The seventh day of deliberations in the Harvey Weinstein sexual harassment trial began on Monday with the juror questioning who would be more credible and likable: a confident, successful, 27-year-old assistant or a 61-year-old “streetwise” boardroom bully. The woman, who has not been named, testified during the five weeks of the jury trial that Weinstein sexually harassed her when she tried to fend off his requests for her to give him massages and other sexual favors.
“I think he wanted [our relationship] to end,” she said on the stand. “What I saw was that maybe I was too nice.” Weinstein’s defense attorney claimed that her tell-all account was an effort to “scapegoat” him for his “occasional mistakes.” They also reminded the jury that he had never been accused of sexually assaulting anyone, and pointed out that her prior boss had had a restraining order against him due to multiple counts of sexual harassment.
In the final questioning by the jury, the lawyer asked the female juror: “Do you think [Harvey Weinstein] did what he did because he wants to be loved, or does he want people to adore him?” While her response, saying “wants to be loved,” sounded innocent, it was a clear target to squash her credibility. Jurors also asked questions that were uncomfortable for them to consider, such as whether the very sexual nature of the jury out had been “too much,” and whether they had the right to report Weinstein to his employer. As New York Times legal reporter David G. Savage observed, this sort of overt coverage came about because both Judge Kramer, and the prosecutors were concerned that jurors were not properly informed of the Weinstein policies and procedures, or the difference between up and down in the company’s code of conduct.
But at least on the sex assault charges, the jurors reached their first verdict: not guilty, clearing the way for Weinstein to be released from prison on the charges.
Today's first question to the jury: "Did you find Mr. Weinstein guilty of sexual assault?"
They gave a resounding "Not Guilty" pic.twitter.com/FKoA0DMqDD — David A. Sanger () February 19, 2019