Donna Rotunno also explained why she chose to defend the disgraced movie producer.
Harvey Weinstein's defense attorney Donna Rotunno proudly boasted she herself has never been a victim of sexual assault in an interview with The Daily podcast on Friday.
"I have not... because I would never put myself in that position," she told New York Times reporter Megan Twohey.
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"So you're saying... actually I'm sorry, so you're saying that you've never been sexually assaulted because you've never put yourself in the position of being sexually assaulted?" asked a temporarily stunned Twohey, who was one of the reporters who initially broke the Weinstein sexual assault allegations story.
"I've always made choices from college age on where I never drank too much," she replied. "I never went home with someone that I didn't know. I just never put myself in any vulnerable circumstance — ever."
When probed further if she believed every woman who has ever been sexually assaulted put herself in that position — whether by having drinks or agreeing to go to a hotel room — Rotunno replied "absolutely not."
"But just as we make smart decisions when we walk out on the street at night, I think you have to make the same decision when you're putting yourself in circumstances with other people," she added. "When we walk out at night we look around, we make sure we have our phone, some people take mace. We take precautions. All I'm saying is women should take precautions."
As for women who "get pulled into a dark alley", she said that was a "totally different conversation."
She said that women who go on dates with men and make the choice to go into their home at the end of the night: "What do you think would potentially happen?"
"If you're not prepared for what could potentially happen, I think we're kidding ourselves," she said. "And then to leave and say 'I had no idea that this person would maybe try to be sexual with me or have a sexual advance', is naive."
The same goes for people who swipe right on Tinder, flirt and kiss, and then say "they had no idea that he may want to do this: You just can't have it both ways," she insisted. "Women need to be very clear about their intentions."
Rotunno also had some advice for men: "If I was a man in today's world, and I was engaging in sexual behavior with any woman today, I would ask them to sign a consent form," she said. "I am being dead serious."
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"Because how easy is it for two people to engage in behavior and then a day later, two days later, five days later, 27 years later, somebody say 'you know what? That's not what that was'? Why not? Take all the question out of it, make it easier for everybody," she continued.
While dozens of women have accused Weinstein of rape and sexual assault, his ongoing criminal trial is centered around the accusations of just two women; Miriam Haley and Jessica Mann. Rotunno aims to prove they were both in consensual relationships with the producer.
Rotunno, who has defended many men accused of sexual assault, shrugged off the label as a traitor to women some have applied. She said she first became interested in the niche after the famous 2006 "Duke Lacrosse" case, in which three university players were falsely accused of rape.
"I think quite often, we look to the accusers and we talk about the effects that these things have on their lives; but we do not have a look at the effects these types of accusations and allegations have on the person being accused," she said.
"I mean look at Harvey; look at Harvey physically from what he looked like when all this started to what he looks like now. People can talk all they want about walkers and faking it; physically it is so apparently obvious what this has done, and the toll it has taken on him."
Rotunno claimed the culture allows people who make allegations to automatically take on a victim status. "All I'm looking for is fairness," she said.
She went on to assert that when we automatically believe all women and victims, we are "taking out a very large portion of the steps we should be taking before we get to that notion that just because someone says something they should be believed."
"I think prosecutors and police are afraid to be skeptical of complaining witnesses and accusers today, I think they feel like 'I better just believe what they say'," she said, adding that she believed this was also happening in domestic violence cases.
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"What someone says does not mean that that's what happened. There's always more than one side to a story."
Rotunno denied being anti-MeToo, but rather "anti what happens because of things like MeToo." She said that while there are undoubtedly lots of positives to be taken from the movement, we cannot move to convicting people before a trial.
In Weinstein's case — she refused to comment on any of the allegations, besides the two she is defending him in court against — she said she could believe he was a sinner; but she questioned if that rose to the level of a crime. Sins she defined as treating someone inappropriately, yelling at someone at work, cheating on your wife - "not good, but also don't mean you should spend the rest of your life in prison," she insisted.
The attorney claimed the actions of the two women after the allegations proves all encounters were consensual, such as one of them calling Harvey to make sure he had her new phone number after she changed it.
She said the insinuation Harvey had the power to damage an actress's career was "absolutely ridiculous", claiming that if he called another power producer and "told them not to use actress A, they would have wanted to use her ten times more".
"These are still choices that women are making," she said. "And whether they are choices you are happy you made, or not happy you made - you still made a choice. And women have to start owning these choices. They either have to say 'I'm not going to do these things to attempt to get a job', or 'I'm going to own my choice for making that decision'."
"Women cannot be equal, if women don't start taking on equal risk," she continued to assert. "Women want men to take on all the risk; they want to then put themselves in whatever situation they are in, and then walk out and say 'oh my god I had no idea that was going to happen to me' — you can't have it both ways."
"When you are put in circumstances that you think are questionable, or negative, or you don't want to be in, or you think this is the only way I'm going to get the job - we know that that's ridiculous. We know that if women stand up and say 'I'm not going to take this, I'm not going to do this' - you have other options."
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Rotunno insisted she was not saying that women who "go to the hotel room" deserve to have something bad happen to them; "But if you go to the hotel room, you continue to perpetrate a culture that allows that to be acceptable. If women take the power and say none of us are going to a hotel room - then that culture must change."
She scoffed at the idea women who were asked to the Oscars, and then asked out for drinks, and then asked at midnight to a hotel room to "read a script" actually thought they were going up there to read a script.
"A radar has to go off, a light bulb has to go on - 'okay this may not be what I think it is'," she said.
She pointed out that a lot of people who said no and walked out of the room "are very famous now".
When asked why she thinks women would lie, Rotunno claimed we have created a "society of celebrity victimhood status".
"Where women don't have to take any responsibility for their actions, there is absolutely no risk for a women to come forward now and make a claim," she said. "Zero."
Things got a little bit tense between the reporter and the attorney when Rotunno refused to be drawn on the dozens of other allegations, and then shot back at Twohey — who is the co-author of "She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement" — who she claimed had her own agenda. The journalist did not let the suggestion her reporting was one-sided go unchallenged.
"Harvey Weinstein — hopefully — is going to walk out of that criminal courtroom as a free man, and then society is going to make its judgements," Rotunno said tersely. "It's not for me to decide - and for you either, frankly."
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