The Rush of Seeing Harvey Weinstein’s Perp Walk

One day in March of 2015, Weinstein invited the model Ambra Battilana Gutierrez to his office for a morning meeting

.. To see Weinstein turn himself in on Friday at the same precinct where Gutierrez made her report, in the same neighborhood where he caused so many women anguish and pain, was simply cathartic.

.. For all the handwringing about the mob power of #MeToo, the fact is that most men who have assaulted women will not face criminal charges for doing so.

.. Weinstein had spent time hiding out in Arizona.

.. the news elicited a response similar to the “galvanizing shock” produced in April, when Bill Cosby was found guilty of three counts of sexual assault.

.. is mouth alternated between a grimace and a smirk.

.. Entering the precinct, Weinstein was a spectacle of smugness, as if trying to project the posture of an intellectual dissident.

.. In his hands were three books, two of which have been identified. They were corny totems suggesting, respectively, artistic revolution and false persecution: Todd Purdum’s “Something Wonderful: Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Broadway Revolution,” and Richard Schickel’s biography of Elia Kazan, the Hollywood director who famously “named names” to the House Un-American Activities Committee, in 1952.

.. After he turned himself in, Weinstein was made to do a perp walk, the queasy practice meant to emasculate the suspect and flex the prosecutor’s power.

It is a public humiliation, a feast for the kinds of New York tabloids that Weinstein himself once manipulated so ruthlessly.

.. The books he walked in with had vanished. With his head hung low, Weinstein looked small, insignificant.

.. In the Manhattan Supreme Court, prosecutors charged him with two counts of rape and one count of a criminal sexual act.

.. He surrendered his passport and was released on bail

.. “Will the sight of Harvey Weinstein in handcuffs encourage more women to come forward/press charges?”

Tools of Trump’s Fixer: Payouts, Intimidation and the Tabloids

To protect his boss at critical junctures in his improbable political rise, the lawyer relied on intimidation tactics, hush money and the nation’s leading tabloid news business, American Media Inc., whose top executives include close Trump allies.

..  in the summer of 2015, when a former hedge-fund manager told Mr. Cohen that he had obtained photographs of Mr. Trump with a bare-breasted woman. The man said Mr. Cohen first blew up at him, then steered him to David J. Pecker, chairman of the tabloid company, which sometimes bought, then buried, embarrassing material about his high-profile friends and allies.

.. a female former Trump business partner had accused him of sexual misconduct, Mr. Cohen released a statement suggesting that the woman, Jill Harth, “would acknowledge” that the story was false. Ms. Harth said the statement was made without her permission, and that she stands by her claims. It was not the last time Mr. Cohen would present a denial on behalf of a woman who had alleged a sexual encounter with Mr. Trump.

.. American Media publications, which include The National Enquirer, Star, Us Weekly and Radar.

.. July 2015 when Mr. Cohen received a phone call from Jeremy Frommer, a hedge-fund manager turned digital entrepreneur, who had obtained photos of Mr. Trump appearing to autograph the breasts of a topless woman from the estate of Bob Guccione, the founder of Penthouse magazine.

.. “He was in a rage,” Mr. Frommer said in an interview. “He’s like, ‘If you show those photos, I’m gonna take you down.’”

.. It was a job Roy Cohn, a New York lawyer best known for advising Senator Joseph McCarthy, had done decades earlier for Mr. Trump.

.. Mr. Pecker and Mr. Trump, a staple of the American gossip media since the 1980s, have a friendship that goes back decades. The relationship benefited Mr. Trump throughout the campaign as The Enquirer lionized him and hammered rivals like Ted Cruz, Ben Carson and, finally, Hillary Clinton.

 

At the Fox News Site, a Sudden Focus on Women as Sex Offenders

Instances of female teachers sexually abusing male students are rare. But stories on the subject have lately taken up a lot of space at FoxNews.com.

.. The new focus started on June 30, when FoxNews.com published an article on “the apparently increasing frequency of female teachers having sex with their young male students.” Over the next six months the site posted some 98 articles on instances of sexual abuse allegedly committed by women, most of them teachers.

.. Tales of the unusual suit the tabloid aesthetic of much of the site’s content. What was noteworthy was the spike in coverage of the subject, which began a few weeks after Noah Kotch, a former producer at NBC’s “Today” show, became the site’s editor in chief. It also came in the aftermath of numerous sexual harassment scandals at Fox News.

Mr. Kotch, 43, said the articles were “of extremely high interest to readers.”

Sex crimes committed by women make up a small share of sexual offenses in the United States, according to the available evidence. But FoxNews.com readers could have been excused for holding the impression that the nation was in the middle of an epidemic of female teachers sexually abusing male pupils.

.. “We don’t cover sex crimes like statisticians. We cover what’s interesting to the reader.”

.. Nearly 30 percent of the articles posted under FoxNews.com’s “Sex Crimes” category between July and December were focused on female teachers, with many of them promoted near the top of the site’s home page.

.. Fewer than 9 percent of reported episodes of child sexual abuse are perpetrated by women

.. Much of the FoxNews.com coverage coincided with the rise of the #MeToo movement

.. Mr. Kotch, the website editor, was reportedly recruited personally by Rupert Murdoch, who has been the acting chief executive officer of Fox News since Mr. Ailes’s dismissal

For Weinstein, a Brush With the Police, Then No Charges

As the police and prosecutors investigated the model’s allegations, the movie mogul set in motion a team of top-shelf defense lawyers and publicists to undermine her credibility.

.. Stories questioning her motives popped up in the tabloids with anonymous sources. Mr. Weinstein’s team even enlisted the help of a former Manhattan sex crimes prosecutor turned novelist with influential ties.

.. In the end, the Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., announced he would not press charges. Once the criminal case was closed, Mr. Weinstein silenced Ms. Battilana with a substantial payment.

.. The case demonstrates how Mr. Weinstein, with ample funds and influence, was able to assemble a counterstrike against the sex crime investigation using the weapons available to the powerful. It also highlights the challenges such cases pose, even for the vaunted Manhattan district attorney’s office

.. The case demonstrates how Mr. Weinstein, with ample funds and influence, was able to assemble a counterstrike against the sex crime investigation using the weapons available to the powerful. It also highlights the challenges such cases pose, even for the vaunted Manhattan district attorney’s office

.. Mr. Vance, who is running unopposed for a third term, said the evidence was not strong enough to win a conviction, despite the audio recording. “If we had a case that we felt we could prosecute — that my experts felt we could prosecute — we would have,” he said.

.. As his tone grew belligerent, a detective, concerned for Ms. Battilana’s safety, intervened. Pretending to be a reporter from TMZ, he loudly badgered Mr. Weinstein for an interview, causing enough of a scene for Mr. Weinstein to retreat from the hallway, investigators said.

Once they were back downstairs, Ms. Battilana slipped out a side door, and Mr. Weinstein was once again confronted by a detective. This time, the detective made it known he was from law enforcement, and that the police wanted to talk to him.

.. The Times found that in at least seven other cases, he had quietly made payments to female accusers in exchange for their silence

.. Mr. Weinstein, meanwhile, appeared determined to stay as far away from court as possible. He denied any wrongdoing and quickly retained Elkan Abramowitz, a former law partner of Mr. Vance, as well as Daniel S. Connolly, another former prosecutor turned white-collar defense lawyer.

.. Linda Fairstein, a former Manhattan sex crimes prosecutor who had once written an article in Vanity Fair about her dream of doing a movie deal with Mr. Weinstein, agreed to consult. She was a close friend of Martha Bashford, head of the district attorney’s sex crimes bureau, and facilitated an introduction for Mr. Abramowitz.

.. “Calling Ms. Bashford to tell her who Elkan was and to ask her to consider meeting with him is the kind of thing I do four to six times every year,” said Ms. Fairstein, who said she had determined Ms. Battilana’s complaint was unfounded.

.. The influential public relations strategist, Ken Sunshine, known for his bare-knuckled tactics, put out statements on Mr. Weinstein’s behalf. And the tabloids ran stories suggesting she was selling her story for $100,000 and had tried to use the groping allegation to blackmail him. Mr. Weinstein planted stories to sow doubts about her credibility, said someone familiar with the efforts who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

.. “These types of matters are considered in two forums; one is the court of law, but probably the more important forum is the court of public opinion,” said Mr. Heller, who represented Ms. Battilana for a few days before being replaced by another lawyer, David Godosky. “They tried to spin an opinion in court of public opinion in a way that would break her down and make her go away.”

.. It arrived several years after Mr. Vance had drawn criticism for the way he handled a case involving another powerful man, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund, who was accused of sexual assault of a hotel maid in 2011.

.. In the case of Mr. Weinstein, police recording equipment had failed, but Ms. Battilana had captured the entire conversation on her telephone, including his admission that he had grabbed her breasts, investigators said. Security cameras had caught video of Ms. Battilana leaving Mr. Weinstein’s office looking distraught

.. Ms. Battilana had gotten Mr. Weinstein to acknowledge that he had touched her breasts, but she had not brought up her claim that he put his hand up her skirt. Prosecutors saw this as a problem, the officials said.

.. Mr. Vance could have moved forward with the case. “The idea that Weinstein’s criminal intent was unprovable because of his stated ‘professional need’ to personally inspect her breasts doesn’t pass the laugh test,”

.. He paid her a sizable sum, according to two people familiar with the confidential payment. In exchange, she made a legally binding promise to never speak of their encounter again.

.. Ms. Battilana, who declined an interview request, recently told Italy’s La Repubblica newspaper that she struggled to get work after the case was over and that the fashion world closed its doors on her.

“What happened to me really put my view of the world to the test,” she said.

With a flood of accusers coming forward, she said she hoped that it “will bring me justice.”