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Weinstein is a sinner, but not a rapist, says lawyer

Donna Rotunno said the evidence will exonerate the movie mogul of any criminal wrongdoing.

Harvey Weinstein (Mark Lennihan/AP)
Harvey Weinstein (Mark Lennihan/AP)

By Associated Press Reporters

A lawyer for Harvey Weinstein has said her client is not without sin — but he is not a rapist.

Donna Rotunno, speaking on CBS This Morning, said the evidence will exonerate the movie mogul of any criminal wrongdoing.

Weinstein is scheduled to go to trial in January on charges alleging he raped an unidentified woman in his Manhattan hotel room in 2013 and performed a forcible sex act on a different woman in 2006.

He denies all accusations of non-consensual sex.

The trial will occur against the backdrop of the #MeToo movement, which was fuelled by dozens of allegations of sexual misconduct against Weinstein.

“I’m not here to say he was not guilty of committing sins,” Ms Rotunno said, but she added: “I don’t think he’s a rapist.”

She said: “I think in many ways there are good things about #MeToo,” but the empowerment movement “allows the court of public opinion to take over the narrative” in a way that cannot be corrected or challenged, which can result in the accused being “stripped of your rights”.

“It’s really about making sure those issues don’t cloud our ability to pick a fair jury,” she said.

No matter what happens at trial, she said, Weinstein “will pay the biggest price there is”, because his life is ruined.

PA

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