MANHATTAN (CN) — A former Los Angeles actress who has accused disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein of raping her seven years ago took the stand at his criminal trial Friday to recount her claims against the producer in graphic detail.
Jessica Mann had previously been unnamed in the criminal indictment against Harvey Weinstein until his trial in New York Supreme Court began on Jan. 7.
Weinstein faces one count each of rape in the first degree and rape in the third degree involving an alleged incident with Mann at the DoubleTree Hotel in Manhattan when she was a 27-year-old aspiring actress.
Now 34, Mann testified Friday that she first met Weinstein at a party in the Hollywood Hills sometime between late 2012 and early 2013.
Mann, who was raised in the evangelical church in a small dairy town before moving to L.A. at 25, said that she didn’t recognize the famed producer when she first met him at the party.
“He looked really jolly” and was wearing an ill-fitting coat at the party, she recalled with a hint of small-town naivety.
Weinstein told her, “I produced a lot of Oscar-winning films.” He mentioned “Shakespeare in Love,” Mann recalled.
After their first meeting, Weinstein and Mann next rendezvoused at Book Soup, an independent bookstore on Los Angeles’ famed Sunset Strip, where he bought her four books about the history of the film industry, Mann said.
“When I met Harvey, I had given up a lot to be in Hollywood,” she said of her sudden and fortuitous rapport with the famed producer as an aspiring actress. “I thought it was a blessing,” she said.
Weinstein then asked Mann to have dinner with him at the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills, where they ended up taking their meal in Weinstein’s suite.
Weinstein began undressing, Mann testified. “He said, ‘Let me give you a massage. Take off your shirt.'”
She said she objected. “He was making me feel stupid,” Mann testified. “Like I was making a big deal over nothing.”
If Mann wasn’t going to let Weinstein give her a massage, then she should give him one, Weinstein negotiated, already shirtless and holding lotion, according to her testimony.
Mann said she unenthusiastically gave the producer a massage, using “a flat palm, stiff fingers, and smeared it around.”
“He had a lot of blackheads and the texture of that was uncomfortable,” Mann testified, illustrating with her hands the awkwardness and revulsion of the forced massage.
Mann told jurors that Weinstein’s demeanor became “manipulative” when she objected to the sexualized encounter.
She testified that, following the massage incident, Weinstein lured her and a friend to his suite at the Montage Hotel to give them scripts for an upcoming movie project.
He did not present any scripts to the young actresses, Mann testified, but instead grabbed her and pulled her into the hotel bedroom.
Weinstein told her, “you’re going to let me do something do you,” she said.
“He went down on me,” Mann said tearfully. “He put his mouth on my vagina,” she clarified for the jury, holding her hands over her forehead and face.
“I kind of locked up and got really quiet,” she said. “I started to fake an orgasm to be out of it.”
When asked by Weinstein how she liked what had just occurred, Mann said she nervously replied: “the best I ever had.”
Mann said after the incident at the Montage Hotel, she was “horrified” and “confused” but made a deliberate decision to carry on some type of relationship with Weinstein.
“I saw him the way that I saw my father,” she said. “My dad has similar anger.”
“If [Weinstein] heard the word ‘no’ it was like a trigger for him,” Mann testified. “He also peed on me once,” she added.
While she repeatedly testified that she did not have any romantic or sexual interest in Weinstein, Mann said she assessed at the time that her relationship was comprised of “just oral sex.”
Once their relationship escalated, Mann testified that she was unsettled by her first sight of Weinstein’s naked body.
“I thought he was deformed and intersex,” Mann said. “He does not have testicles and it appears that he has a vagina,” she remarked.
Mann testified that she had made efforts to avoid Weinstein when she visited New York City for the first time, but ended up making plans to have breakfast with him on March 18, 2013.
Weinstein arrived early to the breakfast meeting at the DoubleTree Hotel and booked himself a room.
“So I go downstairs and when I get downstairs, Harvey is checking in to the hotel and I really freak out,” Mann testified. “I knew what he was trying to do.”
Weinstein put his arm around her and guided her up to the hotel room, Mann testified.
Once inside the hotel room, Mann said that she repeatedly tried to leave the room but Weinstein slammed the door closed every time.
“I gave up at that point and I undressed and he stood over me until I was completely naked and told me to lay on the bed,” she said.
Weinstein then retreated to the bathroom for several minutes.
“He came out naked and he got on top of me and that’s when he put himself inside of me, his penis inside of me.”
“I was laying completely on my back the whole time and he was completely laying on top of me, which is not very comfortable,” she said.
Mann had not had previously had sex with Weinstein until this incident, she testified.
She said she maintained minimal contact with Weinstein after the 2013 rape.
“Mostly on email,” she said, generally comprised of “a lot of flattery, mostly compliments.”
Pressed by prosecutors why she was flattering Weinstein, Mann replied, “You know that fairy tale ‘The Emperor With No Clothes’… his ego was really fragile.”
“I wanted to be perceived as innocent and naive and not a threat,” Mann testified. “I was afraid I would trigger anger.”
On cross-examination Friday afternoon, Weinstein’s defense attorney Donna Rotunno attempted to frame Mann as a lying manipulator who used Weinstein to advance her career.
“You liked being with the ‘Kingpin of Hollywood,'” Rotunno prodded Friday afternoon.
Weinstein’s defense will pick up cross-examination of Mann on Monday morning.
The former producer has pleaded not guilty in the case and denied all allegations of nonconsensual sex.
Weinstein, 67, faces a life sentence if convicted of the felony charges, including two counts of predatory sexual assault, two counts of criminal sexual act in the first degree, rape in the first degree, and rape in the third degree.