The first defence witness in Harvey Weinstein’s rape trial acknowledged sending messages to the disgraced film producer in which he had called the accusers “dog pile”. Paul Feldsher, a former agent who once knew the actor Annabella Sciorra, took the witness stand on February 6 and testified that he had scolded Weinstein for “behaving like a cad” but also stuck up for him.
“I think the dog pile of actresses who are suddenly brave and recalling repressed memories is hideous,” Feldsher had sent the message of Weinstein.
Sciorra had earlier testified that Weinstein forcefully entered her apartment on a winter night of 1993 or 1994 and violently raped her. The defence was dependent on Feldsher account in which the former actor supposedly told him that she had “done this crazy thing with Harvey”. “My understanding was that she fooled around with him,” Feldsher testified.
Weinstein is accused of raping a woman in a Manhattan hotel room in 2013 and sexually assaulting another in 2006 but the movie mogul has denied all allegations and pleaded not guilty. The Hollywood mogul has already been charged with sex crimes in separate cases in Los Angeles.
A key accuser at Harvey Weinstein’s trial said that her claims should not be dismissed just because she had a complicated relationship with the disgraced movie mogul. The woman testified that Weinstein forced her to perform sexual acts and raped her twice over the period of ‘abusive relationship’. She has also accused Weinstein of raping her months later at a Beverly Hills hotel but she is not sure about pursuing the charges there.
On February 5, the sixth and the last accuser in Harvey Weinstein’s New York City trial testified that the movie mogul masturbated in front of her while groping her breasts in a hotel. The defence lawyers have focussed on the allegations of the woman to make it a basis for some of the most serious charges against Weinstein.
(With AP inputs)