David Nutter, who has directed key episodes – many of them successful pilots – of a stunning number of popular TV shows from “The X Files” to the infamous “Game of Thrones” Red Wedding shocker, took the stand Thursday in the rape trial of Harvey Weinstein to support the testimony of a Jane Doe witness and friend, fulfilling an oath he made to her years ago.
Nutter followed the testimony of “NM,” a model and actress from Norway who testified Wednesday that she had met Weinstein only a few times before when one night, after the 2008 BAFTAs in London, she awoke to the Miramax mogul banging on her hotel room door. She said he was disheveled and agitated as he shoved his way in, pushed her down on the bed and raped her – then assaulted her again upon subsequent meetings.
Nutter testified that NM confided in him about a month after the first assault, telling her then that he would “back her up” if it ever came to that.
“She’s a friend, I’ve been a mentor, I’ve directed her in shows, but mostly a friend,” Nutter said. “She auditioned and got part in a show called ‘The Millennium’ that he directed, around 1997. I hired her on a project called ‘Dark Angel’ with Jessica Alba, just a walk-on,” as well as a commercial and another TV role.
With prosecutors asking the questions, Nutter said sometime around 2009, NM made a disclosure to him about Weinstein, whom he “absolutely” knew through the industry. He said NM called him and “she was quite upset about something. Spoke slowly and hesitantly. She just seemed out of sorts. She didn’t seem like the [NM] I knew.”
“Without telling us specifically what she said, give us the nature of what she was disclosing,” said Deputy District Attorney Paul Thompson. “What was the category of what she described to you?”
“Someone came into a room and was forceful with her,” Nutter said.
“Did she say she’d been sexually assaulted?” Thompson asked.
“Yes,” he replied.
Thompson asked if he advised her in any way, and Nutter said it was “a very volatile situation,” and that he’d “defend her if it comes up again … just watch yourself, be careful.”
“Did she say who had done it?” Thompson asked.
“Yes,” Nutter replied. “Harvey Weinstein.”
Under the cross-examination of defense attorney Mark Werksman, Nutter said when the call came he had already finished directing a commercial for an LG campaign that NM was still working on. It had been about a week since he’d last seen her.
“Did [NM] ask you that if police call you to ‘back her up?'” Werksman asked.
“I actually said that to her when I talked to her the first time,” Nutter said.
“You said you would back her up?”
The first 16 television pilots Nutter ever directed, starting with “Space: Above and Beyond” in 1995, all went to series – including “Roswell,” “Smallville,” “Supernatural,” “Arrow” and “The Flash.” The streak was finally broken in 2011 when CBS declined to pick up “The Doctor.” He directed 10 episodes of HBO’s “Entourage” and nine episodes of “Game of Thrones” across four seasons, including “The Rains of Castemere” in season three and three episodes of the eighth and final season.
Weinstein faces seven charges of sexual assault from allegations spanning from 2004-2013. The trial could spill into December after taking the week of Thanksgiving off before starting closing arguments. Weinstein could face up to 140 years in prison if convicted.
He is already serving 23 years in a New York prison for criminal first-degree sexual assault and third-degree rape, a conviction he has been granted the right to appeal. Weinstein has maintained his innocence since the New York Times first published accusations against him five years ago this month.