Harvey Weinstein Accusers Are Furious His Lawyer Called Gov’s Partner ‘Bimbo’

Etienne Laurent/Pool/AFP via Getty
Etienne Laurent/Pool/AFP via Getty
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When Harvey Weinstein’s legal team told L.A. jurors on Monday that his encounters with five women he is accused of sexually assaulting were “transactional,” and suggested that one of them, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, was a “bimbo,” Caitlin Dulany was horrified.

Sitting in the back of the courtroom, Dulany—who previously sued Weinstein for sexual assault, before a judge rejected the terms of a proposed class-action settlement—had expected the proceedings to be taxing. She did not expect this.

“It was shocking. I sort of couldn’t believe the things he was saying,” Dulany told The Daily Beast of the outlandish claim by Weinstein attorney Mark Werksman. “It was hard for them to sink in at first. It was upsetting. And I was absolutely outraged.”

While Dulany is not involved in Weinstein’s second criminal trial, the 52-year-old actress who has accused him of assaulting her in the mid-1990s is among the scores of women who have come out against the toppled Hollywood titan. She is also among a small group of accusers who attended the first day of the trial on Monday—only to witness his attorneys go scorched earth from the jump.

“He’s not Brad Pitt or George Clooney. Do you think these beautiful women had sex with him because he’s hot? No, it’s because he’s powerful,” Werksman said. “Transactional sex…it may have been unpleasant…and now embarrassing. [But] everyone did it. He did it. They did it.”

But Dulany said one of the worst parts of Werkman’s “shocking” opening statement was his decision to throw the word “bimbo” around.

“That’s deplorable and terrifying at the same time,” Dulany said. “I mean, who even uses that word ‘Bimbo’ anyway? Misogynistic, old men. Werksman was trying to plant this offensive, far-fetched idea in the jury’s mind that Jen Siebel Newsom consented to being raped by Harvey Weinstein. And I think he was trying to plant ‘Bimbo’ in their brains as a way of looking at all the Jane Does.”

Rosanna Arquette, who told The New Yorker in 2017 that her career suffered after she rejected Weinstein’s sexual advance in the early 1990s, also responded to “disgusting quotes” from his defense lawyer.

“Assault is not transaction sex. Rape is not transactional sex. And abuse of power is abuse of power. Yes, he’s no Clooney. He’s scarcely the same species,” she said in a Twitter statement, adding that “at this point, Harvey Weinstein can sit in his cell, whip out his gangrenous penis (as he loves to do)...and go fuck himself. We’re not on the menu anymore.”

Juror Who Convicted Weinstein Predicts His Final Downfall

The legal team for Weinstein, who remained in court on Tuesday, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Prosecutors said that Siebel Newsom, who is one of the five Jane Does in the case, will take the stand to describe how, after she met Weinstein in 2005 at a film festival, he allegedly raped her inside a hotel room.

For his part, Werksman claimed that without her current profile—as the spouse of an elected official—“She’d be just another bimbo who slept with Harvey Weinstein to get ahead.”

“It was a deplorable, low-brow, vicious tactic to get his client off,” Dulany added. “I’m sure the defense is terrified to have Jen Siebel Newsom on the stand.”

Weinstein, 70, has pleaded not guilty to almost a dozen charges, including rape and sexual assault. Prosecutors say he used his power in Hollywood to abuse five women—and ensure their silence. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 140 years in prison.

Weinstein is already facing a 23-year prison sentence after being convicted of similar crimes in a 2020 New York trial. In August, the New York State of Appeals agreed to allow him to appeal his conviction next year—turning this Los Angeles trial into a marker of whether he will remain behind bars.

Weinstein’s lawyers on Monday did not mention his previous conviction, instead choosing to systemically attempt to discredit each of the women set to take the stand in the prosecution’s case. Insisting there was no evidence to support their allegations, Werksman tried to argue the only thing motivating them was shame.

“The sequel to the casting couch is the #MeToo trial,” Werksman said. “They will play the part of the damsel in distress with this beast. They have to lie to themselves, to you, to this court. Their hypocrisy will be on full display.”

Melissa Thompson, who as The Daily Beast reported alleges Weinstein raped her in 2011 in a New York City hotel room after a business meeting, said she was not surprised by the “offensive” defense opinion statement. Instead, she argued, it exemplifies how the disgraced producer views women.

“Weinstein sees all women as just another ‘bimbo,’” Thompson told The Daily Beast on Tuesday. “I had just graduated from Columbia with an MBA when this happened to me. Weinstein referred to me as very intelligent. And yet.”

Thompson, who was a part of a separate civil-class action lawsuit that was voluntarily dropped in 2021, expressed hope that the decision for Weinstein’s team to be so harsh on his accusers might not sit well with the jury—which consists of nine men and three women.

“They are being misogynistic and unnecessarily cruel in a way that hopefully backfires,” she added.

Debra Katz, a civil rights attorney who represented Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh's accuser Christine Blasey Ford, also took issue with the very premise of ostensibly coerced sex as some kind of defense.

“Transactional sex is rape. Period. Hard stop,” she told The Daily Beast.

Gloria Allred, a prominent lawyer who has represented several Weinstein accusers, seemed to agree, telling The Daily Beast that Werksman’s opening statements articulated “some of the most common rape myths, gender stereotypes, and misogynistic language ever heard in a courtroom.”

“The argument rolled out was that Harvey Weinstein wanted to have sex with the beautiful women, and they were willing to do it in exchange for a career opportunity that this once powerful man could provide,” Allred, who was also in the courtroom on Monday, added. “Mr. Weinstein’s lawyer attacked the women who would testify and called them ‘liars’ and worse.”

As for Weinstein? The disgraced titan is apparently thrilled about his legal team’s strategy.

“He was happy with them. They hit hard. They didn’t mince words,” Weinstein’s spokesperson, Juda Engelmayer, told The Daily Beast. “He is remaining hopeful.”

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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