243. I do believe Weinstein deserves a defense---but I would prefer if Ms. Rotunno defended Weinstein on the facts of the case--rather than diverting attention to the excesses of the MeToo movement. But let's be candid Ms. Rotunno is not working with a whole lot of legal tools right now, so, the only tool left is political.

  244. @Amanda Jones Exactly. This is what every good defense attorney does. Great old line: If you have the facts, you hammer on the facts. If you have the law, you hammer on the law - if you have neither, you hammer on the table.

  245. @Amanda Jones Well neither is the prosecution. Remember, the only reason any of these prosecutions are happening is because of MeToo. I think the question is why they wouldn't of happened without it. The same prosecutors (Vance/Illuzzi) wouldn't have bothered if this was 2016.

  246. @Amanda Jones Last October, I served on the jury of a criminal trial in the very building Weinstein is being tried in today. It was a relatively minor offense, and as the defendant seemed quite poor, I assumed his attorney was a Public Defender, although it was never specifically specified. The stunts his lawyer pulled were shameless and I thought terribly transparent, although he did get his client off for lack of evidence. So I can only imagine the fireworks the jurors on the Weinstein trial are going to see. I assume they need a unanimous verdict which, in our very modest case, was not easy to get.

  247. "As the #MeToo movement grew, she embraced the role of contrarian, arguing that a public rush to condemn men accused of sexual misconduct and assault was shredding reputations and careers without due process." It disturbs me that a lawyer thinks that you have a right to due process before your career or reputation takes a hit. Either she's lying or she didn't even attend 1L constitutional law class. I wonder which it is.

  248. @C’s Daughter SOPHISTRY. Reasoning faulty. Guilty of Oversimplification: setting up either/or as only possible explanations, when others are overlooked.

  249. But isn’t that exactly what the attorney here is doing?

  250. The fact that she is an ultra strong woman and strong willed enough to defend the creep Harvey is about as feminist as it gets.

  251. @Nature Seems like she's more motivated by her ego than by feminism.

  252. @Nature Or maybe she's just a lawyer.

  253. @M.S. a person can be both a lawyer and a feminist. They are not diametrically opposed from one another.

  254. All the commentary mentioning pendulums: one thing about them - the higher they have been pulled/elevated/prolonged to one side, the higher they travel on the other side when no longer constrained. I don't think it seditious to believe the stored potential from years-upon-years of imbalance is at least as big an impetus as MeToo et al.

  255. @TomO The point is precisely that the pendulum was traveled far the other way, knocking quite a few women out of opportunities. If you behave decently and professionally towards people, that goes a long way.

  256. I agree. I have always said that I think #MeToo, and other copycat efforts like it, IS dangerous - not because it seeks to redress wrongs, but because it seeks to indict and convict in the public forum before the long established legal and judicial processes have time to act. It encourages people to put a scarlet letter on a person long before anything is actually proven. The results have been nothing short of HEINOUS (witness, for example, Senator Al Franken's precipitous "apology" and problematic self-removal). I also find #MeToo's (and other copycats) premises flawed as far as proposing to (once again, ad hoc) dictate rules re: things like sexual consent and related issues. Obviously, this is a much longer discussion - nevertheless, there it is.

  257. @Jake : Well that happened because of the gross failure of the justice system where about 1 in 1000 rapists are convicted.

  258. @Jake The fact is that explosive allegations of ANY kind put a scarlet letter on a person. Michael Jackson was never convicted of pedophilia, and neither has Woody Allen. OJ Simpson was never convicted of killing his wife and her friend. Regular, non-famous people are dismissed from jobs and denied opportunities all the time because of their social media profiles or unfounded rumors that other people spread about them. This has been going on since gossip existed, and has absolutely nothing to do with MeToo. No one is entitled to a sterling reputation, least of all rich privileged people like Weinstein. As for your problem with "dictating rules re: sexual consent", that too is a problem you can solve yourself: don't be intimate with people you don't trust. It takes quite a bit of entitlement to assume that YOU get to set the rules ad hoc all the time, and the other party has no say. People (men) like this think so highly of themselves that their money and position in business should automatically mean they have a right to mess with anybody they like. That pendulum swings both ways now - as it should.

  259. Everyone is entitled to a good defense. Ms Rotunno's argument claiming an assumption of guilt is based on deception. First of all no one has been found guilty in a court of law, so there is that deception. Then there is the unspoken implication of her assertions, that the general public has taken in the reporting on the matter and decided Weinstein is probably guilty. Fact is a lot of the press indicates they have for the most part decided he is probably guilty, she has no idea what the gen pop thinks. In any case she is trying to get people, listening to her make these assertions about assumptions, to assume and conflate the press's tone with a court verdict that has never taken place. There is also the matter of the people she will select for the jury being able to make their ruling based on the facts introduced in court not the reports in the press prior to the trial. Her assertions imply that jurors she has not yet selected are not able to discharge their duty honestly.

  260. Oh yea “Having voluntary sex with someone even if it is a begrudging act is not a crime after the fact.” This is a description of rape using gaslighting technique to get us to infer a lot for her and allow the word "voluntary" to alter the facts of what rape actually is. This is a version of the old fashioned old world idea that "you wanted it because you survived it" blame the victim practice. The only legit rape is the one the woman dies trying to stop. anything else means you wanted it.

  261. Put Weinstein and even defense counsel aside as his alleged actions and her courtroom tactics cloud the only issues that matter. Either we have bedrock rights in this country or we do not. Either we have a criminal justice system that works for all, poor and not just rich, celebrities and the common person, or we do not. In order to have any hope of a fair system, a presumption of innocence and a right of due process cannot be set aside on the altar of whatever movement is the flavor of the month or era. We have juries (though they can be waived by defendants) to determine the facts. Part of that fact-finding process is cross-examination. Testing the credibility of a witness is essential to the process. It can be done without bullying, but it must be done. No defendant gets convicted without the prosecution proving guilt by that high bar of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

  262. But it does not work for all. It works if you have enough money. Do you doubt she is being paid at least a million for her work on this case this case?

  263. @Unworthy Servant I agree with all that, and have serious concerns with the mob mentality of some people. It is not only the Left that declares people guilty without trial, by the way. When a cop shots a suspect, how many people automatically assume they deserved it? But before trial, there has to be an investigation and an arrest. If the system is refusing to investigate or arrest men that abuse women in the work place, then someone has to do the work of fixing the system. Those of us that believe defendants are innocent until proven guilty need to make sure that the system is doing what it was designed to do.

  264. She's right. Every accused, guilty or innocent, however repellent the crime, is entitled to representation and defense. Guilt is for juries to decide, not the press or an on-line mob. Weinstein may be guilty. Not every accused is. That's why procedural protections are built into the Constitution and the laws of every state.

  265. @Jonathan Katz That's all true, and I have serious problems with public shaming by mobs that don't give the accused the benefit of the doubt. There are very good reasons that we have "guilt beyond a reasonable doubt" standards and no longer have people wear scarlet letters. At the same time, however, without pubic anger the system will not change and it will continue to provide cover for those who abuse women in the work place. Whining about Me Too won't make it go away, although reminding people of how pubic shaming has been abused to destroy the innocent in the past may help calm some of the participants. If you want to quell pubic anger, make the system respond to women that come forward with allegations with compassion and real investigations, instead of shaming and ignoring them. Me Too is a symptom, not the disease. Meanwhile, while corporate media is wringing it's hands over virtual mobs yelling at people on the internet, and Obama complains about "cancel culture," there are actual mobs that actually beat people up on the streets, sometimes killing them. The Left base might be rude, but the Right base commits 90% of hate crimes and 70% of mass murders. Nothing cancels culture like a mass shooting. Keep a sense of perspective. Using your voice to make change is Constitutional. Using violence to make change is terrorism. Choose a side.

  266. she is a courageous woman.

  267. @nonpersonage naw. Greedy opportunism isn't courage.

  268. being paid for your work doesn't negate courage. police officers are paid, soldiers are paid. the point is, the atty stands up to the mob. she isn't afraid of public ridicule. like John Adams representing captain Preston and his men

  269. "She pointed out that both women maintained relationships with Mr. Weinstein after the alleged assaults." This is the definition of an abusive relationship. Spousal rape exists, workplace harassment exists; people can't always get away from their abusers or rapists.

  270. @JS He was the big boss. Has everyone forgotten that he headed the studio that these actors worked for?

  271. @dannyboy Not true. He was head of the studio, but actors don't work for studios. They get hired for individual pictures, and these women were trying to get hired.

  272. @GMooG Just to clarify. These women needed to maintain a relationship in order to get hired for individual pictures.