LOS ANGELES (CN) — A former actress testified Monday that disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein sexually assaulted her twice, once when she was an aspiring young actress in 1991 and a second time 17 years later when she was with her family at the same Toronto hotel he was staying at.
Kelley S. is one of the uncharged victims called to testify at Weinstein's criminal trial in Los Angeles. Weinstein isn't charged with assaulting them but their testimony is being allowed in to bolster the prosecution's case that he assaulted four women in the LA area following a similar modus operandi.
S. told the jury Monday that she was an ambitious, 24-year-old actress, new to industry, when was first introduced to Weinstein in 1991 at the Toronto International Film Festival. They met a party in the afternoon and Weinstein invited her to have a glass of wine nearby and continue their conversation.
"We got on very well," S. said. "We were discussing books and films — just a nice conversation."
However, that changed when the producer asked her to come to his room at the Four Seasons hotel to show her a movie script in which, he told her, there could be a part for her. Once at his room, Weinstein disappeared into the bathroom only to reappear naked except for his shirt and holding a hot face cloth which, after pulling up her skirt, he put on her vagina, she said.
"I was in shock, it was really unexpected," S. told the jury. "He was very aggressive and purposeful."
Weinstein then proceeded to perform oral sex on her while pushing her down on the bed, she said. Next, he got on top her and raped her, S. testified. At that point, she managed to get out from under him, grab her stuff, and flee the room, she said.
Although S. confided to a close friend of hers who was with her at the film festival, she didn't report the assault to the police. She said that she was too embarrassed and ashamed and that she was afraid of people knowing.
Weinstein started calling her afterward and, in response to her questions why he had raped her, told her that wasn't what happened and said that he loved her, S. testified. He paid for her to come to New York to meet with the woman who handled casting for his company in November 1991. S. said she brought a friend to stay with her at the hotel and to come along to a planned dinner with Weinstein the day before her audition, but that the producer never showed.
Early the next morning, however, Weinstein called her room from the hotel lobby and told her to get rid of her friend because he wanted to come up, she said. When she wouldn't allow him to come to her room he became angry and was shouting, S. said.
She didn't go to the audition, she said, and the experience made her give up on her fledgling acting career.
S. met Weinstein again in 2008 when she was staying at the Four Seasons with her husband and children and he was back for the film festival, she said. After a brief encounter with Weinstein in the hotel lobby, he sent his assistant over to where she was having a drink with a friend to ask her to come upstairs to see him.
S. said she intended to confront Weinstein about the rape 17 years ago, but when she got to his suite, he told his assistant to wait outside. And as she tried to ask him about what happened in 1991, S. testified, Weinstein shuttled her away from the door into the bathroom and began propositioning her for sex.
Weinstein started pulling at the tennis outfit she was wearing and grabbing at her breasts, S. said. He then started to masturbate in front of her while asking her to show him her breasts, she said.
Afterward, S. said, she was so embarrassed that she didn't tell her friends or husband. She didn't go to the police either that time, she said.
Under cross-examination by one of Weinstein's lawyer, S. acknowledged that after the second alleged assault at the Four Seasons, she accepted an invitation to come to a Weinstein party with her friends that evening, and that she thought it was a "coup" to get the invitation. At the party, S. said she spent time talking with Weinstein's assistant, Victoria, who had brought her to his suite and who waited outside while he assaulted her.
Weinstein's attorney, Mark Werksman, told the jury last week that the assaults Weinstein is charged with either never happened or were consensual sexual encounters.
According to the attorney, the #MeToo movement, which was launched in 2017 by the revelations about Weinstein, meant that women, who before were willing to have sex with the producer in exchange for his help advancing their careers, now portrayed themselves as his victims.
Werksman referred to the Hollywood "casting couch" as the accepted norm for decades whereby men like Weinstein and up-and-coming young women looking to break into the entertainment industry engaged in what he said was consensual, transactional sex.
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