Donna Rotunno, an attorney for convicted rapist Harvey Weinstein, had choice words for lawyer Gloria Allred during a Law&Crime Network segment about convicted murderer Scott Peterson. Rotunno argued that the rival attorney liked to be on such cases because “she can be a mouthpiece” for prosecutors facing gag orders. Allred responded in a statement, saying that Rotunno “appears to be rationalizing the fact that her defense of Harvey Weinstein in the New York criminal case was unsuccessful.”
What does the recent Weinstein sexual assault trial have to do with Peterson, who was sentenced to death in 2005 for murdering wife Laci Peterson and unborn son Conner? Absolutely nothing, in terms of the facts presented by prosecutors. But Allred played a role in both high-profile cases. She represented a number of women who said Weinstein sexually abused them. She also repped Amber Frey, who stepped forward as having a relationship with the married Scott Peterson.
In any case, the Law&Crime Network was covering Peterson’s automatic appeal in California court. Rotunno made a guest appearance. Michel Bryant, a host and analyst for the Law&Crime Network, mentioned that everyone except Allred was subject to a gag order during the murder trial.
“And every day she would be giving her speech to the public, ungagged, basically spouting the prosecution’s position,” he said. “So, Donna, does that sound at all familiar to you?”
Rotunno said it did seem familiar to her. She then proceeded to jab at Allred:
And I think that that’s one of the reasons Gloria likes to be involved in these cases is she can come in and she can be a mouthpiece for the prosecution–whether all parties are gagged, whether the defense is gagged, whether the judge said lawyers are gagged–the judges feel that they don’t have any jurisdiction or ability to stop her from speaking. But the problem is when you’re so entwined in the case, and you represent people who are testifying in the case, then you’re in a position to be able to go out and express your narrative to the world, that cannot be countered. So I think it’s dangerous, I think it’s extremely prejudicial, and it’s something that she likes to do in most cases she’s involved in.
Bryant agreed with her take, saying this was “totally unfair.”
Allred often spoke to reporters during Weinstein’s Manhattan trial.
Law&Crime reached out to her, and she replied with a statement. Essentially, she called Rotunno a sore loser:
Donna Rotunno appears to be rationalizing the fact that her defense of Harvey Weinstein in the New York criminal case was unsuccessful.
In other words, she lost the biggest case of her career and her client, Harvey Weinstein, a sexual predator, is now in prison serving a sentence of 23 years.
She apparently thinks that it is “dangerous” for a private victim’s rights attorney like me to have the right of free speech.
The real danger, however, would have been for her client, Harvey Weinstein, to walk free. Ms. Rotunno will not deter me from speaking out, and if she feels threatened by my free speech, then she needs to get over it because I do not intend to be silenced during the next prosecution of Harvey Weinstein in Los Angeles later this year.
It’s not the first time Rotunno publicly jabbed at Allred. She even brought her up during the closing arguments of the Weinstein trial.
[Screengrab via Law&Crime Network]
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