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Harvey Weinstein Hires New Attorneys, Including a Woman Who Has Been Outspoken Against the #MeToo Movement

By Daniel Goldblatt

Harvey Weinstein has brought in two new attorneys to defend him in his upcoming sex-crimes trial, including a woman who has taken a fervent anti-#MeToo position.

According to a recent court filing, Donna Rotunno and Damon Cheronis, who are both based in Chicago, have been retained by Weinstein. Arthur Aidala, Weinstein's New York attorney, remains on the case.

Rotunno spoke with the Wall Street Journal, saying she is "not a woman who has ever subscribed to" the #MeToo movement.

"I believe women are responsible for the choices that they make," she said.

Rotunno said that by signing on to Weinstein's defense team, she was hoping to tell women to take responsibility for their actions and "say to women, ‘Maybe don’t go to the hotel room, maybe we are having a different conversation.'"

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Chicago magazine

A February 2018 article in Chicago magazine described Rotunno by saying, "But often lost in the flood of accusations, she says, is a stark and undeniable fact: Not all people claiming they’ve been sexually assaulted or harassed are telling the truth."

She was quoted as saying, "We are in an era of conviction by allegation in this country right now, which flies in the face of the entire principle of innocent until proven guilty."

Weinstein parted ways with attorney Benjamin Brafman. The two released a statement at the time, saying, "Harvey Weinstein and his Criminal Defense Lawyer Benjamin Brafman have agreed to part ways and Mr. Weinstein has authorized Mr. Brafman to formally notify Judge Burke of his decision to withdraw as counsel for Mr. Weinstein in connection with all legal matters currently pending."

A week later, Weinstein showed up to a court hearing with a new legal team, highlighted by Jose Baez, who famously represented Casey Anthony and Aaron Hernandez.

Earlier this month, Baez asked to be removed from the case.

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