D.A. Seeks to Block Weinstein Defense From Calling Recovered Memory Expert

The Manhattan D.A.’s office is seeking to block Harvey Weinstein’s defense team from calling an expert witness who would testify about false memories.

Weinstein is scheduled to go on trial on Jan. 6 on five charges of rape and sexual assault.

Weinstein’s attorneys want to call Deborah Davis, a psychologist at the University of Nevada at Reno who has studied how trauma can lead to false and “recovered” memories. She is often called to testify for the defense in criminal trials, especially on the issues of false identification and false confessions.

Weinstein’s attorneys also want Davis to testify about “voluntary unwanted sex,” saying it is important for the jury to understand the phenomenon of “sex that is undesired, but that the person chooses to engage in,” and how that could lead to distorted memories.

In response, Assistant D.A. Joan Illuzzi-Orbon argues that Davis’ theories have not been accepted by the scientific community. She also cites numerous cases in which Davis has been barred from testifying, often on the grounds that her testimony would confuse the jury, and claims that Davis has never been allowed to testify on the issues that Weinstein’s team wants her to discuss.

Further, Illuzzi-Orbon argues, “no showing has been made that she has ever even interviewed, let alone treated, a single individual who is or claims to be the victim of a sexual assault.”

Damon Cheronis, one of Weinstein’s lawyers, has argued that one of the witnesses who is slated to testify against Weinstein appears to have gone through “suggestive psychotherapy” to recover memories of her alleged assault. Cheronis has asked the court to exclude the testimony.

Illuzzi-Orbon replied that there is “no basis” to claim that the witness engaged in memory recovery therapy. Instead, she said the witness “simply saw a therapist and engaged in classic, traditional mental health counseling to help her heal from the trauma of having been sexually assaulted by the defendant.”

The prosecution also opposed Weinstein’s motions to unseal the names of two witnesses, arguing that Weinstein is merely seeking to embarrass them publicly. The opposition also cites “Catch and Kill,” the Ronan Farrow book on the Weinstein case, to argue that Weinstein’s “efforts to intimidate his victims and silence them are well documented.”

More Biz

  • Picture by Simon Wilkinson/SWpix.com 22/01/2020 -

    Tartikoff Honorees Call for Commitment to Diversity and Protection of Press Freedom

    MIAMI — Jeff Zucker didn’t mince words. “Nothing is as important than what I’m doing now,” the CNN Worldwide chief said of his long career in media as he was feted Wednesday night as one of five Brandon Tartikoff Award honorees. Zucker, president of CNN Worldwide and chairman of WarnerMedia News and Sports, sounded the [...]

  • Deborah Dugan

    How Deborah Dugan Sealed Her Fate at the Recording Academy

    Deborah Dugan’s ouster from the top job at the Recording Academy, just ten days before the Grammy Awards, was a shock to nearly everyone not directly involved in the decision. But according to multiple sources and the bombshell complaint her attorneys filed on Tuesday, she and the Academy establishment were working at cross purposes almost [...]

  • The Crown Season 3 Oliva Colman

    Record Intl. Growth Sees Netflix Beat Q4 Earnings Forecast

    Fast growth in international markets, contrasting with only sluggish subscriber gains in North America, was a major factor behind streaming giant Netflix’s better than forecast growth in the last quarter of 2019. The company is set on keeping up that international momentum. Globally Netflix added 8.76 million new customers in the three months to December [...]

  • Harvey WeinsteinHarvey Weinstein court hearing, New

    Weinstein Trial: Everything We Know About the Three Supporting Witnesses

    The prosecution laid out its rape case against Harvey Weinstein on Wednesday morning, spelling out the allegations in detail for the first time. In her opening argument, Assistant District Attorney Meghan Hast also described the testimony of three “prior bad acts” witnesses. Such testimony was critical in the prosecution of comedian Bill Cosby, and it [...]

  • Donna Rotunno, Harvey WeinsteinHarvey Weinstein court

    Harvey Weinstein's Defense Focuses on Emails in Bid to Discredit Accusers

    Harvey Weinstein’s defense attorney showed jurors friendly emails between their client and his accusers in an opening statement on Wednesday, arguing that the accusers are trying to “have it both ways.” Attorney Damon Cheronis asked the jury to rely on their “God-given New York City common sense,” and to find that the women had consensual [...]

  • Mark Cuban Andrew Wallenstein Variety CES

    Listen: Mark Cuban Is Bullish on AI, 5G, TikTok and ... Movie Theaters!?

    As a serial entrepreneur with a taste for tech, Mark Cuban has built a multibillion-dollar career by trusting his well-developed instincts. So when he says it’s time to pay attention to any particular innovation, it’s best to listen up. On the latest episode of the “Strictly Business” podcast, recorded at CES earlier this month in [...]

  • Harvey WeinsteinHarvey Weinstein court hearing, New

    Harvey Weinstein Was a 'Predator and a Rapist,' D.A. Tells Jurors

    A prosecutor told jurors on Wednesday that Harvey Weinstein wielded his immense power in Hollywood to rape vulnerable young women and then to keep them silent. Assistant District Attorney Meghan Hast gave jurors a vivid recounting of multiple sexual assaults, including the story of Jessica Mann, a witness who has not previously been identified. She [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content