'Sex was a commodity in Hollywood': Harvey Weinstein's lawyer slams accusers for their 'false claims'

'Sex was a commodity in Hollywood': Harvey Weinstein's lawyer slams accusers for their 'false claims'
Harvey Weinstein was extradited from New York to Los Angeles to face sex-related charges (Etienne Laurent-Pool/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: Harvey Weinstein's lawyer has said that the movie mogul frequently engaged in “transactional sex” with women looking to break into Hollywood that was always consensual. The 70-year-old is currently serving a 23-year prison sentence after being found guilty on sexual assault charges.

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The disgraced producer's lawyer Mark Werksman said in his opening statement, “You’ll learn that in Hollywood, sex was a commodity. … Everyone did it. He did it. They did it. Because each wanted something from another.” Werksman said that although the sex “may have been unpleasant” and “might be embarrassing,” but it was consensual.

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According to Law and Crime, while speaking to jurors on Monday, October 24, the lawyer said, “He’s not Brad Pitt or George Clooney. Do you think those beautiful women had sex with him because he’s hot? No. They did it because he was powerful.”

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Former film producer Harvey Weinstein (L) interacts with his attorney Mark Werksman in court at the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center on October 4, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. Harvey Weinstein was extradited from New York to Los Angeles to face sex-related charges.
Former film producer Harvey Weinstein (L) interacts with his attorney Mark Werksman in court at the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center on October 4, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Etienne Laurent-Pool/Getty Images)

Werksman said that two women fabricated their encounters with Weinstein while two others who accused him are lying about consensual encounters, which includes Jennifer Siebel Newsom, wife of California Governor Gavin Newsom.

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Werksman said that Siebel Newsom testified before a grand jury that she faked an orgasm with Weinstein, which according to him, “did not communicate a lack of consent.” The lawyer said, “Just the opposite,” adding that instead of saying “no, no, no, no,” Siebel Newsom said, “yes, yes, yes, yes.” This is why Weinstein “actually and reasonably believed that she had consented,”Werksman said. He also shared emails Siebel Newsom sent Weinstein after the alleged attack, which talks about campaign donations. Werksman said, “She brought her husband to meet and party with the man who raped her. Who does that?” adding that Gov. Newsom “took money from his wife’s rapist to advance political campaigns?”

Werksman told the jury that the expert hired by prosecutors “will testify that your common sense is wrong”, and that the four women who will testify as “other bad act” witnesses are being called “in order to confuse and overwhelm you.” Werksman also claimed that the “prosecution’s case is a fire hose” that is “designed to blow Mr. Weinstein out of his chair.” However, he said the evidence will show each allegation is a “weak and unsubstantiated trickle that will evaporate upon your close scrutiny.”

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'Asteroid called #MeToo '

Werksman said, “An asteroid called the #MeToo movement hit Earth with such ferocity that everything changed overnight. And Mr. Weinstein became the epicenter of the #MeToo movement,” labelling his client “Hollywood’s Chernobyl.” According to Werksman, “In every epic drama, there has to be a bad guy, right? And he’s it,” but Weinstein’s accusers’ “hypocrisy will be on full display,” as the prosecutors have no eyewitnesses to the alleged assaults or surveillance footage to substantiate their claims. He added, “At its heart, each and everyone of these allegations is going to boil down to the accusers saying ‘believe me.'”

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