44 witnesses, four weeks of evidence – the Harvey Weinstein trial so far

After almost four weeks of evidence from 44 witnesses, prosecutors in Los Angeles have rested their case in the trial against Harvey Weinstein – who is accused of raping two women and sexually assaulting two others.

Currently two years into a 23-year sentence for previous convictions on rape and sexual assault charges in New York, Weinstein has been held in jail throughout the latest trial.

The LA trial was widely viewed as symbolic – but it has assumed greater significance in light of the producer being granted permission to appeal against his New York convictions.

The 70-year-old is charged with crimes against four of the witnesses who have testified. Three of the women – a model, a model/actress, and a massage therapist – have given evidence anonymously. Filmmaker Jennifer Siebel Newsom, the wife of California governor Gavin Newsom, has waived her right to anonymity.

Four other women who are not involved with the charges have also told the court that Weinstein sexually assaulted them.

Initially facing 11 charges, Weinstein is now facing seven – and has pleaded not guilty to all, with his solicitors saying many of the encounters were consensual – after four were dropped when it emerged that an accuser known as Jane Doe #5 would not be appearing to testify.

The trial is breaking for just over a week around America’s Thanksgiving holiday before returning to hear from defence witnesses at the end of November. Here are the main allegations heard during the prosecution.

‘I was kind of hysterical through tears’

FILE - Movie mogul Harvey Weinstein arrives at the Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, March 2, 2014. Opening statements are set to begin Monday in the disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein's Los Angeles rape and sexual assault trial. Weinstein is already serving a 23-year-old sentence for a conviction in New York. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)
Image:
Pic: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

The first of Weinstein’s accusers, a model and actress who was in LA for a film festival at the time she was allegedly raped by the producer in 2013, told the court he knocked on her hotel room door and she let him in.

She said Weinstein forced her to perform oral sex on her hotel bed. “I was kind of hysterical through tears,” she said. “I kept saying ‘no, no, no’.”

She said she physically feared Weinstein, who outweighed her by 100 pounds or more, and considered running or hitting or biting him.

She said by the time Weinstein took her into the bathroom to allegedly rape her, she had stopped physically resisting, though still objected verbally. “I would just freeze, like my body wouldn’t listen.”

Woman testifies for second time

Just one woman who gave evidence during the New York trial has testified in LA. The model, who was aspiring to be a screenwriter, had set up a meeting with Weinstein about a script she was working on in 2013, the court heard.

She described Weinstein as a “monster”, saying he led her into a bathroom, quickly took off his suit and got briefly in the shower, then stepped out and blocked her from leaving.

“I was disgusted,” she said. “I had never seen a big guy like that naked.”

She said she backed up against a sink and turned away from him. He then unzipped her dress and groped her with one hand as he masturbated with the other, the court heard.

Masseuse tells court she was ‘terrified’ during hotel room incident

The massage therapist accusing Weinstein alleges he sexually assaulted her in 2010, when she was 28, after he hired her to go to his hotel room for a treatment.

When she was in the bathroom washing her hands following the massage, Weinstein entered, blocked the door, and began masturbating in front of her, she told the court.

She began to cry as she said: “I was terrified.” Weinstein blocked the door and pushed her against a wall and groped her breasts before finishing, the court heard.

“I was in shock. I felt frozen, I felt paralysed,” she said.

Filmmaker cries as she tells of alleged rape

Jennifer Siebel Newsom. Pic: AP
Image:
Jennifer Siebel Newsom. Pic: AP

In an emotional testimony, Ms Siebel Newsom, 48, told the court she was 31 when she was allegedly attacked by Weinstein during what she thought was a business meeting to try to build her career in 2005.

Spending two-and-a-half hours on the witness stand, she was in tears as she told the court she found herself unexpectedly alone with the Hollywood mogul in a hotel suite.

Asked to describe her feelings after Weinstein allegedly emerged from the bathroom in a robe and began groping her while he masturbated, she said: “Horror! Horror! I’m trembling. I’m like a rock, I’m frigid. This is my worst nightmare.”

Read more: Harvey Weinstein back in court – everything you need to know

Ms Sibel Newsom said she told Weinstein that “this was not why I came here” as she physically tried to back away.

The trial resumes with the defence on 28 November.

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