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Masseuse to Hollywood Stars Describes Telling Mel Gibson That Harvey Weinstein Sexually Assaulted Her


Mel Gibson and Harvey Weinstein (Image: Gibson a screenshot via Fox News YouTube; Weinstein via ETIENNE LAURENT/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

A massage therapist who said she confided in actor Mel Gibson about being attacked by Harvey Weinstein testified Wednesday that the disgraced movie mogul abruptly stopped their first session before barging in on her in a bathroom and masturbating in front of her.

“I said, ‘What are you doing? This is not appropriate. Can you please go back in the other room and get your clothes on?'” said the woman, who is identified in court as Jane Doe 3.

“He was a heavier man. His penis was hanging – that’s the only way I can describe it – while he was masturbating,” Jane Doe 3 said. “He said, ‘Look at me. Tell me how big my cock is. Look at me. Look at me. Fucking look at me.'”

The masseuse tearfully said she was “terrified.”

“I thought I was about to get raped,” she testified. Weinstein pushed her into a wall, aggressively placing his hand under her bra and feeling her breasts before ejaculating onto the floor.

“He kept saying, ‘We’re close friends now. You have full access to me. I want to get you a book deal to write about massage,'” she said. “He tried to normalize what he did to me. He made me feel like it was strange for making it awkward, like masturbation is something everybody does. Basically humiliating me, like my reaction wasn’t normal.”

She ended up giving him two other massages at the Montage hotel in Beverly Hills, now The Maybourne, and he masturbated in front of her each time.

She left without getting paid during the second visit, crying on the stand as she described being “disgusted.”

“I said you cannot touch me, you are not allowed to put a finger on me,” she said. But Weinstein, “pulled down his pants.”

“He stood about six feet away from me, and he masturbated,” the woman continued. “He kept telling me to watch him because I wasn’t watching him. And I was telling him, ‘It’s really big, Harvey. You have a really big cock.'”

She said she left feeling “disgusted that that just happened to me, and I just stood there.”

“That’s one of the reasons why I didn’t want to come forward. Because this is embarrassing,” she said.

It happened again a year or two later, after she agreed to introduce a friend in the publishing industry to Weinstein because he was “fanboying” over him.

They met at The Peninsula hotel in Beverly Hills, but Weinstein said he wanted to talk to her alone, so her friend, who was unaware of the previous encounters, left. She went with Weinstein to his room, where he again masturbated in front of her, telling her to lift up her shirt as she said no at least twice.

But like with the other incidents, the woman said she didn’t report Weinstein to police.

She was engaged to be married, and she was humiliated and scared what could happen if she went to police.

“I work on high-end clients that trust me. If I went public that I was sexually assaulted by Harvey Weinstein, and I didn’t win, I wouldn’t have been able to work with high-profile clients and that’s all I work with,” she said.

But she eventually told another client what happened, testifying Wednesday, “I ended up telling a friend of mine, Mel.”

She confirmed to Deputy District Attorney Marlene Martinez that Mel is the actor Mel Gibson. She said she was giving him a massage when he mentioned a movie he might be working on with Weinstein.

“I freaked out,” the woman said Wednesday, recalling how she asked Gibson, “How could you ever want to work with this man? Why would you ever want to work with this person?”

Gibson asked what happened, the woman said, and “I went into shock and I started crying.”

“He was the first person that I finally opened up with about what happened,” the woman testified through tears. “I told him that he sexually assaulted me, but I didn’t want to get into all the details, I was embarrassed and humiliated.”

“He asked if I wanted to call the police and report it, asked if I wanted to talk to a lawyer,” she continued. “It was the first time I had ever opened my mouth and told someone about it verbally, and it was a lot for me to say that.”

She also told Gibson’s friend Allison Weiner, a producer at 20/20, and she eventually went to police. But when she first reported what had happened she only mentioned Weinstein masturbating in front of her once, not on three separate occasions.

“I was embarrassed. I was humiliated. It was just embarrassing,” she said. She disclosed the other incidents in subsequent police interviews, but didn’t disclose the fourth incident until she testified before a grand jury in 2019.

“I felt that there were probably a lot of women in my situation that kept going back to the person that assaulted them. I wanted them to be sure they knew they were not alone,” she testified Wednesday.

She explained why she’d earlier emailed Weinstein introducing him to another woman, saying she “was very naive then.”

“I didn’t think she would get put into a position where she could be sexually assaulted by him,” she said. “She’s not a massage therapist; he wouldn’t be naked. And had Harvey responded to this, I would have told her never to be alone with him, to always have someone else with her.”

The woman added, “I don’t want to be mean or rude, but she wasn’t like me. She wasn’t a blond-haired girl.”

She said she “blamed myself” for Weinstein’s behavior.

“I blame myself because I didn’t do more. I blame myself because I just wish I did more,” she said.

The woman answered questions about a book proposal she’d discussed about with Weinstein, titled Naked Massage and aimed at explaining the different types of massages and their health benefits. She told him about the book in their second visit, telling him the book wasn’t meant to be sexual. She stayed in touch with two of Weinstein’s employees about the book, but they eventually stopped pursuing it because “I was a terrible writer, and they knew it.”

“I honestly didn’t care,” she said.

The woman is the second accuser to testify who is a victim in the 11 sexual assault charges pending against Weinstein. Jane Doe 1 testified last week as the first trial witness, and two women who are considered witnesses to prior bad acts by Weinstein have also taken the stand. One described being assaulted by Weinstein in Puerto Rico while there to perform as a dancer in Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights.

Jane Doe 2 is expected to testify after Jane Doe 3. It’s not clear when Jane Doe 4 will testify; she has been publicly identified as Jennifer Siebel Newsom, wife of California Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Prosecutors have long said the case includes a fifth victim, Jane Doe 5, but Deputy District Attorney Paul Thompson did not mention her in his opening statement. Weinstein’s lawyer Mark Werksman complained on Wednesday that prosecutors should dismiss the charges involving Jane Doe 5 if she won’t be called as a witness, and he took issue with the fact that prosecutors won’t say if she’ll end up being witness in trial.

“The people have a legal and ethical duty if they know they cannot make charges in a case to dismiss them,” Werksman said. He said the defense “is hobbled and prejudiced” by not knowing “whether or not there will be a Jane Doe 5.”

But Thompson said calling Jane Doe 5 as a witness is “still a possibility” and Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Lisa B. Lench said she won’t dismiss the charges, not will she forces prosecutors to do so.

Another issue arose Wednesday with supporting witnesses for Kelly Sipherd, a prior bad acts witness who testified Tuesday and consents to being identified by her full name, her lawyer told Law&Crime. Sipherd described being assaulted by Weinstein in 1991 and again in 2008 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Toronto during the Toronto International Film Festival.

Her testimony was to be supported by two witnesses, but Werksman said Wednesday prosecutors told him they’ll only be calling one after the other notified them she won’t be testifying and that she believes Sipherd and her husband “looted $10,000” from her over 10 years.

If the witness would testify, “we would be able to elicit her testimony about the honesty and truthfulness and moral turpitude of Kelly S.,” Werksman said. Instead, the woman “basically says, ‘I don’t want to have anything to do with this.'”

“Did she also refuse because Kelly is a woman of extreme moral turpitude?” Werksman asked. He told Judge Lench that Sipherd “should be forced to come back to court and face this impeachment. … So she can face questions about her honesty and her moral turpitude.”

Prosecutors disclosed the woman’s statements to the defense because it could be considered potentially exculpatory materials under the 1963 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Brady v. Maryland.

Werksman asked Lench to order prosecutors to disclose more communications about Sipherd and the witnesses, but Lench declined, saying the fact that they shared the email with the woman’s allegations against Sipherd shows they are operating in good faith.

Werksman wasn’t so sure.

“I always get nervous when the fox gets to decide what it gets to turn over to the chickens,” Werksman said.

Brady obligations are not foxes and chickens, Mr. Werksman,” Lench replied.

The judge later said she won’t allow Sipherd to be recalled as a witness.

“I think if we asked about it, she would say she did not steal money from these people, and you would be stuck with that answer,” Lench said. “I am not going to call her back, and I am not going to strike her testimony.”

(Images: Gibson a screenshot via Fox News YouTube; Weinstein 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.