The wife of California Gov. Gavin Newsom testified in graphic detail that former movie mogul Harvey Weinstein raped her in 2005 — and a Weinstein lawyer pushed back with an aggressive cross-examination of Jennifer Siebel Newsom.
Siebel Newsom offered testimony Monday and Tuesday in Los Angeles, the Associated Press reported. Weinstein, 70, is charged with one count each of forcible rape and forcible oral copulation involving Siebel Newsom, KCBS-TV said.
What are the details?
On Monday, Siebel Newsom repeatedly broke down in tears while saying Weinstein raped and sexually assaulted her 17 years ago in his suite in the Peninsula hotel in Beverly Hills, when she was starting out in Hollywood.
Siebel Newsom — a documentary filmmaker and actress — said Weinstein didn’t seem interested in talking to her about her projects and said he was “going to get more comfortable” before he called her for help from the bathroom, the station said.
“I didn’t know there was danger,” she noted, according to KCBS. “I thought maybe he was hurt.”
Siebel Newsom said Weinstein was “touching himself” and “tried to get me to touch him,” the station said.
“I just was, like, frozen,” she added, according to KCBS. “I was scared. This was not why I came here. It was like a complete manipulation of why I was there.”
Siebel Newsom said she didn’t recall if Weinstein carried her into the bedroom or dragged her there by the arm, the station said, adding that she testified that Weinstein began groping her breasts and touched his penis while she was standing and “resisting” against the bed.
KCBS said Siebel Newsom offered a “graphic account” of the encounter with Weinstein.
“I was afraid of what he was doing, putting his body into my body and hurting me,” she testified, according to the station, and added that she put her hand on his penis and made some “pleasure noises” to put an end to what was happening.
Siebel Newsom also said she felt “tremendous shame” and “tried to put what happened into a box, even though it came out at times,” KCBS reported.
“He had taken a piece of me,” she added, according to the station, and also noted that afterward, she pretended like nothing had happened.
“I was so violated, and I don’t know how that happened. I didn’t see the clues, and I didn’t know how to escape,” Siebel Newsom said, according to KCBS. “He, like, destroyed me emotionally and physically. It made being in the entertainment industry really hard and not enjoyable.”
On Tuesday, Weinstein attorney Mark Werksman — who suggested in his opening statement last month that if Siebel Newsom hadn’t cast herself as a victim, she would be “just another bimbo who slept with Harvey Weinstein to get ahead in Hollywood” — aggressively questioned her, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Werksman asked why Siebel Newsom began sending Weinstein emails seeking to meet with him again about nine months after the alleged rape, the paper said.
“Are you free for coffee or lunch this coming Monday or Tues,” she wrote to Weinstein in September 2006, the Times said, adding that Werksman asked why she was seeking “to see your rapist as soon as you could.”
“It was just business,” Siebel Newsom replied, the paper said. “I was probably just trying to get advice.”
Werksman also asked her about a May 2007 email exchange in which she inquired about meeting Weinstein during the Cannes Film Festival in France, the Times said, adding that Siebel Newsom called her email “networking” and told the jury, “I was just hustling.”
“You were hustling with a man you claim violently raped you?” Werksman asked, the paper noted.
The judge sustained a prosecutor’s objection, the Times reported, and Siebel Newsom didn’t respond.
Jennifer Siebel Newsom, wife of California governor, takes stand at Harvey Weinstein trial