Weinstein defence ends case without film mogul giving evidence at rape trial

Harvey Weinstein’s defence team has concluded its case in his rape trial in New York City, without the disgraced Hollywood producer giving evidence.

Weinstein’s lawyers relied on just a few witnesses to supplement aggressive cross-examination as they aimed to undercut his accusers.

As expected, Weinstein chose not to tell his own story at the risk of having prosecutors grill him on cross-examination about disturbing allegations that six of his accusers detailed for a Manhattan jury of seven men and five women.

The decision came a day after the defence got a boost from two witnesses who cast doubt on the accounts of two women who allege they were sexually assaulted by Weinstein.

Harvey Weinstein arrives for his trial in New York
Harvey Weinstein arrives for his trial in New York (Mark Lennihan/AP)

Weinstein, 67, is charged with raping a woman in a Manhattan hotel room in 2013 and forcibly performing oral sex in 2006 on a different woman, film and TV production assistant Mimi Haley.

Prosecutors called other accusers as witnesses as part of an effort to show he has used the same tactics to victimise many women over the years.

Weinstein has maintained any sexual encounters were consensual.

The judge is expected to instruct jurors not to view Weinstein’s decision not to give evidence as a sign of guilt.

Weinstein has been increasingly upbeat coming and going from court as the trial has worn on, though in front of jurors he has mostly been sitting quietly at the defence table, munching on mints, jotting notes and occasionally dozing off.