Wednesday, February 12, 2020
In the #MeToo era, women who make sexual misconduct allegations against powerful men can count on public support, but the rape trial in New York of former movie producer Harvey Weinstein has shown that accusers should brace for far less friendly treatment in a court of law. ***
During the trial that began on Jan. 6, Weinstein’s attorneys have questioned his accusers about their appearance at the time of the alleged attacks, their drinking habits and whether they used Weinstein to land a Hollywood acting job.
“Just because we live in the Me Too era doesn’t mean you don’t attack in defense of your clients,” said Tom Mesereau, who represented comedian Bill Cosby in his sexual assault trial.***
Legal experts said the movement has complicated the work of defending someone like Weinstein because a jury is more likely to sympathize with the alleged victims.
But accusers should not expect a shift in legal standards or tactics, experts said.