After a massage therapist, known as Jane Doe No. 3, testified that she was repeatedly assaulted by Harvey Weinstein, the convicted rapist’s lawyer questioned her on the stand for hours, focusing on what he called her “fuzzy” recollection of the alleged incidents and why she was entering into a book deal with Weinstein’s company if he had sexually assaulted her.
Jane Doe No. 3 gave graphic testimony earlier in the week and told the jury that Weinstein masturbated in front of her and fondled her breasts on a date when she was hired to give him a massage. After the first assault, she agreed to see Weinstein three more times for massage appointments or business meetings and claims he masturbated in front of her each time. All the while, Weinstein had offered her a book deal through his publishing company, and she had communicated with his staff about a potential book, which would have been titled “Naked Massage.”
“Would you agree that you suffered from forgetfulness of many of the essentials that happened with you and Mr. Weinstein?” Defense attorney Mark Werksman asked Jane Doe No. 3, calling her memory “fuzzy, fuzzy and fuzzy.”
“I understand you want to attribute it to faulty memory, but I want to be clear to this jury,” Werksman said while pushing No. 3 Jane Doe on the details of her allegations. Throughout his lengthy cross-examination, Weinstein’s attorney also asked about texts, journal entries and a recording that could serve as evidence of the alleged attacks.
Related video: Weinstein’s LA rape trial opened in October with graphic details
Jane Doe No. 3 was at the helm for three days. During cross-examination, Werksman referred to several instances where her “recollection changed over time,” including her first meeting with Weinstein at the Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills, California on May 11, 2010, when she alleged that he cornered her in a bathroom. masturbating in front of her and grabbing her tits.
“You testified yesterday that he was on the table under the sheets [and] covered when the massage started,” Werksman said. He went on to explain that during Jane Doe’s No. 3 initial interview with detectives in October 2019, she recalled going into the bathroom to give Weinstein a chance to undress and get dressed. put under the sheets before her massage session, and when she came out of the bathroom, Weinstein was standing in the hotel room, completely naked.
“I wish I hadn’t left that out because it’s also quite traumatic,” replied Jane Doe #3. couldn’t give them all the details,” she said, explaining that she was embarrassed and it’s hard to talk about the trauma. “When you talk about something traumatic that happened to you, you recall more memories,” she added.
“I blocked out a lot of memories,” she later said of her interview with detectives. “At the time, I couldn’t remember everything that had happened.”
Werksman asked if she worked with a therapist or healer to help “recover lost memories”, to which she replied, “They didn’t help me recover lost memories, they were open to me to discuss of my truth.”
Werksman then asked Jane Doe No. 3 about the details of the incident, specifically whether Weinstein was groping her over her clothes or actually touching her skin when she said he grabbed her breasts. (Without skin-to-skin contact, Weinstein could not be sexually charged.)
“Your answer was crystal clear, it was over your clothes, wasn’t it?” … And you said, ‘Skin to skin, no, he didn’t,'” Werksman asked, referring to Jane Doe’s 2019 No. 3 interview with detectives. After saying she was embarrassed to answer the question at the time, Werksman replied, “Whatever your motivation, you flat out 100% denied that Mr. Weinstein touched you skin to skin.”
“Did someone tell you before your next interview that you had to pass this one?” Werksman asked. Weinstein’s attorney noted that she changed her story from “‘It didn’t happen at all’ to ‘I’m 95% sure’ to ‘I’m 100% sure’.”
“Your story is like the American economy – there was inflation,” Werksman remarked.
When questioned about the redirection by the prosecutor, Assistant DA Marlene Martinez, Jane Doe #3 again clarified why her story had changed, particularly regarding skin-to-skin contact, and was honest that she didn’t initially tell detectives that he groped her breasts under her bra.
“What made you remember that the defendant touched you skin to skin?” Martinez asked. Jane Doe #3 replied, “Over the years you just hide the memories so you don’t have to think about it.” Martinez asked, “You blocked that memory from your brain? to which Jane Doe No. 3 responded by explaining that she started opening her mind to those memories later the more she talked about her alleged assault.
Earlier in the trial, the prosecution brought in an expert witness, forensic psychiatrist Dr. Barbara Ziv, to educate the jury about typical behaviors of rape and sexual assault victims. One such common behavior is having a complicated memory related to traumatic events. Dr. Ziv explained that memories of central trauma are easier to retain than the small details of an attack. “If people don’t report soon, they say they don’t remember years later,” Ziv said during his testimony. “It’s not that they’re lying…people are trying to do their best…they’re trying to remember.”
Describing how Jane Doe No. 3 stayed in the bathroom after the sexual assault and watched Weinstein shower, Werksman asked why she hadn’t left then. “I was paralyzed. I was in shock,” she explained, tears in her eyes. “I just got sexually assaulted.”
After a 15-minute break to give Jane Doe No. 3 a chance to calm down, Werksman asked her about the potential book deal she and Weinstein had discussed during their first massage session in May. When she first testified, she told jurors it was he who offered a book deal, although she never considered writing a book. She also said Weinstein would repeatedly text her and invite her to movie premieres, some of which she attended. Other times, she avoided Weinstein.
“Did you believe that writing a book would benefit you in any way?” Werksman asked. She replied, “Yes, of course.”
Werksman showed Jane Doe No. 3 a binder of emails she exchanged with Weinstein’s employees at Miramax Books, which he said revealed her “expression of enthusiasm for this project.” When she testified, Jane Doe #3 explained that Weinstein hooked her up with his employees and continually brought up the idea of a book deal whenever she saw him.
After her cross-examination ended, Jane Doe No. 3 wept silently as she was escorted out of the courtroom.
After her three-day testimony, attorneys for Jane Doe 3 released a statement for Varietyapplauding their client for resisting “aggressive cross-examination” by Weinstein’s defense.
“We are incredibly proud of our client, Jane Doe 3, who bravely came forward to report that Harvey Weinstein sexually assaulted her,” attorneys Lisa Banks, Debra Katz and Genie Harrison said. “For three days she valiantly described the attack and the trauma it caused her and resisted aggressive cross-examination by Weinstein’s attorney who seemed to enjoy attacking her testimony as it became more comprehensive. over time, as is the case for many survivors of sexual assault. We are confident that the jury will see through these brazen tactics and convict Weinstein for his crimes. »
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