Weinstein May Be a Monster, but the Lawyers Who Enabled Him are the Real Villans

Elizabeth C. Tippett

In the greater arc of the #MeToo movement, lawyers have lurked in the shadows, unnamed scribes formalizing agreements meant to stay secret.

But in “She Said,” the behind-the-scenes story of how Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey brought down Harvey Weinstein, the lawyers finally come into view. And it’s not a pretty picture.

As a professor and employment lawyer who has followed the #MeToo movement since Kantor and Twohey’s award-winning expose in 2017, I expected their book to relay the stories of the women who publicly accused Weinstein. Of course, there’s plenty of that.

What I didn’t expect – but perhaps should have – was how central lawyers would be to their story.

Unrepentant and Irredeemable

The book portrays Weinstein as a monster.

He is a predator who traps female employees and actresses in an impossible maze where every path ends in unwanted touching, indecent exposure or assault. He is a beast who punches his brother in the face at the office as other executives watch impassively. He is a bully, looming over Kantor in the lobby of the Times building. He tells her he didn’t do “the terrible things that women were accusing him of.” Then he added, “I’m worse.”

Weinstein is unrepentant and irredeemable, which in a way limits his agency over his actions. Once a monster, always a monster.

The true condemnation in Kantor and Twohey’s book – if you can call it that, since they tell the story in the third person with some journalistic reserve – is leveled at the lawyers complicit in the cover-up. For they chose to help Weinstein instead of the women he victimized.

Legal Enablers

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