MEMPHIS — An attorney defending a wealthy man in a Tennessee rape case is drawing fire for saying women can be especially good at lying.
“People can be very good at lying,” defense lawyer Steve Farese said during closing arguments in a Memphis case Thursday. “Women can be especially good at it because they’re the weaker sex and we … and we want to protect them and not have anybody take advantage of them, at least I do.”
At one point he appeared to say “that’s what the book says,” referencing the weaker sex comment.
The comments drew an immediate reaction from Deborah Clubb, executive director of the Memphis Area Women’s Council.
“It’s despicable. It’s absolutely despicable. I’m stunned. I really am,” said Clubb.
“My job is not to care if anybody gets offended,” Farese said by phone later Thursday. “Smart people will see it for what it is.”
Farese is part of the legal team defending Memphis-area businessman Mark Giannini, who is accused of raping a woman who came to his isolated mansion for a job interview.
The woman testified Giannini choked her and the next thing she remembered, she was waking up at the hospital. Much of the trial testimony this week was so horrific mainstream news outlets couldn’t publish it.
The defense team has said the sex was consensual and questioned the woman’s credibility, pointing to a background that includes drug smuggling.