Week 1 of Weinstein trial: Vile allegations, X-rated gifts

Harvey Weinstein leaves court in his rape trial in New York on Jan. 22 2020

Harvey Weinstein leaves court in his rape trial in New York on Jan. 22 2020

USA actor Rosie Perez testified in NY on the third day of the rape trial of Harvey Weinstein on Friday, describing phone calls she had with Annabella Sciorra where she learned Sciorra was allegedly raped.

Perez, 55, was called to the stand by prosecutors to back up the testimony from Annabella Sciorra, who claims Harvey Weinstein raped her back in the early 1990s.

Sciorra told the jury of seven men and five women that she got another jolt when she opened her hotel room door early one morning to find Weinstein standing there in his underwear holding a bottle of oil in one hand and a video in the other.

"At the time, I didn't understand that it was rape", she said.

Sciorra said she saw Weinstein several weeks later at a dinner and tried to confront him and told him how she fainted during the alleged attack.

At that point, Sciorra said, "My body shut down".

Perez said she asked if Sciorra knew who had attacked her, but Sciorra wouldn't say at the time. It was like a seizure or something'. "And he said, 'That's what all the nice Catholic girls say.' Then he leaned into me and said, 'This remains between you and I.' It was very menacing".

Weinstein's lawyers seized on Ms Sciorra's actions after the alleged assault, asking such questions as why Ms Sciorra made the 1997 Weinstein-produced film Cop Land if he had raped her a few years earlier.

Harvey Weinstein, 67, faces life imprisonment if convicted of predatory sexual assault charges related to two women.

The trial is widely seen as a watershed moment for #MeToo, in which women have accused powerful men in business, entertainment, media and politics of sexual misconduct.

Ziv is the prosecution's expert witness against Weinstein, meant to help dispel common "myths" about what is "normal" behavior for victims of assaults. She went on to tell the NY state court that the former film producer then performed oral sex on her.

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Hast accused Weinstein of treating Mann like a "rag doll" after raping her in her hotel room in March 2013.

Another myth, she said, contradicts Weinstein's argument that the sexual relationship he had with the women represented in the trial was consensual because they maintained contact with him after the alleged assaults.

In an emotional testimony, Sciorra shared graphic details of being violently raped by Weinstein, in the 1990s.

Until 2017, Sciorra sais that she believed that since it was done by someone she knew she feared the police wouldn't accept her case.

As they became acquainted over the next several years, she says the famed film mogul sent her a few unusual gifts: a package that contained some movies, licorice, popcorn and a bottle of Valium.

"But when you vote out an indictment based on a particular incident, obviously Sciorra is going to be able to come into court and testify about it", she added. She was nominated for a supporting actress Oscar for 1993's "Fearless".

Donna Rotunno, one of Weinstein's lawyers, grilled Sciorra on Wednesday about whether she had reported the alleged rape to authorities or sought medical help.

Sciorra held her hands above her head, clasping her wrists and demonstrated how Weinstein held her down and sexually assaulted her. "I felt at the time that rape was something that happened in a back alleyway in a dark place".

Weinstein, who reshaped the independent film industry with critically acclaimed pictures such as "The English Patient" and "Shakespeare in Love", has denied the allegations and said any sexual encounters were consensual.

The lawyer also suggested that Sciorra's judgment and recollection were clouded by drinking.

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