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. Lauren Young, a model and actor from Pennsylvania, said that a female acquaintance and Mexican model Claudia Salinas invited her to a meeting with Weinstein in a Beverly Hills hotel in 2013.
Young met Weinstein in the hotel lobby hoping to pitch a script she had been working on when the film producer mentioned about reality TV show America’s Next Top Model and suggested that she might be able to join it. According to Young’s testimony, Weinstein asked them to accompany into his hotel room and then lured the actor in his bathroom.
The 30-year-old said that the encounter suddenly turned coercive when she saw Salinas closing the bathroom door with her and Weinstein still inside. “I felt so trapped and I was in shock,” Young told the jurors. Young further claimed that the disgraced film producer, who was already standing naked in the bathroom, pushed the actor against the sink, pulled down her white lace dress and started masturbating.
Young told jurors that she kept telling him, “‘no, no, no’, the whole time,” and that she had a boyfriend. According to the actor, Weinstein said, “This is what all actresses do to make it.”
On February 4, a key accuser in the case testified that Weinstein forced her to perform sexual acts and raped her twice over the period of an ‘abusive relationship’. Weinstein’s lawyers have suggested that the 34-year-old former actress was in a consensual relationship with the film producer.
“I know the history of my relationship with him. I know it was complicated and difficult. But that doesn’t change the fact that he raped me,” said the former actress.
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. The Hollywood mogul has already been charged with sex crimes in separate cases in Los Angeles. 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.
(With inputs from agencies)