The System Works Just Fine For The Harvey Weinsteins Of This World

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by Patricia G. Barnes

      • Note: Harvey Weinstein was found guilty on 2/24/20 of rape and criminal sexual acts after a trial in which six women testified that he had sexually assaulted them.  He was acquitted on three other counts, including the two most serious charges against him — that he is a sexual predator.

Ah, the irony.

Donna Rotunno, a lead attorney for disgraced movie mogul and alleged sexual predator Harvey Weinstein, recently penned an editorial for Newsweek  Magazine bemoaning the state of the U.S. Justice system.

She writes:

“The United States justice system has proven fair and effective throughout the history of our nation. But not always.”

Rotunno goes on to implore jurors in the Weinstein trial to do what they know is right, which is code for acquitting Weinstein.

The Weinstein jury told the judge Friday that they are unable to reach a verdict on the two predatory sexual assault counts but are unanimous on the other three counts. The judge told them to keep deliberating.

Contrary to Rotunno, the real problem with America’s justice system is not how it treats multimillionaires who can afford a team of pit bull advocates and jury consultants, but how it treats women and girls who are victims of sexual assault.

The system repeatedly fails to acknowledge that sexual assault is a serious injury suffered by one out of every five women. More than a third of the victims are raped before the age of 18. The vast majority suffer post-traumatic stress.

The system works just fine for the Weinstein’s of this world.

For the system to work for Weinstein’s victims, however, jurors must divest themselves of stereotypes about women and class prejudice.

If a woman is naïve, poor and desperate for success, she isn’t necessarily lying about being assaulted in a hotel room by the most power producer in the world.

If a woman isn’t the equivalent of the Virgin Mary, she does not forfeit her right to be free from sexually assault.

The #MeToo movement has unleashed a tsunami of pent up anger and frustration by women who have suffered serious physical and psychological injury over the years at the hands of powerful men like Weinstein.

Weinstein repeatedly bought his way out of trouble while fraternizing with the likes of former President Bill Clinton and Prince Andrew. Media reports show he used his resources to intimidate victims and inquisitive members of the press and was aided and abetted by assistants, producers, fixers, executives, publicists and lawyers. The Weinstein company board of directors knew of at least three confidential settlements but there was no sanction.

Some 90 women have accused Weinstein of sexual abuse.

Rotunno  contends:

“For the process to work as intended and to operate in good faith, jurors must accept the responsibility of not just considering the facts, testimony and evidence, but cutting through the noise of a media and public intent on injecting their narratives into the courtroom, twisting those facts to fit their point of view.”

Again, the irony.

It is Rotunno who is brazenly using the media to influence the jury.

The presiding judge in the Weinstein trial scolded Rotunno for attempting to influence jurors via the Newsweek editorial and forbade the Weinstein defense team from speaking with the media until after the trial is over.

Of course, the horse has long escaped the barn.

The Guardian reports that Rotunno gave an interview that will be aired Sunday on 60 Minutes Australia, in which she states: “Is Harvey guilty of committing sins? Sure, but that doesn’t make you a criminal … A sin is cheating on your wife.”

3 thoughts on “The System Works Just Fine For The Harvey Weinsteins Of This World”

  1. I don’t doubt there are people on the jury who aren’t going to understand this case at all and who might acquit him, or be unable to reach a verdict. They will simply not understand the concept of blackmail, threats, second guessing, destruction of self-esteem, and victims blaming themselves for getting into their situations in the first place, which was 100% because of the predator. I’ve taken 100 meetings in hotel rooms in my lifetime and was never assaulted. It’s where meetings are taken on the road.

    I lost my first career and aspirations because I was sexually solicited on the job. But I didn’t capitulate to the demands, and the result was the same: I lost my job, wound up with trauma avoidance, and to the contrary of the repulsiveness of Weinstein, I loved my abuser dearly (I thought he was adorable) and I let him destroy me instead of retaliating against him. He ordered my job record falsified, I was fired, and blackballed from NBC, and I never told a soul what really happened for 29 years, and I didn’t begin to perform (as in entertain) again for 30 years. But my powerful, rich abuser got his 50 years on the air, and last Christmas he died at age 79. I’m 64 and if you think it’s easy trying to resurrect a long defunct performing career at this age, think again. That’s how long the trauma avoidance lasted.

    Boo hoo for Weinstein. He and his repulsive attorney are — and I don’t apologize for the expression – total a-holes. I hope he goes to prison for the rest of his life. He may have produced great films, but so have many others who weren’t assholes. He was and is a very sick man and needs to go down in history as the corrupt, blackmailing, disgusting piece of crap he always was.

    These situations are so complex, that when I finally imploded myself in 2010 after 29 years of keeping everything inside, I couldn’t sue, because the statute of limitations had run out. In 2018, I published a massive, coffee table book about all of it – and I published all the corporate memos and personal materials I needed to prove and document my story. The coward knew I did this, too, and he went to his grave not wanting to see it, either. In denial is how these men live … and die. Weinstein will go to his grave believing he did nothing wrong and proclaiming he’s the “victim.” I hope the jury is smarter than he is, but I don’t have much faith.

    1. Most of the women I know have dealt with sexual harassment. The last time it happened to me, I was in my 50s and it was my boss (but I was soon edged out because I said NO). Glad to read you have written your story! Sounds like page turner!


    2. Most of the women I know have dealt with sexual harassment. The last time it happened to me, I was in my 50s and it was my boss (but I was soon edged out because I said NO). Glad to read you have written your story! Sounds like page turner!

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