"He Raped Me": Actress Testifies In Court In Harvey Weinstein Trial

Brenda Watkins
January 24, 2020

Former Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton stood by her alleged friendship with disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein as the former filmmaker's accusers gathered at a NY court for his rape and sexual assault trial.

The 59-year-old Sciorra is expected to testify Thursday, setting up the first of several face-to-face confrontations between Weinstein and his accusers at a trial that's a landmark moment for the.MeToo movement.

Sciorra was called as a witness in the NY trial, in which Weinstein is facing sexual assault and rape charges.

He is charged with forcibly performing oral sex on a production assistant in his apartment in 2006 and raping an aspiring actress in a Manhattan hotel room in 2013.

Damon Cheronis spent more than an hour displaying text messages, emails and other snippets of conversations between Weinstein and some of his accusers that highlighted a playful, nearly loving, rapport with some of the women who say the mogul raped them.

That charge, which requires prosecutors to prove he sexually assaulted at least two people, carries possible life imprisonment. Next came a box of chocolate penises, which she found "disgusting". Sciorra said she was. I didn't even know what was happening.

More than 100 women have reportedly accused him of sexual assault or misconduct.

In another incident, Weinstein allegedly injected himself with an erection drug before raping one of his accusers in a hotel room in 2013. She said she asked Weinstein to leave.

She said she was raped by Weinstein in either 1993 or 1994 but she said he also turned up nearly naked at her hotel door at the 1997 Cannes Film Festival with a bottle of baby oil in hand.

"The evidence will show that despite her protests, despite her fight, despite her body revolting, Harvey Weinstein felt he was entitled to take what he wanted from Annabella, forcing her to live in terror of him for decades", prosecutor Meghan Hast told jurors in her opening statement.

Sciorra said no, but Rotunno pressed on with the line of inquiry, getting her to concede that as an actor her job is "to convince an audience that you are whoever that character in that role is".

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"Days later, after she confronted Weinstein about his actions, Sciorra says that his response was, "'That's what all the nice Catholic girls say.' Then he leaned into me and said, 'This remains between you and I.' It was very menacing".

Attorney Donna Rotunno had previewed that line of argument in a CNN interview before the trial, which prompted the prosecution to accuse her of disparaging the witness.

The jury of seven men and five women listened tentatively and took notes on her testimony.

The defense tried to seed doubts about Sciorra's allegations, and she gave a slightly different version under their questioning, testifying that when the producer initially pushed her onto her bed, "he was kind of, in a friendly way, trying to cajole me" into having sex.

"At the time, I didn't understand that that was rape", Miss Sciorra said.

The lawyer also suggested that Sciorra's judgment and recollection were clouded by drinking.

Hast said that the women kept in touch with Weinstein because they "felt trapped". By 1993, she had starred in one of his company's movies - the romantic comedy "The Night We Never Met".

Sciorra was too scared to tell the police, the prosecutor said, and did not reveal the alleged assault publicly until October 2017 when her account was published in The New Yorker magazine. "I thought he was an OK guy".

She would later act in another Weinstein-produced picture, 1997's "Cop Land", though she said she didn't realize when auditioning that his studio was involved.

Cheronis was quick to contend that the women's descriptions had gone largely unchallenged and told the jury that the defense planned to scrutinize their tales in a respectful manner, pushing back on criticisms that the mogul's counterarguments will consist of "victim shaming".

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