Interrogation drives Weinstein's key accuser to cry
NEW YORK: a woman who says Harvey weinstein he raped her broke into sobs at first Hollywood On Monday there was a trial for sexual assault against the producer, while reading an email describing Weinstein as a pseudo-father figure after the alleged attack.
Jessica Mann, 34, began to cry uncontrollably as she read aloud the email of May 2014 under the interrogation of one of Weinstein's lawyers, Donna Rotunno. He was still crying after a short break, which caused justice James Burke To end the testimony of the day.
Mann had testified on Friday that Weinstein raped her in a Manhattan hotel room in March 2013, early in what she described as an extremely degrading relationship with him. She said the relationship continued somehow for years after that.
The 67-year-old former producer pleaded not guilty to raping Mann and sexually assaulting another woman. He faces life imprisonment if he is found guilty of predatory sexual assault, the most serious charge.
Mann wrote in the email to an actor with whom he had been dating at the time that he was working on father problems when he was with Weinstein.
Harvey was my father's age and gave me all the validation I needed, he wrote.
Mann is expected to be interrogated further on Tuesday.
Since 2017, more than 80 women have accused Weinstein of inappropriate sexual behavior. Weinstein, whose films included The English Patient and Shakespeare in Love, has denied the accusations and said that any sexual encounter was agreed upon.
The trial is widely seen as a milestone in the movement, in which women have accused powerful men in business, entertainment, media and the policy of inappropriate sexual behavior.
Earlier in Mann's interrogation, Rotunno repeatedly suggested that Mann voluntarily had sex with Weinstein to advance his career. At one point, he asked if Mann manipulated Weinstein when he sent friendly messages and asked to see him, even though he was not attracted to him.
How I managed to survive and process it, yes, I guess you could say manipulation, Mann replied.
Rotunno also asked Mann about the day of the alleged rape, citing the testimony he gave on Friday in which he said his worst nightmare would be for her friend and her agent to see her leave a hotel room with Weinstein.
Your worst nightmare, Jessica, in your words, was not the fact that you were just taken against your will in a hotel, Rotunno said. His words.
The abuse is shameful, so yes, Mann said.
Rotunno went on to show Mann friendly emails that he sent to Weinstein after the alleged violation, including one in which he gave him his new contact information and said he would be happy to see his smile.
Mann said he sent flattering messages to Weinstein to avoid angering him and proving that it was not a threat.