Annabella Sciorra Breaks Silence on Weinstein Verdict: 'My Testimony Was Painful But Necessary'
The actress, 59, testified against Weinstein, 67, in January, alleging in court that the disgraced movie producer had raped her inside her New York City apartment about 27 years ago.
Sciorra tells PEOPLE exclusively in a statement, “My testimony was painful but necessary. I spoke for myself and with the strength of the eighty plus victims of Harvey Weinstein in my heart. While we hope for continued righteous outcomes that bring absolute justice, we can never regret breaking the silence. For in speaking truth to power we pave the way for a more just culture, free of the scourge of violence against women.”
On Monday, a jury found Weinstein guilty of a criminal sexual act in the first degree and rape in the third degree, The New York Times reported. He was acquitted on three other charges, including two counts of predatory sexual assault, each carrying up to life in prison, that hinged on Sciorra’s testimony.
A source close to Sciorra tells PEOPLE she “feels relieved” now that Weinstein has been declared guilty.
Sciorra — one of four witnesses called to show for the prosecution — claimed that the disgraced Hollywood mogul shoved his way into her Manhattan apartment and forced her onto the bed.
“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 told the jury, per multiple outlets. “He put his penis inside my vagina. He had intercourse while I was trying to fight but I couldn’t fight anymore because he had my hands locked.”
“At a certain point, he stopped,” Sciorra said. “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.’ “
Sciorra added, “And I didn’t have very much fight left inside me at this point. I said, ‘No, no.’ But there was not much I could do at that point. My body shut down. It was just so disgusting that my body started to shake in a way that was very unusual. I didn’t even really know what was happening. It was like a seizure or something.”
Donna Rotunno, Weinstein’s lead attorney, challenged Sciorra by arguing that the actress wasn’t sure of the exact month or year the alleged rape took place, outlets reported.
The actress reportedly defended herself by saying she was sure the alleged incident took place in the late months of 1993 or early months of 1994.
Sciorra first accused Weinstein of sexual assault in a 2017 exposé in The New Yorker. Among those to also speak out against Weinstein are Ashley Judd, Rose McGowan, Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Aniston and Daryl Hannah.
Weinstein, a producer behind 20 best-picture Oscar nominees — his five winners in the category include Shakespeare in Love, Chicago and The King’s Speech — had fiercely denied the allegations, countering that his sexual encounters with the two accusers in the New York case were consensual.
He faces additional rape charges in California — four felony charges that accuse Weinstein of raping one woman and sexually assaulting another in separate incidents over a two-day period in 2013.
If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual abuse, text “STRENGTH” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor.
Reporting by Sandra Sobieraj.