Weinstein is accused with four charges of rape and seven other counts of sexual assault. Now, it’s been disclosed that Gavin Newsom’s wife was raped by Harvey Weinstein.
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Jennifer Siebel Newsom, a documentary director and actor married to California Gov. Gavin Newsom, is one of Harvey Weinstein’s accusers who will testify in his rape and sexual assault trial, which began Monday, according to her counsel.
“Like many other women, my client was sexually assaulted by Harvey Weinstein at a purported business meeting that turned out to be a trap,” Newsom’s attorney Elizabeth Fegan said in a statement. “She intends to testify at his trial in order to seek some measure of justice for survivors, and as part of her life’s work to improve the lives of women.”
Weinstein, the 70-year-old disgraced hollywood tycoon undergoing a 23-year jail sentence following a New York conviction, has pleaded not guilty to 11 charges of rape and sexual assault involving Newsom and four other women. During the eight-week prosecution in a Los Angeles court, where jury selection commenced Monday, all of them will testify as Jane Doe.
The Associated Press generally does not identify people who claim to have been sexually abused, but Newsom consented to be identified via her attorney.
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The Los Angeles Times published the story of her involvement first.
Between 2002 and 2011, Newsom, 48, made numerous brief film and television appearances. She recently directed the documentaries “Fair Play” from this year and “The Great American Lie” in 2020. Both discuss gender issues in society.
After the New York Times and New Yorker articles rendered Weinstein a target of the #MeToo movement, she wrote about her experiences with him in a 2017 column for the Huffington Post, but she provided little details.
Weinstein, who is being detained in a Los Angeles County jail, was wheeled into court on Monday through a side entrance and gently got into a seat next to one of his lawyers at the defense table. He was dressed in a blue suit, which he was permitted to change into from his cell clothing throughout the trial.
When the initial panel of 67 potential jurors was ushered in, he rose with the rest of the room, but sat down approximately midway through the process. After his attorneys introduced them, he waved at them from his seat.
A comprehensive questionnaire was distributed to the jurors in order to screen out those who should be disqualified. Both the inquiries and responses on the forms are private, but previous hearings on their contents revealed that they include questions about how much media coverage of Weinstein they have seen and whether they have established opinions based on it, though the judge rejected questions about specific stories and media outlets.
The prosecution will be permitted to enter portions of Weinstein’s rape and sexual assault conviction as proof at the state’s highest court, which has accepted to hear his appeal.
The survey also contains a question concerning a California law that states that a sexual assault victim’s testimony alone can be adequate evidence to convict if a juror believes them.
The jurors were also given a huge list of names of witnesses in the upcoming trial, including those of the accusers, to see whether they had any ties to them. The first witness list in the case included more than 270 individuals, although it was less than half of what was expected. The majority of the potential witness list is not public.
A judge informed one witness, Barbara Schneeweiss, a producer for “Project Runway” and other television programs, that she was on call and might need to make a court appearance at any moment.
Tuesday and Wednesday will see the arrival of two more panels of up to 75 jurors. Individual juror questioning is not scheduled to commence until next week, and opening statements may not begin for another two weeks.
The trial takes place five years after women’s claims about Weinstein sparked the #MeToo movement.
Weinstein is accused with four charges of rape and seven other counts of sexual assault.
The majority of the instances in his indictment, like Newsom’s, occurred during business meetings at luxury hotels in Beverly Hills and Los Angeles, which Weinstein treated as his California headquarters and where he could be seen during awards season and throughout the year. Four of these happened during Oscars week in 2013, when Weinstein’s “Silver Linings Playbook” and “Django Unchained” won Academy Awards.