It is often a futile endeavor to pick apart the logic of people as willfully ignorant—or calculatedly malicious—as Donna Rotunno. Not only has she claimed to never have been sexually assaulted because, in her words, “I would never put myself in that position,” she rested her defense Harvey Weinstein having told the press that the blame for sexual assault “should rest equally.”
Thankfully, Donna Rotunno has given us plenty to pick apart. Page Six reports today in court, that Weinstein’s lawyer declared war on feminist attorney Gloria Allred, who made comments yesterday questioning Rotunno’s frequent statements to the press. Specifically, Rotunno is upset that Allred alleged that her statements to New York Times journalist Megan Twohey—which insinuated that if women were more careful, they definitely wouldn’t be raped by Tinder dates or boyfriends—might have some impact on a jury.
Speaking to Variety yesterday, Allred said: “I don’t think she’s helped herself with some of her media appearances, where she talked about how she’s never been a sexual assault victim because she wouldn’t put herself in that position.” She questioned Rotunno’s motive in publishing an op-ed in Newsweek, which implored jurors to “look past the headlines” and see her client’s humanity. (If there is any left, that is.) Allred also accused Rotunno of attempting to tamper with the jury—a complaint also made by prosecutors in court —with the various statements she’s made to the press, including her podcast with Twohey. All in all, a moderate set of complaints.
Finding the first woman victim ever in herself, Rotunno accused Allred of bullying her in court this morning. Rotunno says she must attend an out-of-town funeral this weekend, meaning jury deliberations will need to be cut short and end at 3pm, if no verdict has been reached. Ignoring the vast amount of legitimate criticism brought against her by Allred, Page Six reports that Rotunno “marched over to Allred, who was in the front row of the gallery, to chastise Allred for allegedly discussing on camera that Rotunno had to attend a funeral over the weekend.”
Allred, who pointedly did not discuss said funeral in her on-camera Variety interview, was heard saying: “You are out of control! I did not say that! Once again, you are distorting the facts!” After Justice James Burke called the court to session, Rotunno put her one-sided beef with Allred on the record, telling the judge: “Miss Allred feels the need to go out on a daily basis to attack me, which is fine. [...] She doesn’t care that it’s wrong and it’s horrible behavior.”
No less horrible, I’m sure, then calling alleged rape victims liars on the witness stand, telling victims of sexual assault that they should share the blame for being assaulted, or regurgitating generally archaic beliefs about what victims should look and act like in one the most well-publicized court trial in decades.
But most galling is how blatantly Rotunno’s outlook centers on herself. Everyone is responsible for their own outcomes, until she is criticized by another very smart attorney. Then, and only then, can she spot a victim!