A prosecutor advised jurors Monday that the tales of the ladies who will testify that Harvey Weinstein sexually assaulted them inform uncannily related tales of themselves as younger aspiring ladies who have been cornered in lodge rooms by a person who on the time was the definition of Hollywood energy.
“Every of those ladies got here ahead impartial of one another, and none of them knew each other,” Deputy District Lawyer Paul Thompson stated throughout his opening assertion at Weinstein’s Los Angeles trial.
Weinstein, Thompson stated, lorded his energy over them, speaking concerning the feminine A-list actors whose careers he had made earlier than rising aggressive.
Thompson performed a video presentation that confirmed composite photographs of the ladies, with quotes from prior testimonials displayed. Most have been aspiring actors. One was an aspiring screenwriter who thought she was going to pitch a script to “probably the most highly effective man in Hollywood” on the time, Thompson stated, referring to Weinstein. One was a masseuse with a well-known clientele of actors and athletes, who Weinstein steered may write a ebook for his firm’s publishing arm earlier than later cornering her within the toilet.
All will testify that Weinstein ignored clear indicators that the ladies did not consent, the prosecutor stated, together with “their shaking our bodies, their crying, their backing away from him, their saying ‘no.'” He stated he assaulted one lady after she confirmed him photos of her youngsters in an try and get him to cease.
Weinstein has denied any non-consensual intercourse and has pleaded not responsible to the costs. He was introduced into court docket Monday by deputies in a wheelchair, carrying a black go well with and blue tie. Earlier than jurors entered, he climbed right into a chair on the protection desk along with his attorneys, and watched the prosecution’s presentation from there.
His lawyer is ready to offer its opening assertion on Monday afternoon.
It is anticipated to be adopted by testimony from the primary of the accusers, an Italian mannequin and actor who says Weinstein raped her at her Los Angeles lodge in 2013.
Confusion arose within the courtroom, nonetheless, when Thompson throughout his opening assertion made no point out of 1 accuser who had been set to testify as just lately as final week.
Weinstein was indicted on 11 counts general, however 4 of these counts — together with two counts of rape and two of sexual assault — concerned the lady who was not included within the opening.
A message to a district lawyer’s spokesman on her standing was not instantly returned.
Already a serving a 23-year-old sentence for a conviction in New York, the 70-year-old film mogul now faces a trial in town the place he was as soon as a colossus throughout Hollywood’s awards season. The 4 accusers who will testify within the case are anticipated to be recognized solely as Jane Doe. Jennifer Siebel Newsom, an actor and documentary filmmaker who’s married to California Gov. Gavin Newsom, is among the many accusers.
Siebel Newsom was the primary accuser Thompson described in his opening, saying that although she seems to be in a strong place now, on the time of her assault she was similar to the opposite ladies Weinstein focused.
“Seventeen years in the past, when she met the defendant in 2005, she was a powerless actor attempting to make her means in Hollywood,” Thompson stated.
In an try to move off potential protection methods, Thompson advised jurors they’d hear from a psychologist who will dispel rape myths. Key amongst them is the concept a sexual assault sufferer wouldn’t have additional contact with their assailant.
Lots of the accusers had contact, and even initiated dealings, with Weinstein within the years that adopted their assault. Siebel Newsom despatched him emails. The masseuse labored for him once more. Thompson stated the jury will be taught that is common below the circumstances.
4 different ladies will testify at trial that Weinstein sexually assaulted them, although their accusations didn’t result in prison prices. In his opening presentation and a attainable trace to his trial technique, Thompson paired every of them to one of many different 4 accusers primarily based on the similarity of their tales.
The Related Press doesn’t usually title individuals who say they’ve been sexually abused except they’ve agreed to be named publicly, as Siebel Newsom has by her lawyer.
The trial opened two weeks in the past with jury choice, 5 years after ladies’s tales about him gave huge momentum to the #MeToo motion.