LOS ANGELES – A massage therapist testified Wednesday that the humiliation and embarrassment she felt at allowing herself to be repeatedly alone with Harvey Weinstein after he sexually assaulted her kept her silent about it for years.
The woman testified that in 2010, when she was 28, after briefly meeting Weinstein through a friend, she was hired to go to his Beverly Hills hotel room to give him a massage.
He broke the appointment after about 40 minutes, and while she was in the bathroom washing her hands, Weinstein walked in, blocked the door, and began masturbating in front of her.
“I said, ‘What are you doing?'” the woman recalled while taking the stand at the 70-year-old former film magnate’s trial in Los Angeles. “That’s not appropriate! Can you please go back to the other room and get dressed?”
She started crying as she said, “I was scared. I thought I was about to be raped.”
She said Weinstein blocked the door, then pushed her against a wall and fondled her breasts before she was done.
“I was shocked. I felt frozen, I felt paralyzed. I tried to understand,” she said.
The woman being led into court by Jane Doe was the second of five women accused of sexual assault by Weinstein to make a stand at his trial.
The Associated Press does not typically credit people who say they have been sexually abused.
The woman said Weinstein repeatedly called and texted her after the incident.
A month or so later, she reluctantly agreed to see him again, with assurances that there would be no sexual contact. But Weinstein opened his robe and exposed himself to him during this massage, she testified.
She saw Weinstein again later only to work on an injured foot, but once she was done he started masturbating in front of her again.
She refused to take any money, she said, and cried as she said she was “disgusted. Disgusted that this just happened to me and I just stood there.”
“That’s one of the reasons I didn’t want to come forward,” she said, “because it’s embarrassing.”
She said she saw Weinstein again a few months later when she introduced him to a friend who was publishing an illustrated book about Los Angeles. She thought she could avoid being alone with him, but Weinstein asked to speak to her alone, he started masturbating again, walked up to her and grabbed her breasts again.
“This time I screamed.” She said.
When asked why she didn’t go to the police, she said, “I was humiliated, I was scared.”
“I work with high-end clients who trust me,” she said. “If I had made it public that I was sexually assaulted by Harvey Weinstein and I hadn’t won, I wouldn’t have been able to work with high profile clients and that’s all I work with.”
When she finally went to the police years later, she only told her about the first incident. She was slow to reveal the others in interviews with authorities and in testimony before the grand jury that indicted Weinstein.
He faces one charge of sexual assault against the woman and faces a total of 11 rapes and sexual assaults in California. He is serving a 23-year sentence based on a New York conviction.
Weinstein has pleaded not guilty and has denied engaging in non-consensual sex.
The woman’s willingness to see Weinstein again after the initial alleged attack will likely be the focus of her cross-examination Thursday by his defense attorneys.
She said the first person she told about the attack was actor Mel Gibson, one of her clients and a friend. He is scheduled to testify later in the trial.
The issue inevitably arose when she was giving Gibson a massage and the actor-director brought up a film he might be working on with Weinstein.
“I went into shock and started crying,” she said. “He was the first person I finally spoke to about what happened. I told him he had sexually abused me, but I didn’t want to go into all the details, I was embarrassed and humiliated.”
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