- A major witness took the stand in Harvey Weinstein’s trial on criminal rape charges in Los Angeles.
- The wife of California Governor Gavin Newsom, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, testified on Monday.
- She brought with her at least 10 supporters and alleged that in 2005 Weinstein raped her.
California’s first lady Jennifer Siebel Newsom was joined by at least 10 others as she walked into a Los Angeles courtroom to testify against disgraced mogul Harvey Weinstein about her “worst nightmare” on Monday.
Siebel Newsom took the stand close to noon on Monday in Weinstein’s Los Angeles trial on rape charges. She is the fourth charging witness in the prosecution. Outside, a gaggle of journalists was unable to enter the courtroom because of seating restrictions imposed by the Los Angeles Superior Court and the outsized crowd present for Siebel Newsom’s testimony.
Weinstein — who is already serving a 23-year sentence after a separate trial in New York — is currently standing trial in Los Angeles on 11 counts of sexual assault, stemming from the allegations of five different women who say he abused them in hotels between 2004 and 2013. Weinstein denies the allegations and has pleaded not guilty.
As Siebel Newsom and her team moved around the courthouse, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputies shielded her and ushered reporters and members of the public up and down the hall to clear a path for her supporters. Siebel Newsom, wearing a camel-colored coat and sunglasses, had entered the courthouse via an underground parking lot and entrance.
On the stand Monday, Siebel Newsom broke down in tears as she was asked by prosecutor Marlene Martinez to identify Weinstein, according to a pool report.
Siebel Newsom is testifying as “Jane Doe 4” in the Weinstein trial, but Insider is naming her because she publicly identified herself through her attorney to be one of the five accusers shortly before the trial got underway last month.
Siebel Newsom testified that she met Weinstein at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2005, and that the producer raped her in a hotel room in Los Angeles a few weeks after. While describing the assault on the stand, Newsom often broke down while describing meeting up with Weinstein in his room at the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills.
On Monday, Siebel Newsom claimed that after meeting Weinstein for the first time, she accepted another meeting with him at his hotel where she thought they would discuss opportunities. There, she said an assistant welcomed her into a “big, grand suite,” which featured room service in silver platters.
Once his assistant left, Siebel Newsom testified through tears that Weinstein told her they should eat something and briefly left the room, saying he’d return shortly. Weinstein had removed his clothes, called her over, and blocked a doorway in the suite, “making me feel like I had no power, like I was trapped,” Siebel Newsom testified.
“He starts groping my breasts and touches himself,” Siebel Newsom told the court. “I’m standing, I’m resisting, against the bed. ”
As she recounted her “worst nightmare,” Siebel Newsom wept harder, saying that Weinstein penetrated her against her will on the hotel bed.
“Horror. Horror. I’m trembling, I’m like a rock, I’m frigid,” Siebel Newsom said. “This is my worst nightmare. I’m just this blow-up doll that he’s just trying to masturbate off of.”
Siebel Newsom testified that to exit the situation, she made “pleasure sounds” and helped Weinstein ejaculate with her hand and then managed to dress and leave the room.
“There was silence on my part, I just remember not having words. I just wanted to get the fuck out of there,” Siebel Newsom said. “He was talking and saying things, sort of arrogant, maybe we can be boyfriend and girlfriend, and I just thought I was going to throw up.”
In opening statements last month, one of Weinstein’s lawyers, Mark Werksman, said Siebel Newsom would “be just another bimbo who slept with Harvey Weinstein to get ahead in Hollywood” if she didn’t call herself a victim of rape.
Werksman suggested in opening statements that two of the women’s accounts were false, while the other three women engaged in “transactional sex” with Weinstein to further their careers. As he began his cross-examination late on Monday, he asked Siebel Newsom why she retained communication with Weinstein after the incident and about a campaign donation to her husband Gavin Newsom.
On Tuesday, Siebel Newsom returns to the stand for cross-examination.
If you are a survivor of sexual assault, you can call the National Sexual Assault Hotline (1-800-656-4673) or visit its website to receive confidential support.