The women at the center of Harvey Weinstein’s LA rape trial
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Prosecutors called 44 witnesses to make their case against Harvey Weinstein, but a jury’s decision at his Los Angeles trial will hinge largely on the testimony of four: the women he is charged with raping or sexually assaulting, all known simply as “Jane Doe” in court.
Four more women also testified as part of prosecutors’ attempt to establish a pattern of sexual predation by the former movie mogul, who has pleaded not guilty. The Associated Press does not name people who say they have been sexually abused unless they come forward publicly or agreed to be named through their attorneys, as the women named or partially named here have.
As the jury deliberates after the monthlong trial, here is a look at the eight women and their stories:
THE JANE DOES
JANE DOE 1: The Russian-born, Italy-based model and actor was the trial’s first witness. She testified that while in Los Angeles for an Italian film festival, Weinstein arrived uninvited at her hotel room in February 2013 and raped her. The attack led to mental anguish and abuse of alcohol, she said.
“I was destroying myself,” she testified, fighting back tears. “I was feeling very guilty. Most of all because I opened that door.”
Weinstein’s lawyers argued there is no convincing evidence he was ever at the hotel.
LAUREN YOUNG: Known as Jane Doe 2 in court, Young is the only Weinstein accuser to tell her story at trials in both Los Angeles and New York, where he was handed a 23-year sentence. A model then looking to get into acting and screenwriting, Young alleges that at a meeting with Weinstein about a script, he trapped her in the bathroom of his Beverly Hills hotel, groped her and masturbated in front of her while she stood paralyzed by fear. It was the day after the alleged 2013 rape of Jane Doe 1.
“I was scared of Harvey Weinstein — that he would hurt me, or send someone to hurt me, or ruin my career, or make my life hell,” Young testified.
Weinstein’s attorneys denied the encounter happened, and said there was no evidence she was forced to remain in the room.
JANE DOE 3: Hired by Weinstein to give him a massage in May of 2010, she, like Young, testified that Weinstein trapped her in a hotel bathroom, groped her and masturbated in front of her. She expressed shame and disgust that she agreed to see and work on Weinstein again afterward, a common thread among several witnesses that the defense zeroed in on during cross-examinations.
“That’s one of the reasons why I didn’t want to come forward,” she said, “because this is embarrassing.”
JENNIFER SIEBEL NEWSOM: The most anticipated witness testimony at the trial was also its most dramatic. Siebel Newsom, a documentary filmmaker and the wife of California Gov. Gavin Newsom known as Jane Doe 4 in court, gave an intensely emotional account of what she described as a September 2005 rape by Weinstein at a Beverly Hills hotel at what was supposed to be a meeting about the acting career she was pursuing. She was nearly screaming through tears at times during her testimony as the audience sat stunned.
“He knows this is not normal!” she shouted during her description of the assault. “He knows this is not consent!”
Weinstein’s attorneys say it was consensual sex that she later rebranded as rape, citing friendly emails and a meeting in the ensuing years.
THE OTHER ACCUSERS
KELLY SIPHERD: Her story spanned 17 years: Sipherd testified that Weinstein sexually assaulted her in a hotel room during the Toronto Film Festival when she was an aspiring actress in 1991, then did it again when she went to confront him in the same hotel at the same festival in 2008. Weinstein’s attorneys suggested that her behavior after each alleged assault, including accepting an audition invitation after the first and a party invitation after the second, was evidence neither happened.
AMBRA BATTILANA GUTIERREZ: Gutierrez, an Italian and Filipina model, reported to authorities in 2015 that Weinstein groped her breast at a New York meeting. She became a major media figure in the #MeToo explosion two years later, when The New Yorker reported Weinstein paid her $1 million to silence her. Prosecutors declined to charge Weinstein, a decision that later spurred criticism and an official review. Gutierrez testified about the meeting and its aftermath, and a recording of Weinstein she secretly made at the request of New York police was played for the Los Angeles jury. Weinstein’s lawyers contend her accusation doesn’t constitute sexual assault.
NATASSIA MALTHE: Malthe, a Norwegian model, in testimony that echoed the story of Jane Doe 1, said Weinstein appeared uninvited at her London hotel room door and raped her after the 2008 British Academy Film Awards. As they did with other accusers, Weinstein attorneys argued that changes in her story from previous accounts, further association with Weinstein after the incident, and what they described as mixed signals about consent meant there was no sexual assault.
ASHLEY MATTHAU: A 21-year-old dancer in Weinstein’s 2004 film “Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights,” she said that Weinstein lured her from the set to his hotel room in Puerto Rico, pinned her down and masturbated while on top of her in 2003. Weinstein’s attorneys said it should have been clear Weinstein had sexual intentions, and that she could simply have left. She said that was impossible given that she was being held down by the far larger Weinstein and believed his assistant was outside to prevent her from leaving. She said that and her fear of him kept her in place.
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