Barry Ostrager, the attorney for Weinstein, sat at the defense table at Weinstein’s trial in New York this morning and read to the jury from an article that he wrote eight years ago, arguing that taking on female directors was a “self-defeating, career-threatening strategy.” “It’s essentially a women-saving,” he said.

This is precisely what Judge James Burke, the judge of the criminal sexual assault case against Harvey Weinstein, objected to the moment Ostrager began reading the article, which was sent to jurors by the office of their lead attorney, Joan Illuzzi-Orbon.

Barry Ostrager, Harvey Weinstein's lawyer, reads an article sent to the jurors last year which discusses the case in terms they'll understand and enjoys the full benefit of prejudicial effect. This may affect their ability to serve impartially. — Kevin Scullin () February 18, 2019

It is not illegal for an attorney to write an article based on his or her own law enforcement background, but Burke on Monday found it inappropriate for him to discuss the case with jurors.

“He is subject to a legal duty to preserve and protect the jury’s impartiality,” Burke said. “He can not discuss this case in any way.”

Burke suggested Ostrager consider not addressing the issue at all, and the suggestion was warmly received by the ten-person jury. The judge was particularly distressed at the article’s retelling of his own position with regard to starring in a movie with a female director, a strategy that Ostrager said was critical to his career.

“If you don’t act,” Ostrager wrote, “people may ask why you have chosen the plunge into that world.”

Weinstein is charged with one count of predatory sexual assault involving Lucia Evans, a former aspiring actress. He is also charged with two counts of sex abuse involving two other women and two counts of criminal sexual act with a nonconsenting person, brought against former employees Sari Wurm and Ambra Battilana Gutierrez.

Read the full story at NBC New York.


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