The Los Angeles courtroom where Harvey Weinstein faces multiple rape charges became heated Monday when defense Attorney Alan Jackson – dispatched all trial long to launch fiery attacks on the credibility of accusers on the stand – began sparring with “Kelly S.,” the third of eight women who are set to testify against the disgraced movie mogul.
Earlier Monday (see below), Kelly S. told jurors that she was assaulted by Weinstein in 1991 at the Toronto Film festival. Then, 17 years later, she went up to his room to confront him about the rape – and he violated her again.
Ahead of Deputy District Attorney Marlene Martinez’ redirect, she asked for a sidebar with Judge Lisa Lench that lasted almost 15 minutes. Stepping up to question Kelly S, Martinez was riled up.
“Mr Jackson asked you if you found Mr Weinstein ‘fetching.’ Did you find him attractive or not?”
Martinez: Did you say ‘No’ to him?
Kelly S: Yes.
Martinez: Once or multiple times?
Kelly S: Multiple times.
Martinez: Did you tell him to stop?
Kelly S: Yes.
Martinez: Were you crying?
Kelly S: Yes.
Jackson also questioned why Kelly S. later took his phone calls and agreed to come to New York to do an audition and meet with his casting company two months after the alleged attack. Kelly S. pushed back, saying she hung up on Weinstein multiple times and that “he was persuasively trying to get me to come to New York,” including paying for hotel and airfare.
“Pretty generous guy,” Jackson responded. She said, “I don’t know,” and added that it was normal for people to fly you out and put you up for an audition.
Jackson then said of Weinstein, “Not someone you despise. Someone who was a friend.”
In response, the witness said emphatically, “No!”
Jackson also clarified that Kelly S didn’t tell anyone that night what happened to her, and that they all attended several parties that night – just hours later – with her friends, one of which was hosted by Weinstein and whom they had received tickets from from Weinstein’s assistant Victoria.
“It was a coup,” Jackson said. “To be invited to a Harvey Weinstein party, and by Victoria?”
He noted that this was the same woman Kelly S alleged had invited her to meet with Harvey, then stood outside the room while she was raped.
“You ended up partying with [Victoria] that night.”
Kelly S responded, “I don’t remember partying with her. I spoke to her. She was very nice.”
Jackson later noted that it wasn’t until 2017 and the advent of the #MeToo movement that Kelly S spoke with police.
“After the whole world had basically dogpiled on top of my client and accused him of being everything under the sun in terms of a sexual assaulter, a rapist?”
“Yes,” she responded.
Jackson then said, “Because if you had consensual sex with the likes of Mr. Weinstein, the MeToo monster, you would never be able to explain yourself to your husband or family and live with yourself.”
The judge then sustained an objection.
Jackson then noted that when she spoke with the authorities she admitted to a sexual encounter, “but now you just claim it was not consensual.”
The witness shot back, “It was not consensual.”
Kelly S was then excused. Court will resume Tuesday morning with new witnesses.
Another accuser took the stand in the criminal rape trial of Harvey Weinstein on Monday, opening a second week of witness’ testimony by telling the jury she went up to Weinstein’s room in 2008 to confront him about a 1991 sexual assault – and that 17 years later, he did it again, this time while her husband and children were waiting downstairs.
The witness, dressed in black pants and a patterned blue shirt with long blond hair, told the jury she first met Weinstein at the Toronto Film Festival in 1991, when the aspiring actress was 24 years old. She said friends introduced her to the producer, recalling that “we got along very well. He as very intelligent.”
Harvey invited her to a patio bar, where they had “a few glasses of wine … he was affable, we were bantering about art and film. We were having a nice time.” After an hour or so, he told her there was a movie she should watch at the Four Seasons, and that he had a part in an upcoming film in mind for her.
“I was pretty ambitious so I thought this was a good opportunity,” she said. “I was hoping to get a part.”
Up in his room, she sat on the edge of the bed, thinking “he’d get the script and we go downstairs and read it” while Weinstein went into the bathroom. But when he darted out “purposefully and fast” wearing nothing but an unbuttoned shirt, Kelly S. said she was “kind of frozen” with surprise and fear.
She said Weinstein was “naked, very red, and with a hot washcloth. It all happened very quickly. He pulled up my skirt and put the wet cloth on my vagina saying I was going to love it … It’s OK. This won’t take long. … I was just asking him to stop, saying ‘What are you doing? Let me out of here! Stop this! I have to go!'”
She said Weinstein had one arm on her legs and the other on her chest. “I felt his fingers around and in my vagina.” He then said, “I’m going to fuck you. It won’t take long. Just relax.”
She said he then put his penis inside her very briefly, “maybe 5-10 seconds.”
“I was crying,” she said. “I reached around to his back and got out from under him. She said remembering that his back had “mountainous” acne.
She finally escaped and grabbed her things, saying, “Why did you do this? He seems to think I would like and obviously [I didn’t].” She said the entire encounter lasted around 45 minutes.
Seventeen years later, in 2008, Kelly S. says she once again found herself at the Four Seasons in Toronto, this time with her husband and children in tow. She said she knew it was possible he would be there on account of the festival, but was still “shocked” when she first saw him.
She said he came over to briefly say hello, and when he left, she realized how angry she had been and had always wanted to confront him about the 1991 incident. Moments later, Weinstein’s assistant Victoria approached and said he wanted to see her. “After all this time I wanted to confront him,” she said, so she let Victoria take her upstairs to his room.
She entered his suite and they chatted, then said: “How does it feel to be in front of the one woman who said no to you?”
She says Weinstein then asked Victoria to go wait out in the hallway.
“I was still in the moment from 20 years ago,” Kelly S. said. “It derailed my career.”
She says Weinstein then “shuttled” her away from the door and led her into the bathroom. She suddenly felt “stupid. I’m angry still and I’m afraid.”
She said Weinstein closed the bathroom door – and then his character changed. He was pulling down her skirt and shirt, demanding sex from her and grabbing at her. “I remember him saying ‘Show me your breasts.’ He had his penis out and was masturbating.”
“I’m saying, ‘My husband and my children are downstairs.'”
She said she did not look at his penis but she saw his hand moving. After a few minutes she says he ejaculated onto a bathmat. He pulled up his pants, she says, and they left – Victoria still waiting out in the hall.
Asked how the assaults affected her, Kelly S. broke down for the first time: “There are so many levels to that [question], she sobbed. “It hurt my marriage. This is really hard.”
Kelly S. said she didn’t tell anyone immediately because “I was in shock and so embarrassed. It took me a while to even grasp what had happened.”
Testimony was expected to resume Monday afternoon.
Weinstein faces 11 charges of sexual assault from allegations spanning from 2004-2013. The trial is expected to last into December after a two-week jury selection process seated a panel last Thursday of nine men and three women. 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.