Harvey Weinstein’s defense team began their closing remarks Thursday in the Los Angeles sexual assault trial against the former movie mogul, centering their argument around what attorney Alan Jackson said was a lack of evidence.
“Five words that sum up the entirety of the prosecution’s case: ‘Take my word for it,’” Jackson said. “‘Take my word for it that he showed up at my hotel room unannounced. Take my word for it that I showed up at his hotel room. Take my word for it that I didn’t consent. Take my word for it, that I said no.’”
Weinstein faces two counts of forcible rape and five counts of sexual assault involving four women – a model, a dancer, a massage therapist and a producer. He has pleaded not guilty to the seven charges against him.
Jurors heard from about 50 witnesses, including four accusers who were identified in court as Jane Does due to the nature of their allegations.
Additionally, four other women testified that similar incidents also occurred to them at Weinstein’s hands. Those alleged incidents are not being charged as part of this case because they happened outside of Los Angeles County.
Weinstein’s defense team has argued throughout the trial that witnesses either fabricated their stories or had consensual relations with Weinstein and zeroed in on that point Thursday, asking the jurors if they could “accept what (the Jane Does) say as gospel.”
Jackson accused the women who testified of being “fame and fortune seekers,” saying some of the Jane Does made up their stories while others benefited from a “transactional relationship” with Weinstein.
But in her final remarks earlier Thursday, Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Marlene Martinez highlighted the conditions that the women faced when they decided to testify in the trial, saying they knew it would be difficult and that “they would come to court and (Weinstein’s) attorneys (would) call them bimbos in open court for having been raped.”
“They knew they were coming to court to have these defense attorneys put them on the stand, to embarrass them,” she said.
The prosecutor later went on to review for jurors parts of their instructions and the standards that need to be met for a conviction.
“The truth is that, as you sit here, we know the despicable behavior the defendant engaged in. He thought he was so powerful that people would … excuse his behavior. That’s just Harvey being Harvey. That’s just Hollywood. And for so long that’s what everyone did. Everyone just turned their heads,” she said.
“It is time for the defendant’s reign of terror to end and it is time for the kingmaker to be brought to justice,” Martinez added.
During a 2020 trial in New York, Weinstein was convicted of a criminal sex act and third-degree rape and is currently serving a 23-year sentence for those crimes.
Should the Los Angeles jury – comprised of four women and eight men – find him guilty as charged, Weinstein would face 60 years to life in prison, plus an additional five years.
Midway through the trial, four of the original 11 charges against Weinstein tied to a fifth Jane Doe were dropped without explanation.