After a month of harrowing testimony from girls who say they have been raped by essentially the most highly effective man in Hollywood, Los Angeles prosecutors rested their case towards Harvey Weinstein on Thursday.
Weinstein, 70, has sat stoically in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom as a gaggle of eight former fashions and actors cried, screamed and cursed at occasions whereas describing brutal assaults in resort rooms in Southern California, London and Puerto Rico.
Most of the girls mentioned they felt unable to struggle off the huge Weinstein within the second after which feared reporting him to police for years as a result of he may finish their careers with a cellphone name.
A lot of the case has centered on the #MeToo motion, of which Weinstein turned the archvillain after investigative experiences revealed by the New Yorker and the New York Occasions in 2017.
Lots of Weinstein’s victims didn’t come ahead to police till after the motion started, believing the sheer variety of girls talking out would insulate anybody particular person from being steamrolled by Weinstein and his military of attorneys and public relations professionals.
However Weinstein’s protection counsel has sought to color the timing of the experiences as handy, saying lots of the victims have been partaking in revisionist historical past and at the moment are describing beforehand consensual, “transactional” relationships with Weinstein as rape.
The protection will start presenting its case Nov. 28, after a one-week break for the Thanksgiving vacation. Attorneys Mark Werksman and Alan Jackson haven’t mentioned whom they plan to name, and it’s unclear whether or not Weinstein will testify.
If convicted as charged, Weinstein faces a de facto life sentence in a California jail on prime of the 20 years remaining on his sentence stemming from a 2020 rape conviction in New York. Weinstein has denied all wrongdoing and is interesting the New York case.
Weinstein was initially charged with 11 counts of rape and sexual battery in L.A. County, however 4 of these fees have been dismissed earlier this week, when Deputy Dist. Atty. Paul Thompson admitted he was “unable to proceed” on the allegations made by a girl recognized solely as Jane Doe 5.
Neither Thompson nor Weinstein’s attorneys have commented on the matter, however sources have instructed The Occasions the lady lives outdoors the nation and couldn’t be compelled to testify by the district legal professional’s workplace.
The prosecution’s case wrapped up this week with a lot of the concentrate on the intense testimony of Jennifer Siebel Newsom. Earlier than she met her husband, Gov. Gavin Newsom, Siebel Newsom was an aspiring actor in 2005 when Weinstein summoned her to a room on the Peninsula Lodge in Beverly Hills.
She alleged that what she believed was a gathering about her profession spiraled right into a violent sexual encounter when Weinstein emerged from a toilet in a gown touching his penis.
For 45 minutes, she mentioned this week, Weinstein repeatedly instructed her numerous A-list actors had had intercourse with him to advance their careers. Siebel Newsom mentioned she cried and begged him to depart her alone, even mentioning the demise of her sister at one level.
Finally, she alleged, he pressured himself on her. Unable to flee, Siebel Newsom mentioned she feigned an orgasm and stroked Weinstein’s penis in a determined bid to finish the assault.
“I simply did it to make it cease,” Siebel Newsom mentioned Monday. “I simply wished to get the f— out of there. Excuse my language. I’m sorry, I simply wished to get out.”
The Occasions doesn’t determine victims of sexual assault until they title themselves in civil courtroom proceedings or converse out publicly. Whereas the ladies testifying towards Weinstein did so anonymously, Siebel Newsom accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct in a 2017 essay. Others both testified in his New York trial or have accused him of rape in information conferences or lawsuits.
The ultimate accuser to take the stand towards Weinstein was actress and mannequin Natassia Malthe, who described a 2008 assault inside a London resort after the British Academy Movie Awards. For a number of hours Wednesday, Malthe — who publicly accused Weinstein of assault in 2017 together with her legal professional, Gloria Allred, at her aspect — talked via her troubling years-long dynamic with the mogul.
The 2 first met in 2002 in New York, the place Malthe claimed Weinstein leered at her whereas she sat subsequent to supermodel Naomi Campbell, however they by no means truly spoke. 5 years later, she mentioned Weinstein approached her at Vogue Week in Manhattan and requested for her resort room quantity, however Malthe ignored him.
A 12 months later, on the BAFTA awards, Malthe mentioned she felt her profession was ascendant. She had been chosen to mannequin because the face of a $100-million advertising marketing campaign and believed she was underneath a microscope in the course of the journey to London. Then Weinstein appeared at her door.
“My publicist schooled me that when you’re the face of a model, your picture needed to be accountable, you needed to be squeaky clear,” she mentioned. “Something that would damage my popularity was dangerous for the model.”
Fearing Weinstein’s ruckus would draw her undesirable consideration, Malthe mentioned she opened the door.
Weinstein instructed her “nobody will get to be like an A-lister until it goes via me,” then pushed her onto the mattress and raped her, Malthe alleged. The mannequin mentioned she froze as she considered how a lot affect Weinstein may wield in her life past that second.
“The asymmetrical energy state of affairs was so massive. I felt like there was this highly effective man who may damage my profession, who had the future of individuals’s life in his fingers,” she mentioned. “I used to be 98 kilos on the time as a result of I refused to eat. I used to be consuming simply greens to suit into the garments that I used to be given. … He was bigger than now … possibly triple the scale.”
However Malthe’s testimony additionally invited the protection to grill her about her determination to remain in contact with Weinstein after the alleged assault, a tactic they’ve employed repeatedly towards Siebel Newsom and different witnesses.
Malthe mentioned Weinstein later despatched her a script for a musical. She attended an audition for the challenge, titled “9,” leading to her as soon as once more being pulled right into a state of affairs the place she was alone with Weinstein and one other lady. Malthe mentioned she watched the lady carry out oral intercourse on Weisntein however rejected their gives to have a threesome.
Years later, Malthe mentioned she and Weinstein spoke on the American Movie Institute pageant in Los Angeles. Based on Malthe’s testimony, she confronted him and questioned if he had visited a therapist, however she later mentioned she had additionally watched him bathe bare.
Malthe described the second as one the place she felt Weinstein was “human” after which described one other state of affairs the place she wound up alone with Weinstein and, she alleged, he started masturbating in entrance of her after she was led right into a one-on-one assembly with the mogul.
“That is just like the fourth time that you simply’ve adopted together with some assistant towards your will,” requested an incredulous Werksman. “Have you ever ever had your hand burned by touching a sizzling range?”
Occasions workers author Michael Finnegan contributed to this report.