LOS ANGELES (AP) — A woman testified Monday that Harvey Weinstein sexually assaulted her in a hotel room during the 1991 Toronto Film Festival, and then did it again when she confronted him 17 years later at the same hotel during the same festival.
On the witness stand at Weinstein’s Los Angeles trial, she said she was a 24-year-old aspiring actress at the 1991 festival and did not know who Weinstein was until she met him at a party. She said her friends there were smitten with the man whose Miramax company had risen to the forefront of independent film and made a name for itself at the Oscars.
She said she was initially charmed by Weinstein as they discussed books and films.
“We got along very well,” she said. “He was very intelligent. We had a wonderful conversation.”
She said the two left the party for a glass of wine at a nearby coffee shop, then took him to his room at the Four Seasons Hotel because he said he had a script for a film with a role that him would be perfect for that.
Once there, she said, he went into the bathroom and came out wearing only an open shirt and a hot washcloth.
“It all happened very, very, very quickly,” she said. “I was shocked. It was so unexpected.”
She said he took off her skirt, put the washcloth on her and told her, “My wife loves this.”
She testified that she felt “nauseous, scared, scared” and repeatedly told him “no” and asked, “What are you doing?”
She said he held her down and sexually assaulted her with his mouth and hand. He then climbed on top of her and started raping her, but she was able to sneak away and leave the room.
Weinstein, 70, who has already served a 23-year sentence in New York, has pleaded not guilty to and denied 11 counts of rape and sexual assault involving five women in Los Angeles for engaging in non-consensual sex.
He will not be charged with the alleged assaults described in Monday’s testimony. The woman is allowed to testify along with three others so prosecutors can try to show Weinstein’s involvement in the crimes he is charged with.
The woman testified that she did not see Weinstein again until 2008, when she was 41 and temporarily living at the Four Seasons with her husband and children. During this year’s festival, she met Weinstein in the lobby.
“My blood kind of stopped,” she said. “I was very angry.”
When Weinstein’s assistant came into her room to say he wanted to meet her, she agreed.
“I wanted to confront him,” she said. “I felt like I was ready to give it to him.”
Once in his room, she recalled asking him, “How does it feel to be standing in front of the one woman who said no to you?”
Weinstein then dismissed his assistant from the room and quickly ushered her to a door. She said before she knew it, she was in a locked bathroom with Weinstein, where he blocked her way out.
She said Weinstein grabbed her breasts and masturbated in front of her before letting her leave the room.
The woman said she didn’t tell anyone about the second attack for years because it was “just embarrassing” that it was going to happen again.
“I was in shock,” she said. “So embarrassing, just so embarrassing.”
She remained composed and unflinching during her testimony, but cried when asked how the two attacks had affected her, replying, “There are so many layers to this.”
The first, she said, drove her away from acting.
“I never wanted to go through something like that again,” she says.
The second had large personal belongings.
“It damaged my marriage because I didn’t tell him,” she said. “It was really hard.”
Her statement appears to be the first time she has told her story publicly.
Like similar witnesses at this and other trials, she first told her story quickly and in simple language, but was asked to dig deeper and provide more graphic and difficult details.
Weinstein’s attorneys were scheduled to cross-examine her Tuesday afternoon.
The Associated Press does not typically credit people who say they have been sexually abused.
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