- Harvey Weinstein’s trial in LA for rape continued on Tuesday with testimony.
- One of Weinstein’s accusers described in harrowing detail her alleged attack in February 2013.
- Weinstein responded in court with a shake of the head after saying she was afraid he might have killed her.
Harvey Weinstein reacted visibly in court on Tuesday when one of his accusers testified in harrowing detail about the attack she said she suffered at the hands of him.
The trial of the disgraced mogul in Los Angeles on rape charges continued Monday with opening arguments and the beginning of witness statements. LA County prosecutors have charged Weinstein on 11 counts of sexual assault over 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 after an East Coast trial, but faces an additional life sentence on his way to the West Coast trial. He 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 prosecutors use pseudonyms in court.
The first woman to take the stand, identified as Jane Doe 1, continued her testimony Tuesday morning after she passed out in court on Monday afternoon. She started the day by apologizing for her emotional outburst and telling the court she “can’t control this.”
Jane Doe 1, an actress living in Italy, has accused Weinstein of raping her in a hotel room during the Los Angeles Italia Film Festival in February 2013. She told the jury Monday that he showed up unannounced in her hotel room late at night and broke in.
She wasn’t scared at first, she said, but got scared when he started talking about a massage: “I felt guilty for doing or saying something to make it look good,” she testified.
Jane Doe 1 testified in disturbing details about the attack, saying that Weinstein forced her into oral sex and raped her in a bathroom, despite her pleas to stop. She said she was terrified, disgusted, and panicked when she tried to fend him off, but attributed his great size to her inability to avoid the attack or fight back.
She told the courtroom that she considered trying to run away or even hit Weinstein with a lamp, but stiffened with fear.
“I deeply regret this,” Jane Doe 1 testified, saying her body felt frozen. “My body wouldn’t listen to me. I was afraid it would kill me.”
In court at this point, Weinstein responded to her testimony by shaking his head and sighing.
Jane Doe 1 paused several times during her speaking testimony to take a deep breath in an apparent effort to keep her calm.
“I wanted to die,” she said, recounting the experience. “It was humiliating, miserable. I didn’t fight. I just remember him looking in the mirror and 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 attack, Jane Doe said Weinstein cleaned himself with a towel and pretended nothing had happened. He complimented her and then warned her not to speak to anyone, she testified.
“I felt — and still do — very guilty,” she said. “Humiliated.”
Jane Doe 1 didn’t go to police until October 2017, after being inspired by her own 16-year-old daughter’s experience of sexual harassment, she said. When prosecutors asked her why she had waited so long to report, she said she was scared.
“It’s hard to live with this guilt. I realized he must be someone bad to do this to me,” she testified. “I was afraid for my life, for my children, for my reputation.”