- Harvey Weinstein’s Los Angeles rape trial continued Tuesday with testimony.
- One of Weinstein’s accusers described in harrowing detail his alleged assault in February 2013.
- Weinstein reacted in court by shaking his head after saying she was afraid he killed her.
Harvey Weinstein visibly reacted in court on Tuesday as one of his accusers testified with harrowing details about the assault she says she suffered at his hands.
The disgraced Los Angeles tycoon’s rape trial continued on Monday with opening arguments and the start of testimony. LA County prosecutors have charged Weinstein with 11 counts of sexual assault stemming from allegations by five different women who accused the former producer of abusing them at 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 before the West Coast trial. He denied the charges and pleaded not guilty.
All five women are expected to testify against Weinstein in what will likely be a week-long trial. Several of Weinstein’s accusers use pseudonyms in court.
The first woman to speak, identified as Jane Doe 1, continued her testimony on Tuesday morning after breaking down in court on Monday afternoon. She started 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, 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 at her hotel room late at night and forced his way inside.
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 detail about the assault, in which she said Weinstein forced her to perform oral sex and raped her in a bathroom, despite her pleas that he stopped. She said she was terrified, disgusted and panicked as she tried to push him away, but attributed his large size to his inability to avoid aggression or fight back.
She told the courtroom that she considered trying to run away or even hit Weinstein with a lamp, but was frozen in fear.
“I regret it very much,” testified Jane Doe 1, saying that her body was frozen. “My body wasn’t listening to me. I was afraid it would kill me.”
In court right now, Weinstein reacted to his testimony by shaking his head and sighing.
Jane Doe 1 paused several times throughout her graphic testimony to breathe deeply in an apparent effort to keep her composure.
“I wanted to die,” she said when recounting the experience. “It was humiliating, miserable. I didn’t fight. I just remember the way he looked in the mirror, telling me to look at him. I wish that never happened to me.”
“I wasn’t there in my head,” she added. “I was praying.”
After the assault, Jane Doe said Weinstein wiped himself off with a towel and acted like nothing had happened. He complimented her and then warned her not to tell anyone, she testified.
“I felt – and still do – very guilty,” she said. “Humbled.”
Jane Doe 1 only went to the police in 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 waited so long to come forward, she said she was scared.
“It’s hard to live with this guilt. I realized that he must be someone bad to do this to me,” she testified. “I was afraid for my life, for my children, for my reputation.”
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