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Woman testifies Harvey Weinstein rape filled her with guilt

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A woman who says Harvey Weinstein raped her in 2013 testified Tuesday that she felt feelings of guilt and disgust shortly after she let him into her hotel room and lasted for years.

The woman, a Rome-based model and actor who was in Los Angeles for a film festival at the time, said she began drinking heavily the following day.

“I destroyed myself,” she said. “I felt very guilty. Mostly because I opened that door.”

The woman was the first of eight Weinstein accusers scheduled to testify in a Los Angeles courtroom, where the 70-year-old film mogul is on trial on multiple counts of rape and sexual assault. Weinstein, who is already serving a 23-year sentence based on a New York conviction, has pleaded not guilty.

Most of the women said their assaults began with supposed business meetings with Weinstein in hotels. However, the woman, who testified on Tuesday, said she was stunned to have him knock on her door late one night in February 2013, after only briefly meeting him at the Los Angeles Italia film festival that evening.

Staying at the hotel under an alias, she said she had no idea how Weinstein even knew her room number and that she initially let him through her door, not believing it was harmful. That quickly changed when Weinstein became sexually aggressive, she said.

The woman, whose native language is Russian, said her English was very poor at the time, although it has improved significantly since then, and she thought she might have made herself understood.

“I felt guilty because I did or said something that made him think something could happen between us,” she said.

She said Weinstein forced her to perform oral sex on her hotel bed.

“I was kind of hysterical with tears,” she said. “I always said ‘no, no, no’.”

She said she was physically afraid of Weinstein, who outweighed her by 100 pounds or more.

She said she was considering running away or hitting or biting him.

Assistant District Attorney Paul Thompson asked why she didn’t do it.

“I don’t know,” she replied. “I regret that very much.”

She said that when Weinstein took her into the bathroom to rape her, she stopped struggling physically, although she still objected verbally.

“I would just freeze like my body wasn’t listening,” she said.

She said she struggled to face her children after the incident and felt the need to confess to her Russian Orthodox priest. Prosecutors asked the priest to testify, but he refused, citing religious privilege. The woman’s daughter, now 21, is expected to testify later.

The woman occasionally cried during her testimony, but for the most part remained composed and looked down when she got emotional to collect herself.

A day earlier, in her account of the attack, she sobbed so hard that the court was adjourned a few minutes earlier.

“I want to apologize for my breakdown yesterday,” she said as she returned to the stands on Tuesday. “Unfortunately, I can’t control that.”

The defense was scheduled to cross-examine the woman either later Tuesday or Wednesday.

In his opening remarks, Weinstein’s attorney, Mark Werksman, said many of the cases his client faces are in fact consensual sex, which his accusers reformulated after it became the lightning rod of the #MeToo movement in 2017.

But in the case of the woman who testified Tuesday, Werksman denied the events in her hotel room even took place.

The woman’s name will not be released in court. She is referred to as “Jane Doe 1”.

The AP typically doesn’t name people who say they’ve been sexually abused unless they come forward publicly.


Follow AP Entertainment writer Andrew Dalton on Twitter: twitter.com/andyjamesdalton


For more information on Harvey Weinstein’s trial, visit: https://apnews.com/hub/harvey-weinstein

Andrew Dalton, The Associated Press

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