What the Women Who Accused Harvey Weinstein Had to Say at His Rape Trial
Before the verdicts of guilty for rape and criminal sexual act came down Monday in the sexual assault trial of movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, a New York jury heard from six women, who testified during the trial that he attacked them.
Weinstein, 67, faced two counts of rape, one count of criminal sexual act and two counts of predatory sexual assault in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan. Although the charges were tied to the allegations of just two women, former production assistant Miriam “Mimi” Haleyi and aspiring actress Jessica Mann, the judge allowed testimony from four others, including the actress Annabella Sciorra, as prosecutors sought to illustrate a pattern of behavior.
The jury acquitted Weinstein of the predatory sexual assault charges, which were the most serious leveled against him, reports The New York Times.
Weinstein’s defense argued that any sexual encounters with the women were consensual. He has upheld that defense as more than 80 women made similar allegations following published exposés in 2017 by The New York Times and The New Yorker. Although most of those allegations related to incidents fall outside the time frame for criminal prosecution, Weinstein still faces similar charges in California after his New York trial.
Here is what the six women had to say in the Manhattan courtroom where the jury reached its verdict.
The Sopranos star alleged Weinstein shoved his way into her Manhattan apartment and forced her onto the bed in the early 1990s.
“As I was trying to get him off of me — I was punching him, I was kicking him — and he took my hands and put them over my head, he put my hands over my head to hold them back and he got on top of me and he raped me,” Sciorra testified.
“At a certain point, he stopped,” Sciorra said, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “He came out of me and he ejaculated on top of me, on my nightgown. He said, ‘I have perfect timing.’ And then he proceeded to put his mouth on my vagina and before he did that, he said, ‘This is for you.'”
When she saw Weinstein weeks later in a restaurant and confronted him, he told her, “This remains between you and I,” Sciorra testified, reports The New York Times. She acknowledged that she never reported the incident to police, saying she was “confused,” but testified that she was left with emotional scars. She began to drink heavily and cut herself, at times slicing her hands and fingers and painting the blood onto a wall, she reportedly told the jury.
The actress Rosie Perez, a friend of Sciorra’s, testified that she learned about the alleged attack and its lasting impact from Sciorra.
Haleyi worked as a production assistant on the Weinstein-produced TV show Project Runway, and described an incident that she says occurred in 2006 at Weinstein’s New York City apartment.
“He pushed me down. He held me down by my arms,” she testified. “I said, ‘No, no!’ I didn’t know what was actually happening. This is me being raped.”
She did not go to police, concluding, “Obviously Mr. Weinstein has a lot more power and resources and connections. I didn’t think I would really stand a chance.” She also described a second incident about two weeks later in a Tribeca hotel room, alleging Weinstein pulled her hands behind her and forced her onto a bed to have sex with her against her will.
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“Honestly, I didn’t know how to deal with it,” she said in response to a question by a prosecutor, “so I just put it in a box and carried on as usual,” continuing to meet and exchange emails with Weinstein about work opportunities — one of which, sent in 2008, was signed, “Lots of love, Miriam,” according to Weinstein’s defense attorney.
“I was willing to have a regular, professional connection with him,” Haleyi said.
An aspiring actress when she met Weinstein in 2013, Mann alleged he pulled her into the bathroom of a Los Angeles hotel suite and performed oral sex on her over her objections, reports NPR. That incident was not part of the New York case.
Mann then began a sexual relationship with Weinstein that she described as “extremely degrading.” On a trip to New York City to meet with him and two of her associates at a hotel for breakfast, she alleged that Weinstein rented a room, pulled her upstairs, insisted she undress and then forced her to have sex.
Weinstein’s defense tried to undercut Mann’s claim by showing messages she sent to Weinstein that they characterized as flirtatious and flattering, reports NPR. But Mann dismissed the content of those messages.
“I do want the jury to know he is my rapist,” she told Weinstein’s lawyer, according to NPR, “and I hope I can continue to explain the dynamic of why I engaged with him. I mean, he raped me; it is irrelevant.”
Wulff worked as a waitress at a members-only Manhattan lounge where she met Weinstein in 2005, and testified that he offered to help with her acting career, reports the Times. That same night he led her to a secluded area and masturbated in front of her, she alleged.
On a later occasion, she said, agreed to meet Weinstein to discuss a movie role, and he had a driver ferry her to his apartment from his company’s office. Once there, she alleged Weinstein forced her onto a bed.
“I can’t,” she told him, to which he replied, “Don’t worry, I had a vasectomy,” Wulff said. “I just froze.”
“He put himself inside of me and he raped me,” Wulff testified. She never told police. “It’s easiest for me to pretend it didn’t happen,” she said.
Dunning said she also met Weinstein at a Manhattan lounge where she worked, and in 2004 she met with him several times to discuss her acting ambitions, she said, according to the Times.
On one occasion, he invited her to a Tribeca hotel on the premise of meeting others in the industry, she said. But during a conversation in a bedroom at the hotel, she alleged he abruptly reached under her skirt and touched her genitals, then apologized. He allegedly told her “not to make a big deal about it.”
She tried to “pretend it didn’t happen,” she said. She agreed to meet him another time at another hotel to discuss scripts, and instead was allegedly greeted by a bathrobe-wearing Weinstein, who suggested she could win three movie roles in exchange for engaging in a threesome with him and one of his assistants, she testified.
Dunning said she laughed at what she thought was a joke. “He got really angry and started screaming at me, ‘You’ll never make it in this business. This is how the industry works. This is how’ — and he named three actresses — ‘got to where they are,’” she alleged.
An actress and model, Young alleged Weinstein sexually assaulted her in 2013 in his room at a Beverly Hills hotel, where she met with him to resume a conversation about a script she was writing, reports USA Today.
Weinstein allegedly stripped off his clothes, unzipped and pulled down her dress, and groped her breast while masturbating, Young testified.
Young testified that to Weinstein, “I was saying ‘no’ the whole time, that I had a boyfriend, that I wasn’t interested.”
Weinstein allegedly responded, “This is how all actresses make it.”
Afterward, she testified, “I stayed standing there in shock. I pulled up my dress, I don’t even think I zipped it, and I walked out of the bathroom and Claudia was standing right there,” Young said. “And then I shot her an evil look and [left].”
She went to a friend’s home where she told people what happened, leaving her “traumatized. Terrified. Paranoid,” she said. But she did not tell police. “He has power and I was scared,” she said.
She kept a scheduled meeting the next day with Weinstein’s assistant but never saw Weinstein again and stopped answering the assistant’s emails. “I wasn’t interested anymore” in working with him, she said.