LOS ANGELES — In what is poised to serve as a fresh blow to violent male predators, prosecutors here Monday said convicted rapist Harvey Weinstein sexual assault some women and use her power to secure their silence.
“They were afraid he could ruin their careers if they reported what he did to him,” Deputy District Attorney Paul Thompson said in opening remarks during the latest criminal trial against Hollywood giants are disgraced.
Weinstein, 70, pleaded not guilty to 11 charges against him, including rape and sexual assault, after being accused of using his power in the entertainment industry to solicit and abuse Five women in Los Angeles between 2004 and 2013. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 140 years in prison.
The formidable producer was taken to the Los Angeles Superior courtroom on Monday, where he thanked the deputy court for helping him get to the defense table before prosecutors released their opening statement. . Weinstein, who wears a black suit and glasses, occasionally looks at Gloria Allred, the attorney representing some of his accusers, who is sitting in the gallery.
Thompson read aloud some nasty quotes from Weinstein’s accusers, who were prepared to testify against him. They described Weinstein groping, undressing and raping them despite their pleas for him to stop. All the women were appalled, prosecutors said, to speak out about Weinstein’s inevitable presence in the entertainment industry.
“You’ll hear eight different women assaulted by Harvey Weinstein in Los Angeles, though he didn’t mention Jane Doe 5 or her allegations against Weinstein, even though prosecutors included prosecutors,” Thompson said. charges from five women in the criminal case. “Each of these women came to be independent of the other, and none of them knew each other.”
Thompson added that while all of the women told friends and family about the alleged attacks, they did not publicly accuse Weinstein of any wrongdoing until after the movement. MeToo exploded in 2017. Prosecutors say it’s at this critical stage — where Hollywood’s most powerful men are exposed — that women feel comfortable interacting with the man who used to be. called “the king”.
Weinstein has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
On Monday, LA prosecutors said former actress Jennifer Siebel Newsom, wife of California Governor Gavin Newsom, was one of five Jane Does charged in connection with the criminal case and she is expected to testified against Weinstein. Police said Siebel Newsom, who first detailed her allegations in a HuffPost Essay 2017was raped by Weinstein.
Prosecutors say Weinstein referred to that day “a list of A-list actresses whose careers he allegedly created, and his voice changed from begging to being aggressive and demanding. ask” before he forced her to bed and raped her.
“She was speechless out of fear,” Thompson said of the alleged attack in Weinstein’s hotel, where she believes it will be a business meeting to “discuss her career. she”. Thompson said that during the assault, Weinstein told her to “relax [because] This will make her feel better. “
Lauren Young, who testified in the New York trial that convicted Weinstein of rape and sexual assault, was also identified as one of the Jane Does who will take a stand in the new case. She previously testified that in February 2013, when she was 23, Weinstein trapped her in a Beverly Hills hotel room before he groped her and masturbated on the floor.
“I stood there dumbfounded…and I went to the door. At that point, he took off his clothes and he walked in front of me with his naked body… I felt so trapped,” Young testified in 2020, witnessing a stereotype. conduct in the New York case.
The three other Jane Does accused of being part of the trial have yet to be identified, but they include an Italian model who alleges Weinstein assaulted her in a hotel room after the 2013 film festival, Thompson said Tuesday. Two that she was “alone, in a foreign country” at the time of the assault and did not master English at the time.
Another accuser, identified as Ashley M, accused Weinstein of assaulting her after the 2004 premiere of the film in Puerto Rico.
Harvey Weinstein’s LA trial begins today. It was far worse than what he faced in NYC. May he spend the rest of his life in prison,” said actress Ellen Barkin, who publicly accused Weinstein of verbal assault and attended the trial in New York, tweeted on Monday. Barkin too notably testified against Johnny Depp during his civil libel trial against Amber Heard, where both actors detailed offensive abuse allegations.
In addition to the five women at the heart of the charges against Weinstein, prosecutors are expected to call at least 50 witnesses to stand. Some of them will be women who have accused Weinstein of assault but whose charges are not part of a criminal case. Prosecutors will call these witnesses “previous misconduct” to model Weinstein’s predatory behavior, a tactic that has helped convict predators across the country in recent years this.
Follow LA timeNorwegian model Natassia Malthe was one of the testimonies set up to testify that Weinstein raped her in 2008 during the British Academy of Film and Television Awards. Prosecutors said Monday that Natassia’s friend, director David Nutter, will also testify.
“I lay still and closed my eyes and just wanted it to end” Malthe said in a press conference in 2017. “I’m like a dead man.”
Weinstein’s legal team has yet to reveal who they intend to call to refute these allegations. But one of his lawyers previously told The Daily Beast“We are confident that once the jury hears the details of these allegations, they will find that they didn’t happen or they were fabricated, or they didn’t happen the way they said they did.”
The defense began their opening remarks on Monday afternoon.
The latest trial against Weinstein in Los Angeles used to seem ceremonial, after the tycoon was convicted in New York just months before the pandemic broke out. But the New York State of Appeal in August agreed to allow him to appeal his sentence – a 23-year prison sentence – next year.