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Harvey Weinstein Accuser ‘Jane Doe 1’ Describes Alleged 2013 Hotel Room Assault: ‘I Wanted to Die’


Harvey Weinstein walks away from a New York City criminal courtroom on January 6, 2020. (Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images.)

A model and actress testified Tuesday that she frantically told ex-movie producer Harvey Weinstein to stop as he sexually assaulted her in her hotel room in 2013, but he continued and acted afterward “like nothing happened.”

“I wanted to die. It was disgusting. It was humiliating, miserable. I didn’t fight,” she said. “I remember how he was looking in the mirror and he was telling me to look at him. I wish this never happened to me.”

The woman began her testimony by apologizing “for my breakdown yesterday.” Judge Lisa B. Lench ended court about 30 minutes early Monday after the woman began sobbing during testimony and appeared inconsolable.

Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Paul Thompson told her she didn’t need to apologize and could take a break any time.

Over the next approximately 90 minutes, Thompson asked the woman a series of questions about how she met Weinstein and what exactly happened between them, eliciting emotional testimony about an alleged attack the woman recounted to a close friend shortly after it happened — as well as to her daughter later on.

The woman traveled to Los Angeles in February 2013 to attend the annual Los Angeles Italia Film Festival, walking the red carpet and schmoozing with stars such as Al Pacino. She met Weinstein at a VIP event, then was surprised when he showed up at her hotel. He walked into her room and the two discussed their children when Weinstein began talking about a massage. A native Russian speaker, the woman spoke limited English then and worried she might have given Weinstein the wrong impression.

“I was feeling guilty that I did something or said something that made him think that something can happen between us,” she said.

She said Weinstein’s face, eyes and behavior changed, and she feared for her safety.

“I’ve been in bad situations where men beat me. I was risking to die, so I was, yes, I was physically afraid of him,” she testified.

She said Weinstein was “arrogant” and “giving orders” but wasn’t loud and didn’t scream or turn violent. But she was “kind of hysterical through tears,” testifying Tuesday she was “panicking with fear.” When Thompson asked why she didn’t fight back, she answered, “I don’t know. I regret this a lot.”

“I didn’t have even one thought to run or to scream. I didn’t know how loud I was. I think enough loud that people could hear me from another room . . . but I didn’t scream help. I can do more,” the woman said.

She said Weinstein “had trouble with an erection” and “walked” her into the bathroom, where he pulled her in front of the sink and stood behind her, masturbating and then raping her.

“I was crying. I say ‘stop,’ I say ‘no,'” she recalled. She said Weinstein told her, “C’mon little girl, tell me you like it. You like it,” as he assaulted her.

Afterward, “he was acting like nothing happened. He was giving me compliments,” she testified.

She says she cleaned the room after Weinstein left and found his jacket. She understood him to be “somebody powerful” so didn’t want to talk about what happened, but she said she called a longtime friend and told that person what had happened. The friend — a woman — urged her return home to Italy.

The witness said she didn’t attend the festival the next day, testifying that she drank alcohol instead. But she attended the festival later, abnormally drinking a lot of alcohol, which she characterized as part of her post-assault self-destructive behavior. She was in a theater during the festival, arriving with Quentin Tarantino and Christoph Waltz when she saw Weinstein arrive. She spent a few more days in Los Angeles before returning to Italy.

She said she “confessed” the assault to her priest, then in 2017 spoke about it with her daughter after her daughter had a similar experience with a boy. Her daughter “scream at me that I do not understand what she’s feeling,” the woman said. That made her feel “miserable”:  “I say that I very understand what she’s going through.”

Thompson later displayed a photo of Weinstein, Waltz, and Tarantino in which Jane Doe 1 is seen smiling near them. She testified that she was smiling to keep up an appearance when in reality she was “feeling bad.”

Weinstein’s lawyer Alan Jackson will finish cross-examining the woman Wednesday after beginning that exercise around 2:20 p.m. Tuesday. He focused Tuesday on the witness’s acting aspirations, asking about her success, and implying she wanted to meet Weinstein to help her career.

When she said acting was a “hobby,” Jackson asked, “You’re the only actor in history, since the Roman days, to not want to be successful as an actor?”

The woman never answered because Judge Lench sustained prosecutors’ objections.

She later pushed back against Jackson’s assertion her career would benefit from being photographed at the festival with Al Pacino and other stars, saying she was “as rich as Al Pacino” and didn’t need anything from him or other Hollywood stars.

One juror appeared visibly annoyed as Jackson focused on Jane Doe 1’s statements about first meeting Weinstein in Rome in 2012 and tried to make it look like the woman has changed her description of what happened. The witness said she didn’t know of Weinstein’s power. She said she was aware of the international films “Shakespeare in Love,” “The English Patient,” and “Pulp Fiction” but didn’t know they were Weinstein’s films.

Jackson also focused on details from the woman’s account of the attack, asking her if she confronted the hotel staff about “this terrible breach of protocol” of providing Weinstein her room number. She didn’t. She also continued staying in the room.

“”You stayed in the very room that you claim you were attacked and victimized by a sexual predator?” Jackson asked

The woman answered yes.

Court ended at 4 p.m. Jackson told Judge Lench he expects his cross to continue through much of Wednesday morning.

This article was compiled partly from a pool report organized by The Associated Press. Tuesday’s report was by James Queally of the Los Angeles Times.

[Editor’s note:  this piece has been updated to include additional details from testimony that occurred after its initial publication.]

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A graduate of the University of Oregon, Meghann worked at The Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Washington, and the Idaho Statesman in Boise, Idaho, before moving to California in 2013 to work at the Orange County Register. She spent four years as a litigation reporter for the Los Angeles Daily Journal and one year as a California-based editor and reporter for and associated publications such as The National Law Journal and New York Law Journal before joining Law & Crime News. Meghann has written for The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, Los Angeles Magazine, Bloomberg Law, ABA Journal, The Forward, Los Angeles Business Journal and the Laguna Beach Independent. Her Twitter coverage of federal court hearings in a lawsuit over homelessness in Los Angeles placed 1st in the Los Angeles Press Club's Southern California Journalism Awards for Best Use of Social Media by an Independent Journalist in 2021. An article she freelanced for Los Angeles Times Community News about a debate among federal judges regarding the safety of jury trials during COVID also placed 1st in the Orange County Press Club Awards for Best Pandemic News Story in 2021.