Jennifer Siebel Newsom, actress married to California governor, breaks down in tears during Harvey Weinstein sex crimes trial

Jennifer Siebel Newsom, actress married to California governor, breaks down in tears during Harvey Weinstein sex crimes trial

Jennifer Siebel Newsom, a documentary filmmaker and actress married to California Governor Gavin Newsom, broke down in tears Monday at Harvey Weinstein’s sex crimes trial, where she is testifying as one of the disgraced film producer’s accusers.

She cried when prosecutors asked her if she had seen Weinstein in the courtroom.

“He’s wearing a suit and a blue tie, and he’s looking at me,” she said.

Siebel Newsom is known in the Los Angeles courtroom as “Jane Doe #4,” but was identified by her real name on NBC News. (NBC News does not name victims of sexual assault unless they have identified themselves publicly.)

Weinstein is on trial five years after The New York Times and The New Yorker first published explosive investigations into allegations of sexual misconduct. The stories have inspired a broader consideration of abuses of power in entertainment and other high-profile industries.

In an essay for HuffPost published a day after The New York Times published its first exposé, Siebel Newsom accused Weinstein of “aggressive advances” but did not provide more specific details.

Weinstein, who once ruled Hollywood as a powerful movie producer before becoming a focal point of the #MeToo movement, is charged with 11 counts of rape and sexual assault. He pleaded not guilty.

Harvey Weinstein
Harvey Weinstein appears in Los Angeles court on October 4. Etienne Laurent / Swimming pool via AFP – Getty Images file

He is already serving a 23-year sentence for a rape conviction in New York, the former home of his former studio, The Weinstein Company.

Siebel Newsom told jurors how she met Weinstein, then testified in graphic and emotional terms about the night she says he assaulted her in a hotel suite.

In his opening statements, one of Weinstein’s attorneys said his client’s sexual relationship with Siebel Newsom was consensual.

Siebel Newsom said she met Weinstein at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2005 when she was an actress with a few credits to her name.

She said Weinstein approached her and other people backed away “like the Red Sea was parting – I don’t know if it was deference or fear.” She said he wanted to know who she was and why she was there, recalling that she felt “intimidated” and “flattered”.

Weinstein asked to meet with her later, and she agreed in part because she “felt there was genuine interest in talking about my work,” she said.

He asked for his phone number so they could continue their conversation in Los Angeles, Siebel Newsom said, explaining that she “thought he would contact me in the future to talk to me more, give me advice on the work”.

In Los Angeles, Weinstein came to her house one day to drop off a gift: a book about legendary Hollywood mogul Louis B. Mayer. He came in for about five minutes, a brief visit which she described as “very awkward”.

Weinstein then invited Siebel Newsom to meet her at the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills, where she assumed they would meet at the bar and discuss her career. Instead, Siebel Newsom said he was told to meet Weinstein in a hotel suite.

“I was confused. I was a little hesitant,” Siebel Newsom testified.

ShWe said she nervously took the elevator up to “that big, big suite.” She recalled being “uncomfortable”, but “I just tried to be there and just waited”.

Prosecutors questioned why she waited. “Because you’re not saying no to Harvey Weinstein,” Siebel Newsom said. “It could make or ruin your career.”

When the producer walked in, he didn’t seem interested in discussing his career, she testified.

“He suddenly got up and said I’m going to make myself more comfortable,” Siebel Newsom said.

He called her from the end of the corridor, she testified crying. She found him in a bathrobe. He was touching his penis, then “grabbed” her and “tried to make me touch him,” she said.

Siebel Newsom said she felt “frightened” and “frozen”.

“I was scared. That wasn’t what I came here for. It was like a complete manipulation of why I was there, and I just remember physically trying to back down.

Siebel Newsom, bursting into tears, testified that she begged Weinstein to stop.

He seemed to “soften up” at one point, “like he was trying a different approach, because I was shaking”.

Eventually, she said, he carried or dragged her to the bedroom of the suite, where she said he fondled her breasts, touched himself, forcibly removed her underwear and had assaulted.

“I’m shaking, I’m like a rock, I’m frigid,” testified Siebel Newsom through sobs. “It’s my worst nightmare.”

She said Weinstein raped her. “I was afraid of what he was doing, of putting his body in my body and hurting me,” she testified.

Once the sexual assault was over, she said, she grabbed her things and left. “It was like ‘The Twilight Zone’, I just walked down that hallway [and] it felt like an eternity,” she said.

Prosecutors have charged Weinstein with sexually assaulting five women in separate incidents from 2004 to 2013. The trial involves four counts of rape and seven counts of sexual assault. Women will be identified during the procedure as Jane Does 1 to 5.

The trial in Los Angeles took on higher stakes for prosecutors this summer after the New York State Court of Appeals agreed in August to allow Weinstein to appeal his conviction for third-degree rape and criminal sexual act in the first degree. .

If New York’s conviction is upheld, Weinstein would serve the remainder of his 23-year sentence. If it is overturned, his fate will depend on the outcome of his trial in Los Angeles. If convicted in Los Angeles, he faces life in prison in California.

It was unclear whether Weinstein’s lawyers would call him to testify. He is not represented by the legal team that led his defense in New York, where the trial revolved around allegations by former aspiring actress Jessica Mann and former “Project Runway” model Mimi Haley.

In the case of Jane Doe #4, he is charged with forced oral copulation and forced rape from September 1, 2004 to September 30, 2005, according to court documents.

In the 1990s and 2000s, Weinstein and his younger brother, Bob, were titans of the film industry, producing seminal independent films like “Pulp Fiction” and distributing the Oscar-winning dramas “The English Patient,” “Shakespeare in Love” and “The King’s Speech.”

Weinstein presented himself as a pugnacious kingmaker. He fought with directors, stormed into editing rooms and campaigned for the Oscars with ruthless zeal. In a city that revolves around big egos, Weinstein towered over the competition.

His reign collapsed in October 2017 after women began recording stories of sexual abuse. In total, more than 100 women have come forward with allegations dating back decades.

He denied all allegations of non-consensual sex.

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