Jennifer Siebel Newsom took the stand Monday at Harvey Weinstein’s sexual assault trial and accused the fallen Hollywood mogul of raping her 17 years in the past in a Beverly Hills resort suite when she was a struggling actor.
In testimony to a jury in downtown Los Angeles, Siebel Newsom wept and at instances wailed as she shared graphic particulars of what she recalled as a violent assault that lasted greater than an hour. The rape “destroyed me emotionally,” she informed the jury.
“This was hell,” she stated as her husband, Gov. Gavin Newsom, waited in a room down the corridor after the court docket declined to permit him into the courtroom to listen to his spouse’s testimony.
Because the trial entered its fourth week, Siebel Newsom grew to become the seventh lady to testify that Weinstein used his affect to isolate them in resort rooms and assault them in Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, Puerto Rico or Toronto. The small print of Siebel Newsom’s allegations had not been publicly disclosed earlier than her testimony.
Weinstein, 70, is serving a 23-year jail sentence for a intercourse crime conviction in New York. The present trial stems from alleged sexual assaults in Los Angeles space accommodations between 2004 and 2013.
Siebel Newsom stated that when she met Weinstein on the Toronto Worldwide Movie Pageant just a few weeks earlier than the assault, she was a 31-year-old actor and filmmaker who noticed him as “the highest of the trade.” On the time, she stated, she had not but met her husband, then the mayor of San Francisco.
Requested by a prosecutor to determine Weinstein within the courtroom, Siebel Newsom coated her face in her palms, sniffled and wiped away tears earlier than pointing to him on the protection desk.
“He’s looking at me,” she stated.
On the movie competition, she testified, she was talking with mates at a bar when she seen that “everyone type of backed away” as Weinstein walked as much as her and launched himself.
“I felt just like the Pink Sea was parting,” she recalled. “I don’t know whether or not it was deference or concern.”
She stated she discovered Weinstein each charming and intimidating, however she was flattered that he appeared inquisitive about her budding profession.
On a visit to Los Angeles just a few weeks later, she stated, Weinstein stopped by her West Hollywood residence to ship a present, a e book about MGM co-founder Louis B. Mayer, and invited her to satisfy with him the subsequent day on the Peninsula Resort in Beverly Hills to debate her aspirations.
She anticipated to satisfy him within the resort bar, she stated, so she was confused and hesitant when a Weinstein assistant summoned her to his lavish suite. As she waited for him there on a sofa, she seen a bottle of champagne in a bucket. That made her extra nervous — “It felt just a little bit like a date,” she testified — however she determined to remain.
“You don’t say no to Harvey Weinstein,” she stated. Requested by the prosecutor why not, she responded: “As a result of he might make or wreck your profession.”
As soon as Weinstein wrapped up his assembly and joined her on the sofa, Siebel Newsom stated, she anticipated to speak with him about movie initiatives she hoped to pursue in India or Africa, however he appeared uninterested. He informed her he needed to get “extra snug” and stepped away, then known as out from past a darkened hallway, “Are you able to assist me?”
Siebel Newsom stated she discovered Weinstein bent over in a bathrobe in a brightly lit rest room. He was masturbating, she testified, and grabbed her and tried to get her hand on his penis.
“I simply keep in mind bodily making an attempt to again away,” she stated, recalling that she repeatedly informed him, “Please don’t.”
She stated he got here towards her and groped her breasts, however she saved backing away in a prolonged “cat and mouse” on the rest room door. “I used to be simply delicately making an attempt to get away,” she stated.
She described herself as “rattled” and “panicked,” saying she was crying and trembling as he received her on a sofa and examined completely different techniques to coerce her into intercourse. He talked about a number of actresses, she testified, and “tried to inform me that that is the trade.”
She stated she wound up sharing the trauma of shedding her sister when she was a lady to attempt to get him to see her as “a human, not an object.”
After 45 minutes, he pressured her into the bed room, she testified, and saved groping her breasts by means of her clothes as he masturbated, utilizing her “like this blow-up doll” as she continued crying, shaking and resisting.
Siebel Newsom cried loudly as she answered a prosecutor’s questions on what occurred within the bed room. She was sporting a wrap costume, her favourite for auditions, she recounted, and Weinstein reached into it. “He inserted his fingers in my vagina,” she testified. “I’m shaking. I’m crying. He is aware of this isn’t consent in any respect.”
Weinstein, she stated, inserted a part of his penis inside her and carried out oral intercourse on her, and he or she saved pondering she might catch a illness.
“I used to be afraid of him placing his physique into my physique and hurting me.” she testified. She stated she finally determined she wanted to make “pleasure noises” and masturbate him.
“I simply did it to make it cease,” Siebel Newsom stated. “I simply needed to get the f— out of there. Excuse my language. I’m sorry, I simply needed to get out.”
Weinstein then recommended that they may be girlfriend and boyfriend, she stated, and “I simply thought I used to be going to throw up.”
“He simply stated, ‘What wouldn’t it be like introducing me’ to my dad?” she informed jurors. “And I simply thought, ‘Oh my God, that is so disgusting, so unsuitable.’”
Siebel Newsom initially appeared wanting to testify Monday morning, however was additionally visibly nervous. At one level, she paused and informed the court docket, “Sorry, I simply have to take a deep breath.”
The ladies within the case are testifying anonymously. The Instances doesn’t identify victims of sexual assault except they’ve spoken out publicly or requested to be recognized. Siebel Newsom accused Weinstein of abuse in a 2017 Huffington Put up essay that ran simply days after main media shops started publishing details about rape accusations in opposition to the Miramax co-founder. Her involvement within the Los Angeles trial was not broadly identified till The Instances reported it final month.
Siebel Newsom first reported the 2005 rape to police in 2020, nearly three years after different ladies’s allegations in opposition to Weinstein triggered the #MeToo motion. She acknowledged sending him pleasant skilled emails within the years after the incident.
“I had a profession,” she stated. “I attempted to place what occurred in a field.”
Siebel Newsom additionally stated she as soon as had considered one of Newsom’s campaigns solicit a $500 donation from Weinstein, which her husband returned.
Weinstein is charged with 11 counts of rape and sexual battery stemming from accusations made by Siebel Newsom, recognized in court docket as Jane Doe 4, and 4 others. All however one of many ladies have testified.
Prosecutors have made no point out of Jane Doe 5 all through their presentation of proof. Weinstein’s protection workforce has requested L.A. County Superior Court docket Choose Lisa Lench to dismiss the 4 counts associated to her accusation if she is just not going to testify. Lench has declined to take action, and Thompson has not commented on the lady’s standing within the case.
Two sources with direct data of the state of affairs stated the prosecution is having “witness availability points” with Jane Doe 5, as she lives exterior the nation and can’t be dropped at court docket by way of subpoena. The sources spoke on the situation of anonymity so as to speak candidly in regards to the state of affairs.
If convicted in Los Angeles, Weinstein would face a de facto life sentence.
Weinstein has denied wrongdoing. His attorneys, Mark Werksman and Alan Jackson, have aggressively questioned his accusers throughout cross-examination. Werksman has stated the assaults described by Jane Does 1 and a pair of by no means occurred and claimed among the different accusers, together with Siebel Newsom, engaged in “transactional intercourse” with Weinstein to advance their Hollywood careers.
“The accusers on this case, ladies who willingly performed the sport by the principles that utilized again then, they’ll come into this courtroom now, with their attorneys in tow, and declare they have been raped and sexually assaulted,” Werksman stated throughout his opening assertion. “They should misinform themselves … to make what they did consensually again then appear to be it was pressured upon them.”
In one of many trial’s most gorgeous moments, Werksman additionally stated Siebel Newsom was partaking in revisionist historical past by casting herself as a sufferer. In any other case, he stated, she can be “simply one other bimbo who slept with Harvey Weinstein to get forward in Hollywood.”