Two more lawyers have officially joined Harvey Weinstein‘s legal team ahead of his sexual assault trial in September — and they’re claiming he’s been “railroaded” by the #MeToo movement.
The disgraced movie mogul was in Manhattan Supreme Court for a brief hearing Thursday, when Judge Steven Statsinger approved adding Donna Rotunno and Damon Cheronis to his roster of lawyers.
“The emotion of this case has been taken over and common sense has been left outside,” Rotunno told reporters after the hearing.
Then, she blamed the #MeToo movement on taking down her client.
“I believe he has been railroaded,” she said. “I believe that movements allow emotion to take over and they are devoid of fact and evidence.”
The Chicago attorneys replace Jose Baez, who begged off the bombshell case after his relationship with Weinstein soured. They join Arthur Aidala, Marianne Bertuna and Barry Kamins, who are from the same law firm.
Rotunno called it an “honor” to represent Weinstein, while boasting about how she’ll add to his overall defense.
“I think a woman standing here could make a difference,” she told reporters. “I think it creates a different atmosphere in terms of my ability to have a conversation with someone on the witness stand. I think it’s a little bit more effective to have a woman ask a woman questions. I think I can come across in a way that might not seem bullying or offensive in any way.”
Weinstein is accused of forcibly performing oral sex on production assistant Mimi Haleyi in 2006 and raping a longtime lover in a Manhattan hotel in 2013.
His 15-minute court appearance apparently left him bored to tears — he was snapped leaving the courtroom with tic-tac-toe scrawled on a yellow legal notepad.
In her own post-hearing press conference, Gloria Allred, who represents two of Weinstein’s accusers in their civil cases, scoffed at Rotunno using her gender as a leg up.
“If this is Ms. Rotunno’s strategy and if she believes that because she is a woman, she can get away with it, she may find that they may not agree with her,” said Allred. “A bully is a bully, regardless of their gender.”
Weinstein’s trial is set for Sept. 9.
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