A key accuser at Harvey Weinstein’s trial said her claims should not be dismissed just because she had a complicated relationship with the now-disgraced movie mogul. The woman returned for the final day of cross-examination, a day after breaking down in tears in the New York City courtroom, where Weinstein’s lawyers grilled the accuser for her friendly and affectionate messages and e-mails sent to the accused.
“I want the jury to know that he is my rapist,” the woman said firmly.
Weinstein’s lawyers have suggested that the 34-year-old former actress was in a consensual relationship with the film producer. They contend that the accuser manipulated Weinstein and had sexual encounters with him because she knew the perks of her relationship with the movie mogul.
“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 woman has 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.
Weinstein’s lawyer Donna Rotunno asked about the number of times the accuser had consensual sex with the film producer to which she said, “I only remember intercourse the times that he raped me.” Rotunno also questioned about her meetings after the alleged rapes and the reason to meet the accuser in 2016 in the same Beverly Hills hotel where she alleges to have been previously raped by Weinstein.
“I feel so fabulous and beautiful. Thank you for everything,” the woman sent an email to Weinstein after the hotel meeting.
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 AP inputs)