DEFENSE PRESENTING ITS CASE IN HARVEY WEINSTEIN RAPE TRIAL
NEW YORK (AP) – The prosecution has rested. And now it’s time for the defense to present its case before the New York City jury hearing the rape and sexual assault trial of Harvey Weinstein. The prosecution wrapped up yesterday, after more than two weeks of testimony, including accounts from six women who say the movie titan ignored their pleas and had his way sexually with them. Some of the women said Weinstein told them having sex with him was the way to get ahead in Hollywood. Before the defense began its presentation, Weinstein attorney Donna Rotunno asked the judge to dismiss the case, claiming the prosecution hadn’t met its burden of proof. The judge refused – and the trial continues with the defense trying to persuade the jury to acquit Weinstein.
WILL HARVEY WEINSTEIN TESTIFY?
NEW YORK (AP) – Will he, or won’t he? It’s the question hovering over the proceedings as the Harvey Weinstein rape case moves a step closer to completion. Defense attorneys aren’t tipping their hand about whether the Hollywood big shot will take the stand in his defense. Of course, no one is required to take the stand – and judges always tell jurors not to read anything negative into the fact that a defendant declines to testify. But having Weinstein take the stand could bring big risks. Jurors have already heard testimony from six women who say the producer sexually assaulted him. And if Weinstein takes the stand, prosecutors would bombard him with detailed questions about the accounts given by each of the accusers.
DEFENSE WITNESS GRILLED BY PROSECUTORS
NEW YORK (AP) – As it launched its defense, Harvey Weinstein’s legal team got off to a rocky start. The first witness called yesterday was Paul Feldsher, a former agent who remains an ally of the Hollywood producer. After taking questions from the defense, Feldsher seemed blindsided by questions from the prosecution. He was shown a message in which he criticized Weinstein accusers as “a dog pile of actresses who are suddenly brave and recalling repressed memories.” When court resumes today, the defense is expected to call a psychologist who specializes in memory. Weinstein’s legal team is trying to raise doubts about the women’s recollections of encounters that, in some cases, are more than a decade or two old.
TRUMP ACQUITTAL REMARKS PROMPT APOLOGY
NEW YORK (AP) – Sometimes, a TV host or news anchor will apologize for a profanity that goes out live on the air. But it was unusual to hear such an apology after the person who used the profanity – was the President of the United States. That’s what happened yesterday when President Donald Trump spoke on the air live for more than an hour, venting and gloating over his impeachment acquittal the day before. NBC’s Lester Holt apologized that network censors didn’t bleep Trump when he called the investigation into his actions “bulls–.” Holt said the president’s language “was obviously not something we wanted children to hear.” Another anchor likened Trump’s rambling comments to watching someone on a therapist’s couch.
TRUMP – RAPE ALLEGATION
NEW YORK (AP) – President Donald Trump’s lawyers are trying to pull the plug on a lawsuit filed by an advice columnist who accuses him of raping her in the 1990s. Attorneys for the president say E. Jean Carroll’s request for Trump’s DNA as possible evidence is “extensive and burdensome.” Carroll and former “Apprentice” contestant Summer Zervos claim Trump besmirched them by calling them liars after they accused him of sexual assault. In the Zervos case, Trump’s lawyers claim a sitting president can’t be sued in state courts – and they want the New York State Supreme Court to decide the issue.
KOBE BRYANT MEMORIAL SET FOR LATER THIS MONTH
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Plans for a public memorial service for Kobe Bryant, his daughter and seven others killed in a helicopter crash are being firmed up. A person with knowledge of the details tells The Associated Press the event is set for Feb. 24 at Staples Center in Los Angeles. That’s where Bryant starred for the Los Angeles Lakers for most of his two-decade career. The date, 2/24, is also symbolic. It represents with the No. 24 jersey he used to wear and the No. 2 worn by his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna
FASHION WEEK GETS UNDER WAY
NEW YORK (AP) – With shouts of “work it! work it!” from superfan Leslie Jones in the front row, Christian Siriano helped kick off New York Fashion Week. As Siriano put models through their paces, they strutted up and down the runway wearing showstopping gowns, rainbow fringe and pops of bright “funhouse” green. Jones, who is on “Saturday Night Live,” became as much of a show as the models and designers, hopping out of her seat at times to cheer on the models as Heidi Klum looked on.
by Oscar Wells Gabriel II
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