Harvey Weinstein will not testify at his sexual assault and rape trial in Los Angeles, which could be in the hands of a jury by the end of this week.
The disgraced Hollywood mogul also declined to testify in his New York trial in 2020, so it was expected that he would not testify at this one.
Weinstein’s defense attorneys began presenting their case today on the sex-related charges involving four women, including California Governor Gavin Newsom‘s wife, by attempting to poke holes in testimony by Jane Doe No. 1.
Mark Werksman told the judge on Monday morning that his client would not be taking the stand at the trial, which Weinstein confirmed, telling the judge that he opted not to testify.
Weinstein’s defense is expected to rest their case by Wednesday of this week.
Weinstein, 70, is already serving a 23-year prison sentence for sex crimes in New York, and now faces seven additional felony rape and assault counts.
Prosecutors said that after getting a massage from Jane Doe 3 at a California hotel in Beverly Hills in May of 2010, a naked Weinstein followed her into the bathroom and masturbated
Mark Werksman attorney for Harvey Weinstein leaves the Los Angeles Superior Courthouse on November 28, 2022 in Los Angeles, California.Frederick M. Brown for DailyMail.com
‘I want you to understand that you have an absolute right to testify,’ Judge Lisa B. Lench told Weinstein in the Los Angeles courtroom on Monday morning.
She also told Weinstein that he has the right not to testify.
‘Yes,’ Weinstein responded, confirming to the judge that he understands his rights, but that he has decided not to testify.
The confirmation came as Weinstein’s defense team began their case, which they are expected to wrap up this week after calling six witnesses.
Three different witnesses were called to the stand on Monday to testify about allegations from Jane Doe No. 1. The woman testified earlier in the trial that Weinstein raped her and forced her to perform oral sex in February 2013.
She said the alleged incident happened at her hotel, Mr. C Beverly Hills, following the Los Angeles Italia Film Festival, where she was a VIP guest.
‘He just walked in,’ she testified, claiming Weinstein forced his way into her hotel room in the middle of the night.
‘I didn’t understand what was going on … I remember thinking, ‘Did he follow me?’ I don’t know him.’
The woman said she asked Weinstein to leave, but then she froze because she said she was scared he was going to kill her.
‘I was panicking and started crying … He didn’t care,’ she said. ‘I wanted to die. It was disgusting. It was humiliating.’
On cross-examination, Weinstein’s attorney Alan Jackson asked her: ‘You stayed in the very room where you say you were attacked and victimized?’ The woman conceded that she had.
On Monday, Weinstein’s defense called the former general manager of Mr. C’s who worked at the hotel at the time of the alleged assault, who confirmed that Jane Doe No. 1 stayed at the same hotel weeks after the alleged assault.
The woman first reported the alleged assault in 2017, telling the jury that she only came forward because her daughter Maria, who was also a victim of sexual assault, encouraged her to do so.
On Monday, Beverly Hills PD Detective Stephanie Frias was called to the stand by the defense team. Frias had interviewed Jane Doe No. 1’s daughter in 2017 when she reported her own assault that allegedly occurred at her high school.
The defense asked the detective if Jane Doe No. 1 had said anything about being a victim of sexual assault when she went with her daughter to file the report.
‘Did Jane Doe No. 1 ever tell you or mention to you her own victimization?’ Jackson asked.
Frias responded, ‘According to my report, no.’
Prosecutor Paul Thompson later asked the detective: ‘Jane Doe No. 1 was focused on the situation with her daughter?’
The detective responded: ‘Correct.’
Weinstein is charged with crimes against four women: one a model, another a model and actor, a third a massage therapist.
The fourth, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, a documentary filmmaker who was an actor at the time of her alleged rape and is now married to California Gov. Gavin Newsom, provided the most dramatic moments at the trial so far with her emotional testimony.
Four other women who are not involved with the charges testified that Weinstein sexually assaulted them, as prosecutors sought to show he had a propensity for such acts.
Earlier this month, Judge Lench denied a motion from Weinstein’s lawyers to dismiss all of the counts against Weinstein, which they said prosecutors failed to prove.
One of Weinstein’s accusers, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, a documentary filmmaker who was an actor at the time of her alleged rape and is now married to California Gov. Gavin Newsom, provided the most dramatic moments at the trial so far with her emotional testimony
Jennifer Siebel Newsom is pictured with her husband California Gov. Gavin Newsom and Vice President Kamala Harris in 2021
WEINSTEIN’S REMAINING SEVEN FELONY CHARGES
- Forced oral copulation, forcible rape, penetration with a foreign object involving Jane Doe 1
- Sexual battery by restraint involving Jane Doe 2
- Sexual battery by restraint involving Jane Doe 3
- Forced oral copulation and forcible rape involving Jane Doe 4
Before the week-long break, the judge warned jurors not to consume any trial-related media singling out ‘any movie trailers that may be related to this case or movies that may be related to this case – well, not related to this case, but related to this issue.’
Without saying the name of the movie, she was clearly referring to the new release of ‘She Said,’ a film about the New York Times reporting of the 2017 stories that put Weinstein at the center of the #MeToo movement.
Once the jury was excused, Weinstein’s lawyer entered a new not guilty plea for him to an amended indictment that drops four of the 11 previous counts against him.
The move became necessary when prosecutors said earlier this week that the accuser known in court as Jane Doe #5 would not be appearing to testify and that the counts would no longer be pursued. They would not give a reason when asked.
Weinstein spokesman Juda Engelmayer said in response to the dropped charges that ‘this witness could have felt uneasy about being scrutinized knowing the truth of the matter.’
Nor did prosecutors explain why Mel Gibson was missing. They never called the actor, director and one of the trial’s most anticipated witnesses to the stand.
The judge had ruled at the start of a trial that Gibson could testify about a conversation he had with the massage therapist Weinstein is charged with sexually assaulting.
Mel Gibson (pictured in April 2022) will not testify at Weinstein’s trial, despite the judge ruling he could tell the court what he learned from one of the disgraced movie mogul’s accusers
Jane Doe 3 said the alleged assault occurred after a massage session at the Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills in 2010 when a naked Weinstein followed her into the bathroom and masturbated
In moving to have them dismissed, Weinstein attorney Alan Jackson went through the seven remaining counts against his client and provided a likely preview of the defense’s closing arguments.
Jackson said the allegations that in 2013 Weinstein raped and sexually assaulted an Italian model known at the trial as Jane Doe 1 were especially unfounded, arguing that there is no convincing evidence that ‘the interlude occurred at all.’
Jackson said there was no evidence that there was ‘any restraint whatsoever,’ as required for a count of sexual battery, in the part of the case involving model Lauren Young.
Young, the only Weinstein accuser to testify at his trials in both New York and Los Angeles, said she was paralyzed by fear when Weinstein blocked her from leaving the bathroom, masturbated in front of her and groped her breasts in a hotel in 2013.
Jackson said there was ample evidence, including emails the two exchanged in the ensuing years, that Siebel Newsom and Weinstein had a consensual sexual encounter that she later reframed as rape.
‘The defendant’s motion is denied,’ Lench responded. ‘I think there is enough evidence to send all these counts to the jury, and I will do so.’
Weinstein is two years into a 23-year sentence for his conviction in New York and has been held in a Los Angeles jail throughout the trial.
TESTIMONY FROM THE FOUR JANE DOE ACCUSERS IN HARVEY WEINSTEIN’S LA RAPE TRIAL
Jane Doe No. 1 – Unidentified Italian actress
An Italian model and actress testified that Harvey Weinstein raped her in a hotel bathroom in 2013 when she attended the Los Angeles Italia Film Festival.
She claimed that he forced her to perform oral sex on him as he had problems maintaining an erection.
‘I was kind of hysterical through tears,’ she said. ‘I kept saying ‘no, no, no.’
She said she physically feared Weinstein, who outweighed her by 100 pounds or more.
She said by the time Weinstein took her into the bathroom to rape her, she stopped physically resisting, though still objected verbally.
Jane Doe 2 – Lauren Young
Lauren Young alleged that Weinstein masturbated in front of her and groped her breasts in a hotel bathroom during a meeting in 2013 that was to take place in a hotel lobby.
She said she was an aspiring actress at the time who had hoped to meet the former film producer about a script she wrote, when she claims actress Claudia Salinas locked her and Weinstein in the bathroom of the Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills.
Young said Weinstein started the shower and immediately took off his clothes.
‘I was disgusted,’ she continued. ‘I had never seen a big guy like that naked.
‘I actually laughed nervously and thought ‘no, no, no,” she added as she began to cry.
Young described Weinstein’s penis as ‘disgusting’ and said it looked like it ‘had been chopped off and sewn back on.’
‘I kept saying ‘no no no,’ she recounted. ‘He just ignored what I said.’
‘Everything happened so fast.’
Young said she backed up toward the sink and turned away from the movie mogul, but he unzipped the back of her dress and pulled it down to around her hips.
‘He was grabbing my breasts and jerking off, like squinting at me, not looking at me,’ she said. ‘Holding me there and talking to me.’
‘He was just masturbating and groping me.’
Young also previously testified during Weinstein’s New York trial in 2020.
Jane Doe 3
A massage therapist said Weinstein groped her and masturbated in front of her in a bathroom after one of their appointments in 2010.
She said when she went to wash her hands in the bathroom, the movie mogul barged in naked and began masturbating before pushing her up against a wall and groping underneath her shirt.
‘He went toward me in a very aggressive manner. He pushed me against the wall. That’s when he started to put his hand under my bra and feel my chest,’ she said.
‘I was terrified, I thought I was about to get raped,’ she said.
After he finished, the masseuse asked him ‘why did you do this to me?’ to which he responded ‘We’re close friends now, you have full access to me. I want to get you a book deal to write about massage.’
They had more massage sessions, where he again masturbated ‘about six feet away’ from her and asked her to watch him.
Jane Doe 4 – Jennifer Siebel Newsom
Jennifer Siebel Newsom testified that Weinstein raped her in 2005 when she was 31 and trying to build a career as an actor and producer.
She found herself unexpectedly alone with Weinstein in a suite at the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills, where she had agreed to join him for a meeting. She said she assumed others would be present and they would talk about her career.
He emerged from the bathroom in a robe with nothing underneath and began groping her while he masturbated. Siebel Newsom said she faked an orgasm to end her ordeal.
‘I was making some noises to get him to finish, he had already raped me.
Defense Attorney Mark Werksman asked her how she ‘indicated her pleasure’, resulting in a visibly appalled Newsom.
She responded, ‘This is not When Harry Met Sally. I’m not doing that.’
She, of course, was referencing the 1989 movie in which Meg Ryan’s character fakes an orgasm in a restaurant.
Under cross examination, Siebel Newsom told Marlene Martinez, deputy district attorney for Los Angeles County, that she was trying to regain control of her life.
When asked if it was her intent to ‘have sexual intercourse with Harvey Weinstein,’ she yelled ‘no’ as she sobbed on the stand.
Martinez asked if she told Weinstein no.
‘I did! I did with my voice and with my body.
‘I tried to be kind – I did by slamming my legs together.
‘I tried to get out of there, I tried, I tried so hard.’