Harvey Weinstein considered himself such a big shot in Hollywood that he thought he could get away with treating aspiring actresses like “complete disposables,” a prosecutor told a jury in closing arguments Friday at his New York City rape trial.
“The universe is run by me, and therefore, they don’t get to complain when they are stepped on, spit on, demoralised and, yes, raped and abused by me — the king,” Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzzi-Orbon said, mimicking Weinstein.
Using a TV monitor next to the jury box, the prosecutors displayed photos of ‘Sopranos’ actress Annabella Sciorra and five other accusers who also testified. Illuzzi told jurors that, putting aside the more successful Sciorra, who dined with Uma Thurman and dated Gary Oldman, the women were viewed by Weinstein as “complete disposables.”
“These other women, they were never in his world,” Illuzzi said. “They are never going to be in his world. They are never going to be strong enough, bold enough or brave enough to tell. But Annabella — someone might believe her.”
Illuzzi also showed a side-by-side comparison of Sciorra’s testimony about confronting Weinstein in the mid-1990s — after she accuses him of raping her — and similar testimony by the woman he’s charged with raping in 2013 about how the mogul reacted when she told him she had a boyfriend.
“His eyes went black and I thought he was going to hit me right there,” Sciorra testified. With the click of a button, the rape accuser’s testimony popped up: “His eyes changed and he was not there. They were very black and he ripped me up.”
At times, Weinstein sat back in his chair staring ahead at a screen in front of the defence table that mirrored what was being shown to the seven men and five women on the jury.
After sitting through the three-hour summation, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr shot reporters a thumbs up. Meanwhile, Weinstein’s lawyers said the film producer was confident, heading into the long weekend before the start of deliberations Tuesday.
“The evidence is all on our side,” Weinstein’s lawyer Donna Rotunno said.
Illuzzi’s closing comes a day after Rotunno offered an epic, hourslong defence closing argument, painting the prosecution’s case as a “sinister tale” absent proof needed to convict Weinstein.
Prosecutors created an “alternate universe” that “strips adult women of common sense, autonomy and responsibility,” Rotunno argued.
“Regret does not exist in this world, only regret renamed as rape,” she said.