A one-time aspiring actress testified Monday that former film producer Harvey Weinstein sexually assaulted her in a Toronto hotel room in 1991 and that he performed a sex act in front of her 17 years later during another alleged encounter between the two, in which she said she had wanted to confront him about what had happened.
The woman — identified in court only as “Kelly S.” — is among four uncharged alleged victims whom the prosecution told jurors that they will hear from during Weinstein’s trial on charges that he sexually assaulted four women in Los Angeles County.
The prosecution witness told the downtown Los Angeles jury hearing the case against Weinstein that the two had an “amicable” conversation about films before he invited her back to his hotel room about a movie role in 1991.
“I thought this was a great opportunity so I went with him,” she testified of their first alleged encounter while Weinstein was staying at the Four Seasons.
She said it was “very shocking” when Weinstein came out of the bathroom naked and with his shirt unbuttoned and said she began asking Weinstein — who was “much bigger” than she was — to stop after he removed her skirt and began performing oral sex on her.
The woman said Weinstein told her that his wife loves it and he said she would, too, and she described herself as being “frozen” with fear.
“Did you say no to him?” Deputy District Attorney Marlene Martinez asked later during a renewed round of questioning.
“Yes,” the woman responded, saying she was trying to let him know “to stop, get off me, let me go.”
“Did you want to be in that hotel room with Mr. Weinstein raping you?” the prosecutor asked.
“No,” the woman said, noting earlier in her testimony that she eventually found the strength to struggle away from him.
She said that she saw Weinstein in 2008 at the Four Seasons in Toronto around the time of a film festival and blurted out, “Harvey!” and that his assistant later stopped by to tell her that Weinstein wanted to see her.
“Actually, I wanted to see him because I wanted to ask him after all this time, what had happened all those years ago?” she testified. “I wanted to confront him, and I had thought about it often … I felt like I was ready to give it to him, say, `Why’?”
She said Weinstein told his assistant to wait outside the hotel room and that they ended up in the bathroom, where he propositioned her for sex and pulled on her shirt in an effort to ogle her breasts.
“It went from what felt like he was listening to me to wanting to have sex with me, demanding it, grabbing at me,” she said. “He pulled his penis out and was masturbating.”
She said she didn’t report the alleged assault in 1991 for a “lot of reasons,” including being “afraid,” not really to know how to go about it and being “ashamed of people knowing,” and didn’t go to the police in 2008 for similar reasons.
She said she had another encounter via phone with Weinstein while in New York for an audition, in which he allegedly demanded that a woman with whom she was staying leave a hotel room. She said she declined his request.
Under cross-examination, defense attorney Alan Jackson asked the woman if she initially found Weinstein “fetching.” She responded that she didn’t find him fetching, but found parts of his personality to be fetching.
She acknowledged that she waited until 2017 to come forward with her allegations until the #MeToo movement.
“After the whole world had basically dogpiled on top of my client and accused him of being everything under the sun in terms of a sexual assaulter, a rapist?” Jackson asked.
“Yes,” the woman responded.
Weinstein, 70, was indicted on 11 charges — including forcible rape, forcible oral copulation, sexual penetration by a foreign object and sexual battery by restraint — involving five women.
But Deputy District Attorney Paul Thompson made no mention last week during his opening statement of “Jane Doe #5,” who is named in four of the counts in the grand jury’s indictment, and the status of those charges was not immediately available.
In a subsequent statement, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said it had “no comment at this time” on the charges involving “Jane Doe #5,” adding only that its office is “tirelessly ensuring that all of the victims in this case receive justice.”
The prosecutor said in his opening statement that the alleged victims feared that Weinstein — whom he described as the most powerful person in the entertainment industry at the time — could crush their careers if they reported the allegations, but that one model came forward soon afterward to report the alleged attack on her in a New York hotel room in 2015.
Jurors have heard since then from one of the alleged victims named in the indictment.
A model-actress who was identified in court only as “Jane Doe #1” testified that Weinstein raped and sexually assaulted her in a Los Angeles hotel room in what she described as “the longest night” of her life.
The panel is also expected to hear from three other alleged victims, who are referred to in the indictment only as “Jane Doe #2,” “Jane Doe #3” and “Jane Doe #4” The prosecutor said one of the alleged victims — Jane Doe #4 — is now married to California’s governor and showed a photo of Gov. Gavin Newsom and his wife, but said she was a “powerless actor trying to make her way in Hollywood” when she met Weinstein 17 years ago.
Jennifer Siebel Newsom, who was not referred to by name during the prosecutor’s opening statement, is expected to testify about the alleged attack in a hotel room at The Peninsula in Beverly Hills after initially meeting him at a film festival in Toronto in 2005.
“Jane Doe #4” reported that she was “crying and shaking” after Weinstein allegedly took her by the arm from a hotel room bathroom, pulled her onto the bed and told her, “Relax, this is going to make you feel better,” according to the prosecutor.
Weinstein began his entertainment career as a concert promoter and then, with his brother Bob, created Miramax Films, which produced a number of “iconic and award-winning films” including “Pulp Fiction,” “The English Patient,” “Good Will Hunting” and “Shakespeare In Love,” among others, the prosecutor noted. The movies launched the careers of Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Quentin Tarantino and Gwyneth Paltrow, Thompson said.
One of Weinstein’s attorneys, Mark Werksman, countered that two of the victims named in the indictment “just made it up” and that it was “transactional sex” for the other two women.
“You will see that these were all consensual sexual relations or, in some cases, they didn’t happen at all,” Werksman told jurors in his opening statement. “Mr. Weinstein is an innocent man who is not guilty of the charges in this indictment.”
He told jurors that the allegations “can be traced directly to the #MeToo movement,” and said that his client “became the epicenter of the #MeToo movement.”
Werksman told the panel that Weinstein’s accusers were “women who willingly played the game by the rules applied back then” and now “claim they were raped and sexually assaulted.”
“He’s not Brad Pitt or George Clooney. He’s not hot,” Weinstein’s lawyer told jurors. “They had sex with him because he was powerful …”
Weinstein, he said, “was once a very successful movie producer” whose “name was synonymous with Oscars and hit movies” — but is now described as a “vile monster.”
Weinstein was extradited from New York, where he was convicted of raping an aspiring actress and of a criminal sex act against a former production assistant. The state’s highest court has since agreed to hear his appeal involving that case.
Superior Court Judge Lisa Lench — who described the charges as “essentially sexual assaults or assaults of a sexual nature” — told prospective jurors that the trial is expected to last about two months, including the jury selection process, which began Oct. 10.
Weinstein remains behind bars.