Weinstein accuser ‘mortified’ by assault
HARVEY Weinstein allegedly sexually assaulted one of his key accusers on multiple separate occasions, a court has heard.
Former Project Runway production assistant Mimi Haleyi is one of two women the former Hollywood powerbroker is charged with assaulting in an indictment in New York.
On Monday, Haleyi, 42, testified that Weinstein invited her to his Soho apartment for a drink, then sexually assaulted her. She alleged he forced himself on her, even removing a tampon from her body to rape her.
She testified that she accepted an invitation from Weinstein to go with him to Los Angeles for the premiere of Clerks II, he sent a driver to pick her up and bring her to his apartment.
She said they sat on opposite ends of a sofa and Weinstein was "friendly and normal" at first.
"At some point, he came towards me and lunged at me, trying to kiss me," she told the jurors. "I got up from the sofa and I said, 'Oh no'.
"I kind of rejected him and pushed him away and he just came back and kept kissing me and fondling me. I got up and tried to walk away from him but he pulled me towards him. He was kind of walking toward me and I was walking backwards trying to get away. I walked backwards. … I was backed into a bedroom that was on the corner of that open space area, through the door. I walked backwards because he was pushing me with his body until I got to the bed and I fell backwards onto the bed and I tried to get up and he pushed me down."
INSTANT REPLAY: #Weinstein accuser #MimiHaleyi testifies, “at that point, I started realizing what was actually happening and I’m being raped." Tune into #CourtTV for more on Haleyi’s testimony. https://t.co/tnYdPcDRMU pic.twitter.com/zHhKfZkj50— Court TV (@CourtTV) January 27, 2020
Haleyi said she "rejected" Weinstein's alleged advances but he persisted.
"Every time I tried to get off the bed he would push me back and hold me down," she said.
"He pushed me down, he held me down by my arms.
"At that point I started realising what was actually happening - I was being raped.
"I was mortified. I was just crying, 'No!' I kept trying to tell him, 'No, don't go there.' … I was in such shock that I just checked out.
"I couldn't even get away from him at all - let alone out of the apartment. Ultimately, after a while I just checked out," she said. Haleyi alleged Weinstein then tried to forcibly perform oral sex on her.
"I kept trying to tell him, 'No, don't go there and don't do that. I'm on my period. I have a tampon in," Haleyi said, according to Page Six.
"It was as if he didn't believe me and he said something like, 'Where is it, then?' like that and he actually pulled my tampon out."
Haleyi said Weinstein forced himself on her orally. "I was on my period. I had a tampon in there. I was mortified," she said.
About two weeks later, Haleyi met Weinstein at the Tribeca Grand Hotel. "I feel like I was trying to regain some sort of power or something," she said.
She was sent upstairs to Weinstein's room.
"Almost instantly, he just took my hand and pulled me toward the bed," she continued through tears. "I just laid there. He had intercourse with me. … I was laying there motionless. I felt numb."
"The first incident was deeply embarrassing, but I didn't blame myself, the second time, I hadn't struggled enough."
Weinstein, 67, is charged with forcibly performing oral sex on Haleyi in his New York City apartment in 2006 and raping another woman, an aspiring actress, in a Manhattan hotel room in 2013. He insists any sexual encounters were consensual.
In all, he is accused of five felony counts, including rape. He faces life in prison if the jury of seven men and five women convict him of the predatory sexual assault charge stemming from his alleged encounter with Haleyi.
Haleyi, whose legal name is Miriam Haley, is the second of six women to testify against Weinstein at his trial, which is in its fourth day of testimony.
Last week, defence lawyer Damon Cheronis urged jurors to take Haleyi's claims with a grain of salt citing communications she sent to Weinstein in the years after the alleged assault.
"Miriam would brag about her friendship with Harvey," Mr Cheronis argued last week. "She would drop his name as someone she was close with."
On Thursday, Sopranos actress Annabella Sciorra was the first accuser to testify against him.
Sciorra told Manhattan Supreme Court that the fallen media mogul forced his way into her Manhattan apartment, pinned her to a bed and raped her in 1993.
"I was trying to get him off me," a tearful Sciorra said. "I was punching him, kicking him."
But Weinstein held her down, she said.
"He got on top of me and he raped me," Sciorra continued.
The alleged rape was too long ago to lead to criminal charges but the judge has allowed the claimant to testify at the trial in an effort to establish a pattern of behaviour.
There have been multiple reports about Weinstein's alleged predation of scores of women - from high-profile actresses to production assistants.
In total, more than 80 women have accused the father-of-five of sexual misconduct dating back decades. Most of the accusers, who refer to themselves as "the Silence Breakers", aren't involved in his prosecution. But all of them share similar stories and have their hopes pinned on an eventual guilty verdict.
Weinstein's New York trial comes as he was charged in Los Angeles with rape and sexual assault in relation to two separate incidents over a two-day period in 2013.
Weinstein once wielded so much power in Tinseltown that at the height of his success Meryl Streep described him as "God".
But the disgraced film executive is arguably now best known for his downfall which sparked the global #MeToo movement and is more commonly referred to by Hollywood's elite in less flattering terms.
Weinstein turned himself in to police in May 2018, but his downfall began in October 2017 when the New York Times published a story detailing decades of alleged sexual assault and harassment by him.
Actresses Ashley Judd and Rose McGowan were among those to come forward, as were several former female employees.
The accusations included that he forced some of the women to massage him or look at him naked, for promises of career advancement.
Days after the New York Times piece, another bombshell story, in the New Yorker magazine, included allegations by 13 more women - including three accusations of rape.
Actress Asia Argento, as well as once-aspiring actress Lucia Evans, and an unnamed woman, claimed Weinstein forced himself on them.
Ms Evans' claim that she was forced into a sex act after going to his office for a supposed casting meeting, aged 21, had been part of the criminal case against him but was controversially dropped after prosecutors said she gave a witness a different version of events.
Hollywood reeled as more stars then came forward, one after another, with horrifying stories about Weinstein, prompting his British fashion designer wife Georgina Chapman to leave him.
Other big names who have come forward with sexual misconduct stories about Weinstein include Mira Sorvino, Rosanna Arquette, Daryl Hannah, Salma Hayek, Heather Graham and Uma Thurman.
A-listers Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow also said they were harassed. British stars Cara Delevingne, Kate Beckinsale and Lena Headey told of creepy hotel encounters and The Sun revealed how Weinstein allegedly propositioned Myleene Klass with a "sex contract" at the Cannes film festival in the South of France in 2010.
Hollyoaks actress Lysette Anthony said Weinstein raped her in her London home in the 1980s - and in a recent TV interview she said: "I still have nightmares of white, revolting flesh, and skin with pores like bloody black volcanoes stuffed with crusty pus."
Recounting sleazy propositions from Weinstein, 12 Years A Slave star Lupita Nyong'o recalled how, after she rejected his advances and asked if they were then "good", he replied: "I don't know about your career, but you'll be fine."
As the allegations stacked up, Hollywood royalty including Quentin Tarantino, Ben Affleck, Matt Damon and George Clooney deserted and condemned Weinstein.
Weinstein has denied all claims of non-consensual sex made against him.
His representative, Juda Engelmayer, said: "He's cautiously optimistic but anxious. You're looking at something that could put him away for the rest of his life, away from children and family."
Weinstein, whose bail was recently doubled over claims he tampered with his ankle monitor, recently broke his silence to claim he should be praised for his treatment of women.
Speaking from a swish hospital suite in New York after a back operation he needed following an August car crash, he said: "I feel like the forgotten man.
"I made more movies directed by women and about women than any filmmaker, and I'm talking about 30 years ago. I did it first. I pioneered it."
He was hitting back after claims he faked his recent aliments to win sympathy.
The trial continues.