Harvey Weinstein combative and in denial ahead of rape trial

CNN has found from those closest to Weinstein that he’s not sorry about his alleged misconduct. He’s combative, maintains he is innocent of any crime and is planning for a career comeback post-trial. His attorneys have maintained that any sexual contact between Weinstein and his accusers was consensual.

“Anyone who looks at him or talks to him knows this has taken an emotional and physical toll. Is his health failing? Not in a life or death situation, but I think he’s just breaking down,” one of his buddies knowledgeable CNN.

The case in opposition to Weinstein amenities on an allegation that he raped a woman in a New York lodge room in 2013, and a second woman who accused Weinstein of forcibly performing oral intercourse on her at his Manhattan residence in 2006.

Other Weinstein accusers will probably be permitted to take the stand as witnesses all via the trial, for example, an alleged pattern of abusive habits.

He has pleaded not accountable and has repeatedly denied all allegations of non-consensual intercourse.

From Tribeca to trial

Weinstein used to spend his days in the Tribeca locations of work of The Weinstein Company, the movie studio he co-founded in 2005 alongside along with his now-estranged brother, Bob Weinstein. These days he’s principally alone in his Manhattan residence, “obsessing” in regards to the trial and the women who’ve accused him, acknowledged one of his buddies.

Weinstein is constantly Googling himself, primarily based on these close to him.

“If his name [is] on it, he reads it,” one buddy acknowledged.

Weinstein seems to be in denial about how far he’s fallen, the other buddy acknowledged. He’ll inform outdated tales about his filmmaking earlier and elevating money for politicians and charities, as an illustration, or bark orders to the small group he employs, primarily based on the availability.

“He feels like he is owed an apology from Hollywood,” the availability added. “I think there’s a part of him that thinks he will come out on the other side of this and be welcomed back to some version of his old life.”

Harvey Weinstein combative and in denial ahead of rape trial

Rotunno and Cheronis knowledgeable CNN in separate interviews they’re concerned in regards to the widespread media consideration Weinstein’s case has acquired. Stories about his a very long time of alleged abuse by former employees and A-list performers like Ashley Judd and Gwyneth Paltrow, along with the collapse of the as quickly as influential Weinstein Company, fueled the #MeToo movement and impressed a cultural reckoning.

“It’s a concern for any lawyer that the media or public attention will infect the jury pool,” Cheronis acknowledged.

A motion to maneuver Weinstein’s trial exterior of Manhattan was denied in October.

“When you ask what life is like for Harvey, all you have to do is turn on the nightly news and see women screaming at him, ‘You’re a rapist,'” Rotunno acknowledged. “People have sort of made their decision in the court of public opinion and that’s been my problem with a lot of the coverage.”

Rotunno acknowledged Weinstein might have character flaws, nonetheless, she’s assured he’ll be acquitted at trial.

“There’s a difference between sins and crimes,” Rotunno acknowledged. “You may think that you don’t like the way Harvey conducted himself at times or choices that he’s made, but that doesn’t mean he’s a rapist.”

Harvey Weinstein combative and in denial ahead of rape trial

Rotunno acknowledged she speaks to Weinstein daily and every half of their safety approach is talked about in cellphone calls or frequent face-to-face conferences. She disputed evaluations that Weinstein is a troublesome client. (Attorneys Benjamin Brafman, Ronald Sullivan, and Jose Baez beforehand represented Weinstein at completely different situations and all withdrew from the case.)

Rotunno and Cheronis every acknowledged they do not, however, know whether or not or not Weinstein will take the stand to testify in his safety.

Tina Tchen, the earlier chief of staff to Michelle Obama and now President and CEO of Time’s Up, described Weinstein’s upcoming trial as a pinnacle for the movement in opposition to gender inequity and abuse of vitality.

“This moment was years in the making,” Tchen knowledgeable CNN. “The fact that two years later, we are still talking about how powerful people and powerful companies can and must do better to create safe, fair, and dignified workplaces shows just how far we’ve come.”

Isolated and lying low

It’s unclear how so much Weinstein has superior, if in any respect.

Despite weekly “intense therapy” lessons, every of Weinstein’s buddies knowledgeable CNN that he stays adamant he’s achieved nothing jail and believes the accusations in opposition to him are “motivated by fame.”

“Harvey thinks every single woman is seeking their 15 minutes and believes these were simple affairs,” the availability acknowledged. “He seems more upset that he’s been stripped of his power and less about trying to take this as an opportunity to become a changed man.”

In an announcement to CNN, Caitlin Dulany, an actress who has accused Weinstein of sexually assaulting her all through the Cannes Film Festival in 1996, acknowledged she is hopeful he’ll probably be held accountable at his upcoming trial.

“He used his influence and power to assault and silence us for over 20 years. The repercussions of our lives and careers have been devastating and still continue,” Dulany acknowledged. “I have to trust that the criminal justice system will serve those of us who were the victims of his many crimes and will protect other women who may potentially be vulnerable to his predations in the future.”

But Weinstein, primarily based on his buddies, believes the accusations are lies “put together” with small particulars.
Harvey Weinstein combative and in denial ahead of rape trial
“If you were to ask him if he wore a bathrobe for meetings with actresses in his hotel room, like what Ashley Judd said happened, he’d tell you it’s a lie and that he was wearing pajamas,” one provide acknowledged. “He claims he’s never forced himself on anyone.”
Louise Godbold, who bought right here ahead collectively along with her private allegations in opposition to Weinstein in an October 2017 weblog put up, knowledgeable CNN in an announcement, “This trial has been two long years in the making but is at least 30 years overdue.”

It was the early ’90s and Godbold, an industrial producer on the time, was in search of an internship at Miramax, primarily based on The Wrap, and claims that Weinstein cornered her whereas giving her a tour of his Tribeca locations of work.

“Out of nowhere he grabs my hand and puts it on his crotch,” Godbold knowledgeable The Wrap ultimate yr. “Which was incredibly shocking because I’d known this man for many years and had never had any inkling that he would behave in such a way.”
She claims that Weinstein apologized to her and invited her to the Beverly Hills Hotel the subsequent month for a gathering in his lodge room. She knowledgeable The Wrap that he become a bathrobe and requested for a therapeutic therapeutic massage. She under no circumstances reported Weinstein to the police.
“He calls me into the bedroom and he’s taken all his clothes off and he’s lying face down in the bed,” Godbold acknowledged in her interview with the outlet. “Suffice to say, I did the worst shoulder massage in history and then he threw back the covers and let’s just say I could see that my shoulder massage had much more effect than I would have credited it.”

“I said, ‘I’ve got to go, my friend is waiting downstairs,’ and I shot out of there.”

With practically two months until jury selection, Weinstein is harassed.

“I don’t think this man sleeps at this point,” acknowledged one of the insiders. “He wakes up, reads the news, has medical appointments for back problems and other health issues, blood pressure, goes to therapy. But he’s alone with not many people to call who aren’t on his payroll.”

The buddy added that Weinstein is conscious of most of the people see him as “the fat, ugly monster.”

“He’s sitting in his house either afraid if he goes out he’s going to get called out, yelled at or TMZ is going to snap a picture of him,” one of the sources added.

Weinstein was described as residing a “lonely” and “isolating” existence. Instead of attending commerce events, he’s changed into a voracious reader of three or additional books each week.

Weinstein no longer speaks to his brother, the sources acknowledged.

CNN has reached out to Bob Weinstein for comment.

And whereas Rotunno has advisable Weinstein “lay low,” he’s “not hiding.”

“He is trying to live as normal as a life that he can with his two young children and trying to be a dad,” she acknowledged. “I understand the desire to not want to [hide] given what’s upcoming and the fact that he’s facing spending the rest of his life in prison.”

Thinking of his future

As for the life Weinstein as quickly as shared alongside along with his ex-wife, Georgina Chapman, their divorce is his “biggest regret,” primarily based on his buddies. Chapman left Weinstein when the allegations in opposition to him surfaced in 2017. They at current solely focus on in relation to co-parenting their kids.

“He’s very remorseful about everything that happened that caused the relationship to break up,” one provides acknowledged. “[But] in a way, he’s just sorry he got caught. Had it not been for the #MeToo movement, he believes they would still be together.”

Harvey Weinstein combative and in denial ahead of rape trial

As Weinstein preps for trial, Chapman has been attempting to stage a comeback for her pattern line, Marchesa.

Two sources in the fashion commerce, who requested anonymity for fear of expert retribution, knowledgeable CNN that Chapman’s connection to her ex-husband has made it virtually unattainable for the company to experience a resurgence.

Established in 2004 by Chapman and her college-friend turned enterprise confederate, Keren Craig, the highway turned profitable, in half, in consequence of having an effect on of Weinstein, who allegedly pressured actresses in his motion pictures to place on his partner’s ultra-femme and elegant designs on the pink carpet, primarily based on one of the fashion commerce insiders who labored with Chapman.

Chapman now resides in the wealthy enclave of Bedford Hills, NY. She bought a farm in 2018, shopping for and promoting the quaint streets of the West Village for all occasions behind a gated residence off a winding mud freeway, calling fellow celebrities Martha Stewart, Blake Lively, and Ryan Reynolds her neighbors.

She’s been seen in native retailers, primarily based on enterprise homeowners CNN spoke to, nonetheless sometimes retains a low profile. In 2019, she made her first public look as a result of the accusations in opposition to her ex-husband surfaced, standing alongside Constance Wu on the 2019 Met Gala. Chapman was personally invited by Anna Wintour, one of the fashion insiders knowledgeable CNN.

Marchesa was recently hiring for a number of roles, along with a social media supervisor, an account govt, and a bridal product sales govt in the company’s New York office. One of the fashion commerce sources, who labored with Marchesa on specific duties in the earlier, knowledgeable CNN the company used to have a “cut-throat” environment the place employees competed for prestigious roles.

While Chapman has publicly denied knowledge of Weinstein’s infidelity and known as his alleged actions “unforgivable,” there’s not been an infinite wave of assist for her line, at least publicly.

“Listen, it’s definitely not her fault, but she knew in some ways his power-mongering,” the second pattern insider acknowledged, citing Weinstein’s reputation for pressuring artists to placed on Marchesa designs when the 2 had been married.

A May 2018 Vogue interview by Wintour meant to defend Chapman fell flat with many in the fashion neighborhood, the sources acknowledged. Chapman’s enterprise confederate left the company earlier this yr.

CNN has reached out to a guide of Chapman for comment.

Both of Weinstein’s buddies and Rotunno acknowledge the earlier producer, too, has concepts about rebuilding his life. If acquitted, Weinstein must proceed to make motion pictures and doubtlessly organize a producing agency in Europe, they acknowledged.

Harvey Weinstein combative and in denial ahead of rape trial

“I think he does see life after this,” Rotunno acknowledged. “I think that’s a very positive thing. I think if I was looking at the evidence we are all looking at, I would see life after this as well. I do think I’m one of the people who has said all along if we win this case, I think that he can come back even stronger.”

But there are completely different moments when Weinstein contemplates a future behind bars and “he’s frightened,” primarily based on his buddies.

“The way he comes off sometimes is he tries to look like he’s not [scared] and tries to act like he’s walking around, just casually, but he’s not,” one of the buddies acknowledged. “He’s afraid.”

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