- A key Harvey Weinstein accuser testified in the disgraced Hollywood mogul’s LA trial this week.
- The woman, identified as Jane Doe 3, initially kept the alleged assault to herself, she testified.
- But she eventually disclosed the incident to an unlikely and famous confidante: actor Mel Gibson.
Actor Mel Gibson once played the role of trusted confidante to one of Harvey Weinstein’s accusers, the woman testified in court this week during the disgraced mogul’s criminal trial on rape charges.
Los Angeles County prosecutors have charged Weinstein with 11 counts of sexual assault stemming from allegations by five different women who accused the one-time producer of abusing them in LA hotels between 2004 and 2013.
Weinstein is already serving a 23-year sentence in a New York prison following an East Coast trial but faces an additional life sentence heading into the West Coast proceedings. He has denied the charges against him and pleaded not guilty.
All five women are expected to testify against Weinstein, as well as four “prior bad acts witnesses,” whose testimony is not directly related to the criminal charges but can be considered by the jury as prosecutors attempt to establish Weinstein’s alleged pattern of behavior.
One of the key accusers in the case took the stand Wednesday where she described the alleged assault. The woman, identified as Jane Doe 3, worked as a massage therapist who catered to high-profile and celebrity clients, which is how she came to be alone in a hotel room with Weinstein in 2010, she testified, according to the trial pool report.
After 40 minutes on the table, Weinstein abruptly stopped the massage, she testified, saying he was done. She went to the bathroom to wash her hands when Weinstein barged in naked and began masturbating, she testified. Jane Doe 3 said she asked him to leave, telling him his behavior was inappropriate.
“He said, ‘Look at me, tell me how big my cock is,'” she testified, according to the pool report.
He pushed her up against a wall and started feeling her chest under her bra, she said. Despite her pleas, Weinstein continued to touch her and masturbate, she said. Upon completion, he attempted to play off the incident as normal, Jane Doe 3 testified, according to the pool report.
For months, she said she kept the assault to herself out of fear that speaking up would impact her career and access to prominent massage clients. But she eventually disclosed the alleged attack to an unlikely confidante.
Jane Doe 3 said she was giving a massage to actor Mel Gibson when he brought up a movie he might be working on with Weinstein. She said she began to “freak out,” asking how Gibson could want to work with Weinstein. When he asked about her reaction, she began crying and confided in him about the assault, she said.
“He was the first person that I finally opened up with about what happened,” she said, according to the pool report. “I told him that he sexually assaulted me, but I didn’t want to get into all the details. I was embarrassed and humiliated.”
Gibson asked if she wanted to call the police. He also suggested she speak with one of his female friends, she testified.
A representative for Gibson did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
The prosecution has said they plan to call Gibson as a witness in the case, but Weinstein’s defense lawyer said he will call upon the actor’s own checkered and antisemitic history should he take the stand.
During cross-examination on Thursday, Weinstein’s attorney Mark Werksman pushed Jane Doe 3 to explain why she returned to massage Weinstein multiple times after the initial incident and entered into discussions with his publishing company about a possible nude massage book.
“Your story is like the US economy, with an 8% inflation rate,” Werksman said. “You didn’t want to kill the book deal and tell Weinstein, ‘Bad boy, no more massages,’ right?”
Werksman claimed that Jane Doe 3’s story had changed over meetings with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office and authorities between 2016 and 2020.
“That’s one of the reasons why I didn’t want to come forward,” she said. “Because this is embarrassing.”