- Harvey Weinstein’s LA trial on rape charges continued Tuesday with witness testimony.
- One of Weinstein’s accusers described in harrowing detail her alleged assault in February 2013.
- Weinstein reacted in court with a head shake after she said she was afraid he might have killed her.
Harvey Weinstein visibly reacted in court on Tuesday as one of his accusers testified in harrowing detail about the assault she says she suffered at his hands.
The disgraced mogul’s Los Angeles trial on rape charges continued Monday with opening arguments and the start of witness testimony. LA 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 and pleaded not guilty.
All five women are expected to testify against Weinstein during what will likely be a weeks-long trial. Several of Weinstein’s female accusers are using pseudonyms in court.
The first woman to take the stand, identified as Jane Doe 1, continued her testimony on Tuesday morning after she broke down in court on Monday afternoon. She began the day by apologizing for her emotional outburst, telling the court she “can’t control this.”
Jane Doe 1, an actress who lived in Italy, has accused Weinstein of raping her in a hotel room in February 2013 during the Los Angeles Italia Film Festival. She told the jury on Monday that he showed up unannounced to her hotel room late at night and forced his way inside.
She wasn’t initially fearful, she said, but became scared when he began to talk about a massage: “I felt guilty I did or said something to make it seem okay,” she testified.
Jane Doe 1 testified in disturbing detail about the assault, during which she said Weinstein forced her to perform oral sex and raped her in a bathroom, despite her pleas for him to stop. She said she was terrified, disgusted, and panicked as she tried to fend him off, but credited his large size with her inability to avoid the assault or fight back.
She told the courtroom that she considered trying to run away or even hitting Weinstein with a lamp, but was frozen in fear.
“I regret this a lot,” Jane Doe 1 testified, saying that her body felt frozen. “My body wouldn’t listen to me. I was scared he’d kill me.”
In court at this moment, Weinstein reacted to her testimony by shaking his head and sighing.
Jane Doe 1 paused several times throughout her graphic testimony to take deep breaths in an apparent effort to maintain composure.
“I wanted to die,” she said as she recounted the experience. “It was humiliating, miserable. I didn’t fight. I just remember how he looked in the mirror, telling me to look at him. I wish it never happened to me.”
“I wasn’t there in my head,” she added. “I was praying.”
After the assault, Jane Doe said Weinstein cleaned himself with a towel and acted like nothing happened. He complimented her and then warned her not to say anything to anyone, she testified.
“I was feeling — and I still have this feeling — very guilty,” she said. “Humiliated.”
Jane Doe 1 didn’t go to the police until October 2017, after she was inspired by her own 16-year-old daughter’s experience with sexual harassment, she said. When prosecutors asked why she waited so long to report, she said she had been afraid.
“It is hard to live with this guilt. I realized he must be somebody bad to do this to me,” she testified. “I was afraid for my life, for my kids, for my reputation.”