The revelations of Harvey Weinstein’s alleged sexual abuse five years ago prompted women to speak publicly about their experiences with sexual violence in what became known as the #MeToo movement.
Now, in a Los Angeles courtroom, eight women will testify in a trial similar to the one that led to Weinstein’s landmark trial two years ago.
Weinstein, the 70-year-old film producer, has pleaded not guilty to 11 charges based on allegations of sexual assault at Los Angeles hotels between 2004 and 2013.
Opening statements in the trial began on Monday and one woman has already testified about the alleged assault. Three other women are expected to testify directly against the charges, and four other women are expected to testify as “prior misconduct” witnesses, meaning their testimony is not directly related to an indictment but could be seen as prosecutors trying to show Weinstein had a pattern. his behavior
In 2020, he pleaded guilty in New York to first-degree criminal sexual acts and third-degree rape and was sentenced to 23 years in prison. He has appealed.
Here’s what we know about the women who will testify in the California case and the charges related to the charges based on comments from the prosecution, the defense and their testimony.
Weinstein is accused of forcible oral intercourse and rape of Jane Doe 4 between September 1, 2004 and September 30, 2005.
Jane Doe 4 has been identified as Jennifer Siebel Newsom, a filmmaker and the wife of California Governor Gavin Newsom. In a statement, her lawyers confirmed that she would testify against Weinstein in court.
“Like many other women, my client was sexually assaulted by Harvey Weinstein during an alleged business meeting,” said Beth Fegan, one of Siebel Newsom’s attorneys. “She intends to testify at her trial as part of her life’s work to seek some measure of justice for survivors and to improve the lives of women.”
Siebel Newsom is a graduate of Stanford University and has written, directed and produced several documentaries including “Miss Representation”, “The Mask You Live In” and “The Great American Lie”. During her time as California’s First Lady, Siebel Newsom has advocated for working mothers and launched initiatives to close the gender pay gap, among other things.
In opening statements, prosecutor Paul Thompson said the attack occurred when Siebel Newsom was “a helpless actress trying to make her way in Hollywood.” Weinstein invited her to “discuss her career” at the Peninsula Hotel, and in a hotel room, assaulted and raped her, prosecutors said.
Defense attorney Mark Werksman countered that Siebel Newsom had consensual relations with Weinstein because she wanted his help in getting roles and producing films.
Werksman also said that Weinstein had given Newsom two political runs for governor and that Siebel Newsom had brought her husband to a Weinstein party. “She forced her husband to meet the man and brought him to the party. Who does that?” he asked.
Siebel Newsom has written in vague terms about the incident with Weinstein. In October 2017, just one day after The New York Times published a bombshell report about Weinstein, she wrote an editorial for the Huffington Post saying she believed the report because she had a similar experience with Weinstein.
“I was naïve, new to the industry, and didn’t know how to deal with his aggressive advances: invitations to work with a friend one night at the Toronto Film Festival, and later an invitation to meet with him about a role in The. The Peninsula Hotel, where the staff were, and suddenly , disappeared like clockwork, leaving me alone with this incredibly powerful and terrifying Hollywood legend,” he wrote.
Weinstein is accused of forcible oral intercourse, sexual penetration with a foreign object and rape of Jane Doe 1 on or about February 18, 2013, in Los Angeles County, according to the indictment.
Jane Doe 1 was a model and actress, married with three children and living in Italy in 2013. He speaks Russian, Italian and English, but his English wasn’t very good at the time, he said.
She was the first witness to testify at the trial and said she was staying at a hotel in Los Angeles for the Italian Film Festival when she received a call from Weinstein wanting to see her. He testified that he had met him before in Rome.
He came to her hotel room and tried to rape her, she testified.
“I wanted to die. It was disgusting. It was humiliating, miserable. I didn’t fight,” he testified before the judge. “I remember how he was looking in the mirror and telling me to look at him. I wish this would never happen to me.”
Years later, he told his daughter about the assault in hopes of contacting her about a similar matter, he testified. Jane Doe 1 later went to the police in October 2017 because she promised her daughter she would, she testified.
In his opening statements for the defense, Werksman said he made up the story and argued there was no evidence he went to her hotel room. On cross-examination, she admitted she had no evidence to show the jury that she was with Weinstein that night and said she couldn’t remember everything about the incident.
“I remember a lot, but I’ve also forgotten a lot,” he said.
Weinstein is accused of sexual battery on Jane Doe 2 on or about February 19, 2013, in Los Angeles County.
Jane Doe 2 was a 23-year-old model and aspiring screenwriter who had been modeling since she was 12, Thompson said in opening statements.
According to Thompson, he reported being assaulted at the Los Angeles Italian Film Festival. He met Weinstein in a restaurant at the Montage Hotel and told him he wanted to be a screenwriter, prosecutors said. The meeting then moved upstairs, and when Weinstein led her to a bathroom, another woman closed the door behind Jane Doe 2, prosecutors said.
While trapped inside with Weinstein, she allegedly stripped, stomped and masturbated her, prosecutors said.
The next day, she attended a pre-arranged meeting with an employee of the Weinstein Company and was advised to go on “Project Runway,” a reality TV show produced by Weinstein.
Werksman, the defense attorney, said in opening statements that Jane Doe 2 made up her story and stated that she met with the Weinstein Company employee the next day.
Weinstein is accused of sexual battery by holding Jane Doe 3 on or about May 11, 2010.
Jane Doe 3 was a licensed massage therapist who often worked with celebrities and athletes, Thompson said.
In 2010, after giving Weinstein a massage, she went to the bathroom to wash her hands, and he followed her into the bathroom, turned a corner, groped her and masturbated, Thompson said.
Weinstein suggested Jane Doe 3 could write a book about her massage work, Thompson said, and then a Weinstein assistant paid her $200 for the massage and contacted Miramax’s book division about a possible book deal. about a contract
Instead, Werksman argued that their sex was consensual and part of a deal. Jane Doe 3 said she was given four more massages after the alleged assault.
“He made a deal. Sex for something worthwhile. Jane Doe 3 and Mr. Weinstein were friends with benefits,” Werksman argued.
Weinstein is charged with four counts related to Jane Doe 5: forcible oral intercourse and rape between Nov. 3 and 9, 2009, and forcible oral copulation and rape on or about Nov. 5, 2010, according to the indictment.
However, the prosecution did not mention his accusations in the opening statements of the trial, and neither did the defense. The current status of these charges is unclear.
“While we have no comment at this time, our office continues to ensure that all victims in this case receive justice,” the district attorney said.
As in the New York trial, Weinstein’s trial in LA will include the testimony of several “prior wrongdoing” witnesses.
There are four of these witnesses in this case, identified by their names and initials. Each of these women alleged that Weinstein assaulted them outside of LA jurisdiction.
All in all, the defense argued that those witnesses were only being used to “confuse and overwhelm” the jury. Werksman defended Weinstein’s actions as part of the “casting couch” culture at the time.
Prosecutors said the women’s testimony will prove Weinstein’s guilt as charged.
“Each of these women came forward independently of each other, and none of them knew each other,” Thompson told the jury.
Amber B. She went to Weinstein’s office for a meeting in Manhattan in 2015 and grabbed her breast and put his hand up her skirt, prosecutors said. She reported the incident to the NYPD, who then spoke to her on the phone and at a hotel restaurant and directed them to secretly record their conversations, according to Thompson. Weinstein was arrested shortly thereafter, although no charges were filed.
Werksman said nothing on the tape would amount to a confession and dismissed it as someone playing an undercover “Junior G-man” targeting Weinstein.
Ashley M.The “Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights” dancer was alone in a hotel room with Weinstein in 2003 and said he groped and masturbated her, according to Thompson.
Werksman argued that he did not resist or refuse to interact.
Natasia M. She met Weinstein and had a brief relationship with him at an industry party for the 2008 British Academy of Film and Television Arts Awards and accused him of raping her at his hotel, according to Thompson.
Werksman said there was no evidence of rape and noted they had maintained a relationship for years.
Kelly S. The actress was raped by Weinstein in a hotel room at the Toronto International Film Festival in 1991, Thompson said. In 2008, at the same festival, he went to her hotel room with the intention of confronting her, and when he allegedly groped her and started masturbating, she left the room, prosecutors said.
Werksman immediately attacked the idea, which he did not deal with He said he saw her again in 2008 and didn’t report the incident to the police until 2018.