The Week in Women: Babies in the Senate, the ‘Italian Weinstein,’ and a case of mistaken identity

Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) arrives on Capitol Hill with her 10-day-old daughter, Maile, in Washington, April 19, 2018. Maile now has the distinction of being the first infant ever brought onto the Senate floor, after Duckworth brought her to work. (Erin Schaff/The New York Times)

This week’s news cycle was all about the law (order, not so much). Let’s take a look back:

The Senate is about to get a whole lot cuter now that babies are allowed in. Senator Tammy Duckworth, who gave birth to a baby girl last week, inspired the legislative body to change a longstanding rule that prohibited Senators from bringing children younger than one year onto the chamber floor while the Senate is in session. Duckworth, who proposed the change, said she couldn’t be away from her newborn for the entirety of long voting sessions — and on Thursday, she became the first sitting senator to bring her baby onto the Senate floor. We’re sure she’ll fit right in in Washington.

Director Fausto Brizzi, who became known as the “Italian Weinstein” after more than 10 women have accused him of sexual harassment or assault, is facing rape charges brought by three of his accusers. But since two of the complaints took place more than six months ago — which is beyond the statute of limitations according to Italy’s outdated rape laws — it is considered unlikely that Brizzi will face conviction. “Predators and harassers will go unpunished,” actress Asia Argento, who faced intense backlash in her native Italy after accusing Weinstein of sexual misconduct, wrote on Twitter in response to the news. “We need to change this law that was created before the unification of Italy!”

Model Karen McDougal is now allowed to speak publicly about her alleged affair with President Donald Trump. She reached a deal with tabloid news company American Media Inc. (A.M.I.), which had silenced her by buying the rights to her story during Trump’s presidential campaign. McDougal will keep the money from the settlement but A.M.I. will have the right to $75,000 of any future profits from her story about the reported affair. McDougal, who has said she loved Trump, will also be featured in an upcoming magazine cover and feature article, and be syndicated as a fitness columnist in some of the company’s publications. Ooooh baby, there isn’t enough popcorn in the world for this.

And speaking of the President’s indiscretions … Stormy Daniels, the adult film star who also alleges that she had an affair with Trump, released a composite sketch of the man she claims threatened her to keep quiet about the relationship. Daniels revealed the illustration during an appearance on The View, telling the hosts that the man approached her in a parking lot, told her to leave Trump alone and made a menacing comment about her infant daughter. Daniels’ lawyer is offering $100,000 for information that could identify the suspect. Uh, it’s obviously Tom Brady, please wire us the money.

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