Giving evidence for a third day the victim told the court “I want the jury to know, he is my rapist.’ This was the victim’s emphatic response to Donna Rotunno’s questioning her about an e-mail she sent in 2016 to Weinstein, thanking him. Rotunno asked why she would take favours from “her rapist.”
Weinstein’s lawyers say that the evidence points to a consensual relationship and they have tried to paint the victim as a manipulative opportunist. However, the victim told the court,
Rotunno asked her how many times they had consensual sex, the woman responded: “I only remember intercourse the times that he raped me.”
This was after the victim broke down and suffered from a panic attack on Monday following Rotunno’s aggressive questioning about what she did and didn’t do throughout the relationship and her many attempts to paint her as a serial liar who tried to manipulate Weinstein.
The victim described Weinstein as the manipulative one.
Rotunno pressed her on emails she had sent to Weinstein in the years after she said he raped her in 2013.
“I’m not ashamed of them and that’s why I’m still here,” the victim said Tuesday of the correspondence. “I know that it’s complicated and difficult, but that doesn’t change the fact that he raped me. … I don’t need an excuse. I own my behaviour.”
The vicim returned to give evidence for a third day, after Emanuela Postacchini, an Italian actor based in Los Angeles, was called to testify about the threesome in 2013. Emanuela said that she did not want to have sex with Weinstein and had agreed to meet him for a drink. She said she felt pressured and relented.
Weinstein asked them both to undress and began telling them what to do, she testified.
Emanuela said she could not recall any details about what Weinstein asked them to do, but said she remembered the victim “was in a foetal position on the ground, crying” and recalled trying to console her. Emanuela explained that she could not remember what happened after that.
Emanuela also testified that she too was subject to Weinstein’s sexual harassment and that when she was supposed to meet him for a brunch meeting previously, he showed up in a bathrobe.
“He was naked and asked for a massage,” she said.
Emanuela gave evidence out of order, interrupting the cross examination of the victim, due to an audition she needed to attend in LA. She had been waiting to give evidence since Friday and the Judge allowed it, despite further requests from the defence for a mistrial.
My Two Cents: Aside from Emanuela’s testimony importantly corroborating the victim’s account about the failed threesome, her disclosure about Weinstein sexually harassing her paints the picture of a familiar pattern of behaviour – another woman who went to meet Weinstein believing it to be a business meeting, who was met by Weinstein, wearing a robe, pressured and coerced into sexual acts.
I spot a pattern. A predatory pattern. A pattern of coercive control.
And just to underline the point that on average it takes a woman seven attempts to successfully leave an abuser. I wonder if the court are hearing about that. Factor in the age difference, Weinstein was 67, and how powerful he was at the time (his own words ‘I’m the fucking sheriff of this shit ass fucking town) and another pattern emerges.
One of a powerful man, who called the shots.
It’s what makes Rotunno’s predicted flipping of the script so absurd. Rotunno wants the court to believe the women’s reactions post sexual assault are the anomaly, when they are the norm.
Rotunno’s well versed and accomplished at trotting out every rape and abuse myth going and excelled herself today attacking the mental health of the victim, a woman who had previously been abused and who had a panic attack on Monday due to Rotunno’s aggressive questioning.
Rotunno wants to court to believe that it was Weinstein who was being manipulated.
Donna, I get it. This has worked for you when aggressively representing men accused of sexual assault in the past. But rape is a power and control crime and this man craves power and control. He is a man who would be charming when things went his way, but who would threaten people if they did not abide by his rules and regulations. A man who would not take no for an answer, who found the word ‘no’ triggering.’
The case continues.
I am not naming the victim as it is not clear whether she is happy to be identified.