Harvey Weinstein is back in court in Los Angeles.
Photo: JOHANNES EISELE/AFP via Getty Images
Harvey Weinstein is on trial again for sex crimes, this time in Los Angeles. Although the substance of this case closely resembles the New York proceedings that earned him his 2020 rape conviction, this time around the court will hear from nine of his alleged victims as prosecutors attempt to prove his guilt on 11 charges of sexual abuse, including forced rape and sexual assault. In their opening arguments, they highlighted a now familiar pattern: Weinstein would target young women in his industry, setting up dates to discuss their careers. When women did show up, they usually found themselves transported to a private space — Weinstein’s hotel room, for example — where he abandoned any professional pretensions and imposed himself on them.
“They feared he could crush their careers if they reported what he had done to them,” Assistant District Attorney Paul Thompson said of the witnesses, according to the New York. Time.
The defense also revived its old tactics, arguing that any sexual encounter between Weinstein and the alleged victims was consensual, even occasionally transactional, by Hollywood standards. “Look at my client,” Mark Werksman told the jury, according to Variety. “It’s not Brad Pitt or George Clooney. Do you think those beautiful women slept with him because he’s hot? No, it’s because he’s powerful. Those women, he said. pointed out, were actors. In the courtroom, they “would play the role of the damsel in distress with this beast,” he added, calling the next witnesses liars. “Their hypocrisy will be on full display.”
But much of their testimony is expected to reflect stories already shared by at least 100 women since 2017. Below are the biggest moments from the witness stand.
In 2013, Jane Doe 1 – a model and actor then living in Rome – said she briefly met Weinstein at a Los Angeles film festival and was surprised when he showed up outside her hotel room. later that evening, demanding that she let him in. Over two days of sometimes tearful testimony, she told the court that after complying, Weinstein quickly became predatory. But she was confused: English was her second language and she said she assumed Weinstein had “misunderstood” her when he steered the conversation towards massage. “His face has changed. His eyes have changed. His behavior has changed,” she said, according to Deadline. And having been in “bad situations where men beat me,” she said, she was scared. She estimated Weinstein had about 150 pounds on her. “He expected me to do what he said and he was…moving me around the room like I was an object.” She said he took her to bed, where – allegedly holding her by the hair – he forced her to perform oral sex on him. She didn’t scream or try to run away, but ‘was a little hysterical with the tears,’ she said, according to The Guardian. “I kept saying, ‘No, no, no’.”
When Weinstein couldn’t get an erection, Jane Doe 1 remembered him walking her into the bathroom and putting her in front of the sink. “He put his fingers inside me… my private part,” she testified. “He held me and he tried to penetrate me with his penis but I was moving.” She said she was crying and always begging him to stop. “I remember how he was looking at himself in the mirror and he was telling me to look at him,” she continued. “Come on, little girl. Tell me you like it. You like this.’ When he finally finished, she said, he “acted like nothing had happened,” other than a warning that she wouldn’t tell anyone what had happened. “I understand he is a powerful person, so it is better that I do not speak,” the witness explained, acknowledging that she had only given vague glimpses of the incident to a few. people and that she had only confessed to her priest.
“I wanted to die,” she said of the alleged attack. “It was disgusting. It was humiliating.” Jane Doe 1 said she later developed a drinking problem: “I was destroying myself. I felt very guilty. Especially because I opened that door.
In cross-examination, Weinstein’s defense struggled to poke holes in the woman’s story. Attorney Alan Jackson asked how his client found the witness room in the first place and why she didn’t bring “this terrible breach of protocol” to the attention of hotel management. Jackson also questioned her decision to stay in the room for the remainder of her stay in Los Angeles: “Did you stay in the very room where you claim you were attacked and victimized by a sexual predator?”
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