Weinstein's defense summons its first witnesses to disarm the complainants
The defense of film producer Harvey Weinstein, accused of rape, summoned his first witness on Thursday, an employee of Miramax and friend of Weinstein, who maintained a "close friendship" with actress Annabella Sciorra, in her attempt to disarm the testimony of the women who accuse him.
After the conclusion this morning of the appearance of the last of the six women who testified to have been harassed or raped by the film producer, it was the turn of Paul Feldsher, a former worker of the Miramax producer, who was a friend of Sciorra in the early nineties, when she says she was raped (winter 1993-1994)
Questioned by lawyer Donna Rotunno about whether at that time Sciorra mentioned what happened to Weinstein, the witness simply said that only during a "long walk", and on one occasion, the actress told him that "he had done one thing crazy with Weinstein. "
Feldsher, who said that "Harvey Weinstein has a voracious appetite for women," said the actress, famous for her performance in the Sopranos series, did not give him more details about what happened.
For its part, the Prosecutor's Office asked the witness if he was saying in court the things that Weinstein wants to hear, to which Feldsher replied "categorically no."
On January 23, Sciorra opened the turn of witnesses from the Prosecutor's Office in a crude way telling how the movie magnate allegedly raped her at home.
"He put his penis in my vagina and raped me," the actress said then. His story is key to trying to prove that Weinstein acted according to a pattern of sexual predator.
THE WITNESSES THAT ACCUSE WEINSTEIN
In addition to Sciorra, five other women have since risen to the podium to report their experiences: production assistant Mimi Haley, who claimed to have been raped twice by him, and Jessica Mann, who also accused the producer of rape.
Also, Dawn Dunning, who in 2004 was a waitress and aspiring actress, and who testified that Weinstein penetrated her with her fingers without her consent, and Tarale Wulff, who reported in the courtroom that Weinstein masturbated in front of her in the restaurant luxury, where Wulff worked in 2005.
In total, the Prosecutor's Office accuses Weinstein of five crimes of sexual harassment, two of them of rape, which are based on the testimonies of the Jessica Mann and Mimi Haley exactrix.
SEED THE DOUBT
Attorney Gloria Allred, who defends three of the women who have testified, said after leaving the court that her clients and specifically Annabela Sciora testified in a way "that I hope has had a positive impact on the jury."
Allred was convinced that the Prosecutor's Office prepared a good case and insisted that "they had not accused Weinstein, nor prosecuted him if they did not think they had a reasonable probability of proving their guilt."
However, he warned that the verdict "is always in the hands of jurors and we don't know which side they will take."
On the role of Weinstein's lawyers during the testimonies of the prosecution's witnesses, Allred commented that his role "is to undermine the credibility of the witnesses" who accuse the film producer.
"The only job of the defense is to present doubts, doubts and more doubts, and wait and try to persuade the jury that there are enough doubts for which the prosecution cannot prove that it is guilty beyond reasonable doubt," he said.
LAUREN YOUNG, THE LAST WITNESS OF THE TAX
Before the first person summoned by the defense promised before the judge to tell the truth and the whole truth, the model and actress Lauren Young concluded her testimony.
After being questioned yesterday by prosecutors, today lawyer Damon Cheronis, one of the defenders of film producer Harvey Weinstein, tried to raise doubts and question Young's speech.
The 30-year-old actress told yesterday before the jury that the movie entrepreneur locked her in a bathroom at the Montage Beverly Hills hotel (Los Angeles, California), where they had stayed, groped and masturbated in front of her, while the assistant Weinstein's Claudia Salinas was waiting on the other side of the door.
"He began to masturbate while he grabbed my right chest with his left hand and masturbated with his right hand saying: how will I know if you can act?" Said Young yesterday, that when the events occurred he was 23 years old.
An aggressive Cheronis tried to find inconsistencies and possible contradictions in his story by asking them again about the clothes that Weintein wore on the day of the alleged aggression, in February 2013.
Young, who is also one of the main witnesses in another case of sexual abuse against Weinstein in California, faced Cheronis' questions that compared the young actress's testimony to the Californian police with her story yesterday in the courtroom New York Supreme.
If it had been pushed or not by Weinstein, if the door was open or closed, if it hit it or how it left the bathroom and the room when it was over, were some of the continuous questions that Cheronis asked the witness to whom he claimed to have said different things to the police in California and to judge James Burke.