LOS ANGELES –
A dancer in the Harvey Weinstein-produced film testified Thursday that she was “panic” after meeting the movie mogul on the set of Puerto Rico but the assistant’s presence and reassurance convinced her. She accompanied him to his hotel, there. She was then sexually assaulted.
The woman, whose first name and last initials are Ashley M. at the trial in Los Angeles, where Weinstein was charged with rape and sexual assault, said she was 22 years old in 2003 when she is acting as a double dancer for one of the stars of “Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights”, a film produced by Weinstein’s company Miramax.
She said Weinstein’s assistant at the time, Bonnie Hung, told her she would be with the two of them the whole time and that he just wanted to talk about future projects.
As they walked down the Weinstein hotel lobby to a door, she said, “I’m starting to get more nervous, but Bonnie was there with her clipboard.”
“Harvey opened it and then he went in and I went in,” she said, pausing as she began to cry. “And then Bonnie closed the door behind us. I was like, oh no, what am I supposed to do?”
She said Weinstein quickly became aggressive, pushing her off the bed and undressing her before tying her up and masturbating while on top of her, despite her telling him to stop.
This woman is the second Weinstein accuser to take a stand at the trial and the first of four people who were not involved in the charges against him but were allowed to testify showing a penchant for abusive behavior. like Weinstein’s.
Judge Lisa B. Lench told jurors before the woman’s testimony that they would receive instructions later on how to review it.
Weinstein, who has served 23 years for a sentence that is being appealed in New York, pleaded not guilty in Los Angeles to four counts of rape and seven other counts of sexual assault. He has repeatedly denied engaging in any non-consensual sexual relationships.
Ashley M. appeared restless as she walked into the stands late Thursday, and began to cry before any questions were asked.
“I’m sorry,” she said repeatedly to Judge Lisa Lench, who replied that she had no regrets and asked for a short break.
She gathered herself and began her testimony, saying that she was once a professional ballet dancer who had just turned to dancing in Hollywood.
She said that Weinstein appeared on set while they were filming in a ballroom, and asked her to step outside.
Ashley M. said Weinstein talked about her giving him a nude massage, and she tried to reassure him by saying she was engaged and that she was needed on set.
She said Weinstein told her he was the boss and had to decide who needed to be on set.
The woman called her mother and then-fiance, who told her to seek help from others on set.
Then someone said it was time for a meal break.
“I thought, ` `oh, saved by the bell,'” she testified.
During the break, she asked the choreographer and producer what to do, but got the feeling that they didn’t want to upset Weinstein.
“Did either of you help you?” Deputy District Attorney Marlene Martinez asked.
“No,” Ashley M. said.
“How did you feel then?” Martinez asked.
“Terrified,” the witness replied.
Ashley M. said when he returned to the set, Weinstein was waiting there with a limo, and Hung.
“I feel better knowing I am not alone,” she said.
The Associated Press usually doesn’t name people who say they’ve been sexually abused unless they make it public.
Ashley M. told her story to the New York Times in October 2017, when the newspaper’s accounts of women who said Weinstein sexually assaulted them brought the film’s moderator into focus. The MeToo Movement.
Thursday was her first time telling her story in the courtroom.
Ashley M. is scheduled to return to the witness stand for further questioning from prosecutors on Friday, followed by a cross-examination from Weinstein’s defense.