The now infamous movie producer Harvey Weinstein has returned to Los Angeles to defend himself against a handful of different accusers. Weinstein is currently in prison in New York for the sexual assault of multiple women, but has been transferred to Los Angeles for a trial that includes other actresses and models, including Jennifer Siebel Newsom, wife of California Governor Gavin Newsom. With the 2022 election next week, it is quite odd to see both Newsoms in the headlines these days. What is disturbing is how Jennifer Seibel Newsom appeared to have been sexually assaulted yet maintained a relationship with the ex-mogul. To add another level of disgust, Weinstein’s lawyers’ abrasive language during the trial has shed a light on the moral vapidness of the Hollywood system and cold-hearted manner in which Weinstein saw his entitlement.
With multiple women coming forward against Weinstein, the trial has revealed some awfully disturbing information leading up to, during and after the accusations took place. Weinstein’s attorney Mark Werksman told jurors on Monday that these women are just fame seekers. He used harsh tones, claiming, “It was the casting couch. Everyone did it. He did it. They did it. Because each wanted something from another.”
Five years after the #MeToo movement and the lawyers are still blaming women.
Werksman argued that Weinstein was just taking advantage of his social status and so were the women. “Now look at him,” he said, referring to Weinstein. “He’s not Brad Pitt or George Clooney. Do you think these beautiful women had sex with him because he’s hot? They did it because he is powerful.”
Werksman then went on the attack in a brutal tirade, calling the alleged victims liars.
“The accusers in this case, women who willingly played the dame by the rules that applied back then, they will come into this courtroom now, with their lawyers in tow, and claim they were raped and sexually assaulted,” Werksman said. “They have to lie to themselves . . . to make what they did consensually back then seem like it was forced upon them.”
While we all can make jokes about how awful lawyers are, and Werksman is the king of slime, his argument is based on the sad reality that after the assaults, these women couldn’t say anything and then still had to run in social circles with Weinstein.
“You will see reams of emails and texts from the very women who accuse him of sexual assault asking him for future meetings . . . expressing regret that they didn’t see him. Asking for favors.”
Deadline reported, “He went through the list of accusers in an effort to cast doubts on their claims. That included Jennifer Siebel Newsom, wife of California Gov. Gavin Newsom. Werksman said that Siebel Newsom, identified as Jane Doe 4, had a consensual sexual relationship with Weinstein because she wanted help getting roles and producing films.” (“Harvey Weinstein L.A. Rape Trial: Accuser Tearfully Recounts Alleged Assault; Defense Attorney Calls Sexual Encounters ‘Transactional’ On Day 1,” Ted Johnson, Oct. 24, 2022.)
Werksman went on to say that Siebel Newsom’s claims were intended to tie herself to the #MeToo movement, “…otherwise she’d be just another bimbo with Weinstein to get ahead in Hollywood.”
The Deadline piece continues, “[Werksman] referred to Siebel Newsom’s claim that she went ‘limp’ and ‘dead inside’ when Weinstein allegedly raped her. But Werksman claimed that she faked an orgasm with Weinstein during the alleged assault. ‘She did not communicate a lack of consent, just the opposite,’ he said. Weinstein ‘actually and reasonably believed’ that she had consented due to the fake orgasm, he said.
The defense attorney also noted that Siebel Newsom later sent Weinstein an email thanking him for inviting her and Gavin Newsom to a party. ‘She brought her husband to meet and party with the man who raped her. Who does that?’ Werksman also noted that Weinstein donated to Newsom’ s campaigns for mayor of San Francisco and for lieutenant governor.”
All of this is messy and weird and sadly human. The world of Hollywood and politics creates a cringy synergy that makes one cynical to the idea that artists or politicians can be noble.
I’m pretty sure Weinstein will be found guilty again, as the prosecution also has evidence involving the infamous producer’s genitals that would prove what happened in Los Angeles was beyond just transactional sex.
Where the Newsoms come into all of this is that they are proof that, politically, one can go through multiple scandals, carry baggage, and have your name run through the papers and still be frontrunners for reelection.
Welcome to a new normal in politics. Where the issues play second fiddle to the scandals. I hate it here.