As the first witness in Harvey Weinstein’s Los Angeles trial took the stand to describe her charges of sexual assault against the former Hollywood mogul and already-convicted rapist, she sobbed and began to breathe heavily.
The prosecution called the witness, referred to as Jane Doe #1, first. The woman is an actress from outside whose native tongue is not English. She can speak English, Italian, and Russian, but she was joined in court by her translator, who was also used when she testified.
The woman alleges that Weinstein molested her in February 2013 during the Los Angeles Italia Film Festival around Oscars weekend. He is said to have broken into her hotel room in the middle of the night without permission.
Weinstein had only met Jane Doe #1 at a number of professional gatherings at the time of the alleged incident. She testified that other than an introduction, the two had hardly spoken to one another. She had been invited as a guest of the festival’s founder and was in Los Angeles on a business trip, so came to the Los Angeles Italia Film Festival.
Jane Doe #1 was expected to walk the red carpets at the festival, sit in VIP parts of the theatre, and go to private industry dinner parties because she was a well-known actress in Italy.
She said that after the actress arrived back in her hotel room around midnight one evening, Weinstein abruptly arrived at Mr C Beverly Hills. She claims that she hadn’t even spoken to him much, let alone told him where she was staying, so she was perplexed as to how he knew and why he was there.
The hotel lobby called her room to let her know she had a visitor after she got back to her hotel and changed into a robe in preparation for bed. Speaking to the jury, Jane Doe #1 recalled, “I said I didn’t expect any guests.” She was told by hotel workers that Weinstein was below.
“I was confused… I had no idea what he was doing in the hotel.” She suggested that she go downstairs, but Weinstein declined. The next thing she knew, he was loudly knocking on her door. I want to talk to you, he said. She said to the jury through tears that she had opened the door to stop him from knocking since it was so loud; she was ashamed that other hotel guests might have heard the commotion.
She said, “He just walked in.” “I was seriously perplexed. I had no idea what was happening. I remember asking myself, “Did he follow me?” I don’t know him.
According to the woman, Weinstein barged into the hotel room and plopped down next to her on the bed. He asked her to give him a massage after taking off his jacket. She said, “I asked him to go,” adding that Weinstein didn’t heed her request and instead approached her more closely. She said that when he got to the bed, he changed completely.
“I started to ask him to leave more directly.” She had revealed to Weinstein that she was a mother of three and had shown him pictures of her kids on her phone in an effort to persuade him to leave. She recalls constantly telling him to leave since nothing was going to happen and she couldn’t understand why he thought she was interested in having a romantic or sexual relationship with him given that they didn’t know each other.
He apparently said she was “gorgeous” at one point and made a remark about her breasts, saying they were too big for her to be a famous actress. She once more urged him to go after he said that.
When asked by the prosecutor, deputy D.A. Paul Thompson, how Weinstein’s behavior progressed, the defendant responded, “He became more tactile. He tried to hold my hand and take my robe off. She attempted to stand up as she continued, “He opened his pants, he (held) my hand, and he was touching himself.” “I started crying out of fear… It’s fine, he remarked. He didn’t seem to mind.”
Then Jane Doe #1 claimed that Weinstein removed his pants. She admitted in court, “I was afraid. “I was terrified. He wasn’t treating me like a human being and was using my room as his home. I was pleading with him to go.
On the witness stand, Jane Doe #1 appeared to find it difficult to continue her story, crying and taking deep breaths. She provided gruesome details of her charges when pressed further by the prosecutor.
She explained to the jury that he was having erection issues and instructed them to “suck him and suck his balls.” She claims Weinstein dragged her head toward his “private area” while just wearing his shirt and grabbed her hair. She went on, “He coerced me into doing his request. I got choked up with tears.”
Following the prosecution and defense’s opening comments, Jane Doe #1 gave her testimony. While Jane Doe #1 claims she was raped by Weinstein, according to Weinstein’s legal team, she attended a party hosted by the Weinstein Company years after the alleged incident and triumphantly shared a photo from the red carpet onto her own social media.