“Another bimbo who slept with Harvey”

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The expected personal attacks on Jen Ziebel News are even more personal than expected in the Weinstein rape trial, with Weinstein’s lawyer calling her “just another deserter who slept with Harvey Weinstein to get ahead” in front of a judge and jury.

In the current rape trial of Harvey Weinstein in Los Angeles (he was found guilty and sentenced to 23 years in a separate trial in Manhattan in 2020), the disgraced former Hollywood mogul now faces 12 felony counts, including rape, sexual assault and forcible oral sex with five different women. Most of these accusers remain anonymous, but earlier this month we learned that California’s first partner, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, was calling himself one of the accusers. And because of the name recognition of her husband, Governor Gavin Newsom (and track record of personal baggage), we waited Amber Heard 2.0 style attacks from defending Weinstein from that couple.

But we didn’t expect Weinstein’s lawyer to tell a judge and jury in a courtroom that Newsom Ziebel was “just another chick who slept with Harvey Weinstein to get ahead.” Nevertheless, Variety reports this is exactly what happened in opening statements Monday.

The prosecution’s arguments were apparently more favorable to the five accusers, Ziebel Newsom being one of two who named themselves. “Each of these women came forward independently of each other, and none of them knew each other,” Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Paul Thompson told the court. Explaining why they waited until the #MeToo revelations of 2017 to press charges, he said: “They were afraid he might destroy their careers if they told what he had done to them.”

Weinstein’s lawyer, Paul Werksman, said the encounters were all consensual, calling Weinstein’s alleged rape by Ziebel News in 2005 “transactional sex” and adding: “Everybody was doing it. He did it. They did it.” He said of Ziebel Newsom that she was “Hollywood’s representative” and if she hadn’t been married to Gavin Newsom, “she would have been just another deserter who slept with Harvey Weinstein to get ahead.”

Werksman also said that Gavin Newsom took campaign donations from Weinstein and that the pair attended one of Weinstein’s parties in 2007, when Newsom was still mayor of San Francisco. “She brought her husband to a meeting and a party with the rapist. Who does this?” The worker told the court about this. “He took money from his wife’s rapist for his political campaigns.”

Is Paul Werksman a good lawyer? Like, can you call a woman who claims to be a rape victim a “dummy” in order to get an acquittal? Well, according to the AP, the jury is out nine men and three women, so perhaps this is Werksman’s calculation. The trial is expected to last about two months, so we’ll see if this tactic works. And we’re likely to see more stunning downward strikes on victims during these trials.

On the subject: The 2005 Gavin Newsom case is back in the news thanks to the new Harvey Weinstein trial [SFist]


Image: LOS ANGELES, CA – JANUARY 18: California First Lady Jennifer Siebel Newsom speaks at the 4th Annual Women’s March LA: Women Rising in Pershing Square on January 18, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Sarah Morris/Getty Images)

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