Weinstein Accuser: ‘I Want the Jury to Know He Is My Rapist’
(Bloomberg) -- One day after the woman who says Harvey Weinstein raped her in Manhattan in 2013 broke down on the witness stand, she returned to describe how she continued to have sexual encounters with the producer years after the alleged attack.
Jessica Mann, who collapsed in sobs Monday after defense lawyer Donna Rotunno asked her about sexual abuse earlier in her life, prompting the judge to end the day an hour early, was back on the stand Tuesday for her third day of cross-examination.
Rotunno, highlighting inconsistencies in Mann’s testimony and gaps in her memory, showed Mann and the jury dozens of emails, some fond or effusive, that Mann sent Weinstein as an aspiring actor from 2013 through 2017. The lawyer noted that Mann had asked Weinstein for a reference to join a private club in Los Angeles.
“You want the ladies and gentlemen of the jury to know” that she asked for a reference from “your rapist?” Rotunno asked Mann.
“I do want the jury to know that he is my rapist, and I hope I can continue to explain the dynamic of why I engaged with him,” Mann responded. “I mean, he raped me. It’s irrelevant.”
Mann, 34, is the fifth accuser to testify at Weinstein’s New York state trial. Weinstein, 67, has been charged with rape and predatory sexual assault for alleged attacks on Mann and Miriam Haley and could go to prison for the rest of his life if convicted. He maintains the encounters were consensual.
At one point on Tuesday, Rotunno asked Mann whether she had been diagnosed with “mixed depressed mood and anxiety disorder.” Mann acknowledged a “panic disorder” and said she’d had “suicidal thoughts” and had been “depressed” and “engaged in self-harm.”
Asked if she’d been diagnosed with “borderline personality disorder,” she said no.
“Have you expressed anger?” Rotunno asked.
“Are you my psychiatrist?” Mann responded.
Mann, who grew up in an evangelical family on a dairy farm in Washington state and left home as a teenager to try her hand at acting, had told the panel on Friday that Weinstein raped her at the DoubleTree Hotel in midtown Manhattan in March 2013 after a consensual relationship that didn’t include intercourse.
On Tuesday, Rotunno brought up Mann’s continued encounters with Weinstein, including at the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills, where Mann says he raped her again, in late 2013, after she told him she was dating an actor, enraging him.
Four years later, in April 2017, Mann emailed Weinstein, “I feel so fabulous and beautiful THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING!” Rotunno asked Mann if she was thanking him for a sex act. Mann said nothing of the kind had happened at the time of the email.
“The last sexual tryst situation I remember with him was when his mom died” in November 2016, Mann said. She told the jury his staff reached out to her, saying Weinstein was grief-stricken and needed her to console him. Mann said she went to see him at his hotel.
“When I got there he was naked on the bed and all he wanted to do is something sexual,” she testified, telling the jurors she agreed to an encounter that she limited to oral sex.
Late Tuesday, Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzzi showed the jury nude photos of Weinstein, apparently to confirm characteristics of his body described by some of the witnesses, such as a scar Mann said she saw.
The case is People v. Weinstein, 450293/2018, New York State Supreme Court (Manhattan).
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