A lawyer for Harvey Weinstein peppered a woman on Wednesday with questions about the lack of forensic evidence that the film magnate raped her in 2013, or that he was even at the hotel where she says the attack took place.
“You have no physical evidence to present to this jury that any of this happened, do you?” attorney Alan Jackson asked pointedly during cross-examination.
When the judge at 70-year-old Weinstein’s trial in Los Angeles upheld an objection to the question because it encouraged speculation, Jackson got more specific:
A woman testifies that Harvey Weinstein’s rape filled her with guilt
“No,” the woman said softly.
“No,” she replied, then added, “Do you think anyone takes a video after being raped?”
She began to cry quietly as she answered “no” to a series of similar questions about whether she had any documentation of bruises, scrapes, cuts, or handprints on her face from Weinstein pinching her, or whether she was under investigation for a sexual assault had been.
“Do you have any physical evidence that you were even with Mr. Weinstein?” Jackson asked.
Her crying grew louder as she replied, “I had his jacket, but I gave it away.”
The woman, a model and actor who worked in Rome, is the first of Weinstein’s accusers to testify at the trial and spent part of three days on the witness stand.
Prosecutors have produced photos and other evidence that both Weinstein and the woman were at the Los Angeles Italia Film Festival, which she came to California for in February 2013.
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But they haven’t produced anything yet, bringing Weinstein to her hotel the night she says he forced her to perform oral sex on her bed and then raped her in her bathroom.
The woman only went to the police in October 2017 when women stories about Weinstein made him the central figure of the #MeToo movement.
She claims Weinstein left her jacket in the room and gave it to hotel staff, but no lost property was discovered to prove this.
When asked if the explosion of media reports surrounding Weinstein prompted her to go to the police, the woman repeated earlier statements that she had decided to press charges earlier this year when she was urging her teenage daughter to allege sexual assault Harassment she had been exposed to going to the authorities at school.
The woman only goes to court from “Jane Doe 1”. Her age and place of birth were also kept out of court proceedings, although she said her first language was Russian and she was living with her three children in Italy at the time, where she had married to a considerable fortune.
The Associated Press does not typically credit people who say they have been sexually abused unless they come forward publicly.
Weinstein’s defense tried to drill holes in her testimony and press for contradictions in previous reports she had given to police, prosecutors, a grand jury and in the first two days of her testimony in court.
In descriptive questioning, Jackson addressed the woman’s description in her first interview with police about oral sex, which she said Weinstein forced her to perform. Jackson suggested that Weinstein’s unusual genital features, following an operation he had years earlier, made the acts she described impossible.
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The same acts were not mentioned during her grand jury testimony in 2020, and Jackson asked her if she learned more about Weinstein’s genitals from prosecutors and changed her story in the process.
“Never!” she said implacably.
When later questioned by prosecutors, she described “very bad scar tissue” around Weinstein’s genitals.
It was the first time jurors heard from a witness about Weinstein’s anatomy, which featured frequently at his 2020 trial in New York, where he was convicted of rape and sexual assault and sentenced to 23 years in prison.
The woman told prosecutor Paul Thompson she had had panic attacks and had barely slept or eaten since she began testifying Monday afternoon. It finally ended late Wednesday.
Weinstein has pleaded not guilty to 11 counts of rape and sexual assault involving five women.
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However, when prosecutors issued their opening statement on Monday, they ruled out one of the women and questioned whether the four counts involving her would be addressed during the trial.
When asked, the public prosecutor’s office declined to comment.
Weinstein’s attorneys said no charges were dropped.
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