Evgeniya Chernyshova, Weinstein Trial’s Jane Doe No. 1, Takes First TV Interview: ‘You Can Fight a Monster. You Can Win’

Evgeniya Chernyshova — formerly known as Jane Doe No. 1 in the Harvey Weinstein trial — sat down for her first television interview, revealing her identity on-camera and speaking about why she decided to come forward.

Chernyshova was the first witness called in Weinstein’s Los Angeles trial last year. Her testimony compelled the jury to convict Weinstein on three charges of rape and sexual assault, ultimately resulting in a 16-year sentencing. Weinstein is already serving a 23-year sentence from his New York conviction in 2020. Once the most powerful man in Hollywood, the disgraced movie mogul is appealing both of his convictions.

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“You can stand. You can fight a monster. You can win,” Chernyshova said in a television interview with ABC News, which aired on Feb. 27.

“I became a Jane Doe to protect my minor kids,” Chernyshova says of her decision to finally come forward. “I didn’t know that being Jane Doe, it’s a life with no identity. Being a Jane Doe is hell.”

Chernyshova was one of eight women who testified in Weinstein’s Los Angeles trial, four of whom were charged witnesses. The jury reached a split verdict, acquitting Weinstein on one charge but reaching a unanimous decision on the other charges. The three charges associated to Chernyshova were the only to result in a conviction. Now, the Russian-born Italian model says, “For all the victims, it is our victory… this is our victory, not only mine.”

Chernyshova testified that she was raped by Weinstein in 2013, after attending the L.A. Italia Film Festival as a VIP guest. She told the jury that Weinstein suddenly showed up to her hotel room unannounced, loudly banged on the door, came in and assaulted her. She said she has no idea how Weinstein knew where she was staying that night, and she described him as a stranger that she had only met briefly. Chernyshova said she did not know how powerful he was in the entertainment industry. She told the jury that after the assault, she was stunned when she bumped into him years later at the same festival, but she did not interact with him and never communicated with him again.

Chernyshova reiterated these details to ABC News and said that after the assault, she kept the incident a secret and returned to Italy where she tried — but struggled — to resume her life. She did not report the incident for years.

“I separated from my husband because my marriage had been affected,” Chernyshova said, adding that she had a tough time being a good mother because of what had happened to her.

In the trial, Chernyshova’s daughter, Maria Chernyshova, also testified in front of the jury, both to corroborate details of her mother’s account, but also to share how she convinced her mother to report the incident. Maria testified that she dealt with her own sexual assault at age 15, when she was in high school, and when she went to the police station, her mother revealed to her that she was a rape victim, and they made a pact together that they would both have to report their incidents to seek justice.

“It was utter shock to hear that my mom — the person who inspires me the most, someone so kind — could have undergone something so horrifying,” Maria said to ABC News.

“I have to tell her that I really understand what she’s feeling because if I wasn’t, she would repeat my mistake. She will hide this and will live with this forever,” Evgeniya said. “Everyone from the older generation always encouraged us to deny it. I decided to break this cycle.”

On Jan. 6, 2020, L.A. prosecutors charged Weinstein with rape and sexual battery, in connection to Chernyshova and another Jane Doe. The same day, Weinstein went on trial in New York, where he was ultimately sentenced to 23 years.

Nearly three years later, Chernyshova took the stand. She has now become the center of Weinstein’s impending appeal, with his attorneys claiming she lied on the stand and withheld relevant information from the jury, impeaching her own credibility. Weinstein’s defense claim that he never even met her. (After his sentencing, Weinstein released a statement via his spokesperson, denying he assaulted Chernyshova: “It is incredible to be convicted for a crime I wasn’t even present for. I am innocent.”)

After Weinstein’s conviction, Chernyshova sued him for rape, and his attorneys now say she only came forward for a financial motive. Weinstein’s defense requested a new trial with a new jury, mostly surrounding their issues with Chernyshova, but the judge denied that request.

“He [doesn’t have] the possibility to hurt anyone anymore,” Chernyshova said in her interview. “I don’t want this person with his power [to] hurt anyone else. I think this is justice.”

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