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‘I Was Like Please, I Have Kids’: Jury Hears Details of Harvey Weinstein’s Alleged Crimes as Sexual Assault Trial Opens in LA

Harvey Weinstein appears at LA trial

Former film producer Harvey Weinstein appears in court on Oct. 4, 2022, at the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center in Los Angeles, California.

Jurors in the criminal trial of Harvey Weinstein heard details Monday morning about eight sexual assaults that Los Angeles County prosecutors allege the disgraced movie producer committed between 1991 and 2013.

Deputy District Attorney Paul Thompson displayed a graphic with photos of eight women and told the 20 people in then jury box “all were assaulted by the defendant, Harvey Weinstein.”

Already serving 23 years for rape and sexual assault convictions out of New York, Weinstein was charged in July 2021 on the west coast with 11 related counts involving five women. But Thompson on Monday discussed only four women when describing Weinstein’s alleged criminal acts. Weinstein is not charged with crimes related to the four other women who will testify, rather, the women are considered prior bad act witnesses. Each was assaulted by Weinstein outside Los Angeles County, Thompson told the jury, which means the district attorney’s office doesn’t have jurisdiction to prosecute.

“Each of these women came forward independent of each other, and none of them knew one another,” Thompson said.

Thompson read statements from the victims as their quotes were displayed on screen.

“I’m shaking and I’m kind of being dragged to the bedroom.”

“… he was masturbating, he started putting his hand down my shirt underneath my bra…”

One graphically described oral rape, while another described being digitally penetrated.

Other quotes focused on Weinstein’s size.

“Part of me was thinking should I just make a run for it, but he’s a big guy.”

“He’s big. He’s broad. He’s overweight. He’s domineering.”

Thompson also displayed quotes from the women describing how they pleaded with Weinstein to stop.

“I was trying to convince him that it’s nothing gonna happen … I was like please, I have kids.”

“I told him to stop. I told him to leave the bathroom. And he didn’t. He just kept going towards me.”

Thompson said the women “feared that he could crush their careers if they reported what he had done to him,” then displayed quotations about Weinstein’s power.

“Harvey just had so much power in the industry. I was afraid of his bad side.”

“I still wanted to work in Hollywood so I was afraid to do anything because of that.”

One of the accusers is Jennifer Siebel Newsom, wife of California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D). Another victim’s accusation is to be supported with testimony from actor Mel Gibson, who prosecutors say was getting a massage from her when she told him about the attack.

Thompson detailed Siebel Newsom’s assault by Weinstein, saying she is now “married to the governor of California,” but at the time of the assault in 2005, she was “a powerless actor trying to make her way in Hollywood.”

Calling her “Jane Doe 4,” Thompson said Siebel Newsom invited Weinstein to a party at her West Hollywood home after meeting him at the Toronto International Film Festival. He then invited her to “discuss her career” at The Peninsula hotel in Beverly Hills, which Thompson said Seibel Newsom assumed would be in the hotel restaurant but was instead in his hotel suite.

She assumed his aides would be there, “but to her surprise,” Thompson said, they left after she arrived and Weinstein soon changed into a bathrobe and asked her to touch him. She refused, and Weinstein moved toward her and mentioned “a list of A-List actresses whose careers he supposedly made and his voice moved from pleading to aggressive and demanding,’ Thompson said.’

Weinstein forced her onto the bed as she was crying and shaking, and she “couldn’t get any words out because of her fear.” Weinstein told her to “relax” and that he would make her feel better, then sexually assaulted and forcibly raped her, Thompson said.

Jurors will hear from expert witness Barbara Ziv, a forensic psychiatrist who testified in Weinstein’s New York trial and has also testified against Bill Cosby.

Thompson also told jurors Weinstein has “unique things about his body” that most victims will describe, referring to Weinstein genitalia.

“What I’m referring to is the result of a surgery that the defendant had in 1999. That surgery caused pretty noticeable scarring, and you’ll see the pictures,” Thompson said. “Because of an infection, his testicles were actually taken from his scrotum and put into his inner thighs.”

Twelve jurors and eight alternates are seated for the expected two-month trial before LA County Superior Court Judge Lisa B. Lench at the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center in downtown Los Angeles.

Finalized last Thursday, the jury is composed of nine men and three women, with a general age range of 40 to 70 years old. Of the three women, two are older and white, and one is Black and appears to be about 30.

The alternates are five men and three women, with the average age appearing to be about 30 or 35.

Weinstein’s lawyer Mark Werksman gave his opening statement Monday afternoon. Read more here.

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

[Image via ETIENNE LAURENT/POOL/AFP via Getty Images]

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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.