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Weinstein Lawyer Stirs Up Trouble With Interview

Donna Rotunno says she would never put herself 'in any vulnerable circumstance ever'
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 8, 2020 11:00 AM CST
Donna Rotunno, Harvey Weinstein's defense attorney, arrives at court for his trial on charges of rape and sexual assault, Friday, Jan. 24, 2020, in New York.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
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(Newser) – Harvey Weinstein's defense lawyer has kicked up a hornet's nest by saying she "would never put herself" in the position of being sexually assaulted, the New York Post reports. "I have not because I would never put myself in that position," Donna Rotunno told New York Times reporter Megan Twohey on the Times podcast, The Daily, which aired Friday. "I've always made choices from college-age on where I never drank too much, I never went home with someone I didn't know, I just never put myself in any vulnerable circumstance ever." Rotunno denied that all sexual-assault victims were partly responsible, but Fox News quotes her as saying that "we have created a society of celebrity victimhood status. ... a society where women don't have to take responsibility for their actions."

Prosecutors argued in court Friday that Rotunno had violated an explicit order from Judge James Burke about publicly discussing the case, per BuzzFeed. "She's calling our witnesses liars and celebrity victimhood status, and it is completely in contradiction to your order," prosecutor Joan Illuzzi-Orbon said after the jury had been allowed to leave. Totunno said the interview was done "a long time ago," before the case began, and she "had no idea" it would air Friday, the day after prosecutors rested their case. There's no record of the judge's response, but a Times spokeswoman says Rotunno's interview was recorded on Jan. 28—well after the trial began Jan. 7—and she was "made aware of the air date." (Read more Harvey Weinstein stories.)

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