An Italian model and actress who is among the four women alleging Harvey Weinstein of sexual abuse at his Los Angeles trial is being accused by the defense of changing her story about the disgraced Hollywood mogul’s testicles.
The accuser known as Jane Doe 1 claimed she was sexually assaulted by Weinstein in 2013, and forced to perform oral sex as he had problems maintaining an erection.
In a fiery cross-examination on Wednesday, defense attorney Alan Jackson accused Jane Doe of lying and that at the time of the alleged incident, Weinstein’s testicles had been surgically relocated to his inner thighs.
Weinstein, 70, is facing 11 charges of rape and sexual assault involving eight women in the Beverly Hills and Los Angeles area between 2004 and 2013.
Harvey Weinstein, 70, is facing 11 charges of rape and sexual assault involving eight women in the Beverly Hills and Los Angeles area between 2004 and 2013
In court on Wednesday, Weinstein’s defense focused on discrepancies between what the accuser told police after the alleged rape and what she had testified before a grand jury, The Daily Beast reported.
Jackson claimed the surgery of Weinstein’s testicles would make it difficult for her to allegedly comply with Weinstein’s demand ‘to play with his balls.’
He then pointed out that in the model’s 2017 interview with authorities, she said she had Weinstein’s testicles in her mouth.
The woman was the first of eight Weinstein accusers set to testify in a courtroom in Los Angeles where the 70-year-old movie mogul is on trial on multiple counts of rape and sexual assault.
Weinstein, who is already serving a 23-year sentence for a conviction in New York, has pleaded not guilty.
‘I was trying to do what he wanted,’ she said, noting that Weinstein had ‘problems with testicles’ but insisted she never changed her story about the assault.
‘I described that he had a problem that it wasn’t the testicles but it was a part of him,’ she added.
Jackson then questioned her as to why she told police about Weinstein’s testicles, but not the grand jury – and asked if she had ‘changed her story’ after she had learned that Weinstein ‘did not have any testicles in his scrotum.’
He asked Jane Doe: ‘(Weinstein) specifically asked you to play with his balls?’
‘It wasn’t just [the only] request … I was trying to do what he wanted,’ she replied.
Jackson pressed her on that she had told police that she put his testicles in her mouth, but not the grand jury.
‘I cannot agree with that,’ Jane Doe replied.
‘You changed your testimony, didn’t you?’ Jackson fired back.
‘Never!’ Jane Doe responded.
‘You completely omitted any reference to his testicles being in your mouth,’ Jackson hurled back.
‘In the grand jury they don’t let you talk, only answer question,’ she said.
Weinstein, 70, is facing 11 charges of rape and sexual assault involving eight women in the Beverly Hills and Los Angeles area between 2004 and 2013
THE LOS ANGELES CHARGES AGAINST WEINSTEIN
JANE DOE #1 – Unidentified Italian actress
Forced oral copulation – February 18, 2013
Sexual penetration by foreign object – February 18, 2013
Forcible rape against the same woman on the same day – February 18, 2013
JANE DOE #2
Sexual battery – February 19, 2013
JANE DOE #3
Sexual battery by restraint – May 11, 2010.
‘Weinstein unlawfully touched an intimate part of Jane Doe #3 while she was unlawfully restrained’.
JANE DOE #4 – Jennifer Siebel Newsom
Forcible oral copulation – September 2005
Forcible rape – September 2005
JANE DOE #5
Forcible oral copulation November – 2009
Forcible rape – November 2009
Forcible oral copulation – November 2010
Forcible rape – November 2010
In her testimony that began on Monday about the moment Weinstein allegedly barged into her hotel room, Jane Doe said she was physically afraid of the Hollywood exec.
The actress, who said she only weighed 150 pounds at the time, said she has been the victim of rape in the past and feared being beat if she didn’t follow Weinstein’s demands for sex.
When Weinstein allegedly had trouble getting an erection, Jane Doe said he pulled her to the bathroom, where he masturbated in front of a mirror while touching her and demanding she look at their reflection.
‘I wanted to die,’ she said. ‘It was disgusting. It was humiliating, miserable. I didn’t fight.
‘I remember how he was looking in the mirror and he was telling me to look at him. I wish this never happened to me.’
She claimed Weinstein told her: ‘C’mon little girl, tell me you like it. You like it.’
The actress said that she was left weeping in her hotel room as Weinstein told her not to talk about what happened to anyone.
‘My understanding was that he’s somebody powerful so it’s better I not talk’ because it could be bad for me,’ she said.
The Jane Doe said she began drinking heavily after the incident and had only shared the specifics to one other person prior to the trial.
The actress noted that she saw Weinstein again while at the 2017 Italia Film Festival in Los Angeles with her daughter, Maria.
‘He was looking at me. He was looking at Maria. I saw his eyes … I remembered his eyes,’ she testified. ‘It was like I lived the situation again and again.’
Although the meeting ended without incident, Jane Doe said she continued to feel guilt and shame over her alleged assault.
The two days of testimony comes after the court heard from Sibel Newsom and her allegations against Weinstein on Monday.
She claims that he assaulted her in 2005 when she was a ‘powerless actor trying to make her way in Hollywood.’
They reportedly met at the Toronto International Film Festival, and Weinstein invited her to ‘discuss her career’ with him at the Peninsula Hotel.
Deputy DA Paul Thompson told the court that Weinstein spoke to her briefly before going into the bathroom and summoned her wearing only a bathrobe.
He went on to say that Weinstein asked her to ‘touch him’ but she refused, before he then referred to ‘a list of A-List actresses’ whose careers he ‘supposedly made’.
The court heard that his voice moved from ‘pleading, to aggressive and demanding’, as he forced her onto the bed leaving her ‘shaking’ before he ‘forcibly raped her’.
She claims that she felt like she had ‘no choice’ but to keep in contact with Weinstein, conversing by email and meeting in public places.
Siebel Newsom met her husband Gavin Newsom a year after the assault but did not tell him about it, with Weinstein donating some money to Newsom.
Jennifer Siebel Newsom, wife of California Gov. Gavin Newsom, claims he sexually assaulted her during a business meeting – telling her ‘relax, this is going to make her feel better’
Most of the women said that their assaults began with what were supposed to be business meetings with Weinstein at hotels.
However, the woman testifying Tuesday said she was stunned to find him knocking at her door late on a night in February 2013 after she had met him only briefly earlier in the evening at the Los Angeles Italia film festival.
Staying in the hotel under a pseudonym, she said she had no idea how Weinstein even knew her room number and that she let him through her door initially without thinking there was any harm in it. That shifted quickly when Weinstein became sexually aggressive, she said.
The woman, whose first language is Russian, said that her English was very poor at the time though it has improved considerably since, and she thought she might have miscommunicated.
‘I was feeling guilty that I did something or said something that made him think something could happen between us,’ she said.
She said Weinstein forced her to perform oral sex on her hotel bed.
‘I was kind of hysterical through tears,’ she said. ‘I kept saying `no, no no.”
She said she physically feared Weinstein, who outweighed her by 100 pounds or more.
She said she considered running, or hitting or biting him.
Deputy District Attorney Paul Thompson asked why she didn’t.
‘I don’t know,’ she answered. ‘I regret this a lot.’
She said by the time Weinstein took her into the bathroom to rape her, she stopped physically resisting, though still objected verbally.
‘I would just freeze, like my body wouldn’t listen,’ she said.
She said she struggled to face her children after the incident, and felt the need to confess it to her Russian Orthodox priest. Prosecutors sought for the priest to testify, but he declined, citing religious privilege. The woman’s daughter, now 21, is set to testify later.
In his opening statement, Weinstein attorney Mark Werksman said many of the counts his client is charged with were actually consensual sex that his accusers reframed after he became a lightning rod for the #MeToo movement in 2017.
Attorney Mark Werksman, representing Harvey Weinstein, leaves the Los Angeles County Superior Court Monday
Attorneys Alan Jackson, left, Mark Werksman, center, and Jacqueline Sparagna, representing Harvey Weinstein, arrive at the Los Angeles County Superior Court Monday
Like on Monday (above), Weinstein, 70, was wheeled into the courtroom. He faces 11 charges of rape and sexual assault involving eight women in the Beverly Hills and Los Angeles area between 2004 and 2013
But in the case of the woman testifying Tuesday, Weinstein’s attorneys deny that the events in her hotel room happened at all. No records, surveillance video or other evidence places Weinstein at the woman’s hotel, Mr. C Beverly Hills, on the night she says she was raped.
Jackson pressed her on this during cross-examination, asking how Weinstein could have learned her room number and been allowed to her door, and why she made no complaints to hotel staff over ‘this terrible breach of protocol.’
She answered, ‘Because of what happened to me. Because I didn’t want anybody to know.’
Jackson then asked why she stayed in the same hotel for weeks afterward, and did not even change rooms.
‘You stayed in the very room that you claim you were attacked and victimized by a sexual predator?’ Jackson asked.
The woman conceded that she had.
She cried occasionally during her testimony, but remained mostly composed, looking down when she grew emotional to gather herself.
A day earlier she was sobbing so much in her account of the assault, court adjourned a few minutes early.
‘I want to apologize for my breakdown yesterday,’ she said when she returned to the stand Tuesday. ‘Unfortunately I cannot control that.’
Weinstein arrives at the Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles in 2014. He is currently serving a 23-year sentence for sex crimes in New York, with a jury now hearing details about the ‘owner’ he held over the women because of his high position
The identities of his other accusers are being kept secret in court documents, which refer to them as Jane Does
Weinstein is currently serving a 23-year sentence for sex crimes in New York, with a jury set to hear lurid details about the ‘owner’ he held over the women because of his high position.
Addressing the jury, Thompson said that several other women described being ‘dragged’ to the bathroom and bedroom before being assaulted by Weinstein.
They also claim they felt powerless because he was a ‘big guy’, with one saying: ‘He’s big. He’s broad. He’s overweight. He’s domineering.’
Thompson added: ‘They feared that he could crush their careers if they reported what he had done to him.’
Other accusers reportedly begged him to stop, with one even telling him ‘please I have kids’ as he attacked her.
The jury was also told that Weinstein’s films launched the careers of Quentin Tarantino, Ben Affleck, Matt Damon and Gwyneth Paltrow as well as wielding power with ‘presidential contenders’ – such as Hillary Clinton.
One woman reported an assault by Weinstein to the NYPD in 2015, but the seven other women did not report the rapes until after the scandal exploded in 2017.
However all of the women told ‘friends or family’ about the assaults before 2017, and most of the victims were able to describe ‘unique things about his body’.
Thompson said: ‘What I’m referring to is the result of a surgery that the defendant had in 1999. That surgery caused pretty noticeable scarring, and you’ll see the pictures.
‘Because of an infection, his testicles were actually taken from his scrotum and put into his inner thighs.
‘None of the Jane Does will describe his anatomy perfectly, but most of them will be able to describe these abnormalities that they observed during the assaults.’