Harvey Weinstein’s lawyer clashed with rape accuser Jane Doe 1 in a fiery cross-examination session Wednesday, inferring that the Italian model and actress lied to police about the disgraced producer’s testicles, changed her testimony before a grand jury and was having a “relationship” with the head of the LA Italia Film Festival where the alleged assault took place.
Jane Doe 1 had already endured two days of graphic testimony, occasionally breaking down on the stand while telling how Weinstein – whom she knew only casually and “barely” spoke with that night – tracked down her hotel room, talked his way in and brazenly raped her despite her crying and vigorous protests.
Alan Jackson, attorney for Weinstein’s defense in the Los Angeles trial, spent much of Wednesday morning grilling Jane Doe 1 about Weinstein’s testicles – which by the time of the 2013 incident had been surgically relocated to the inner thighs. Jackson focused on discrepancies between what she told police after the alleged rape at the Mr. C hotel in Beverly Hills during LA Italia fest, and what she tested before a grand jury.
Jackson says she told police “that (Weinstein) specifically asked you to play with his balls?”
“It wasn’t just [the only] request … I was trying to do what he wanted,” she replied.
Jackson pressed her on that detail – saying she had told police that she put her testicles in her mouth, but not the grand jury.
“I cannot agree with that,” Jane Doe replied.
“You changed your testimony, didn’t you?” Jackson barked.
“Never!” Jane Doe retorted.
“You completely ommitted any reference to his testicles being in your mouth,” Jackson snapped back.
“In the grand jury they don’t let you talk, only answer question,” she parried.
Jackson tried to pick apart Jane Doe 1’s account of the day after the alleged rape, when she said she stayed her room all day drinking. When the lawyer noted that there was no alcohol on her hotel receipt, the witness said she doesn’t charge everything to her room.
“I love cash money,” she said, getting a smattering of laughs from the room.
Jackson tried then to get Jane Doe 1 to admit that she was seeing the head of the Italia film fest, Pascale Vicidomine. He inferred that she had spent a night in his suite, that she was his personal guest, and that she’d been getting rides in his limousine.
“You had a relationship with Pascale,” Jackson said.
That drew an objection from the prosecution, sparking a sidebar with the judge. After 15 minutes of quiet negotiating, the judge called a recess, telling the jury:
“We did a lot of work to try and ensure certain things didn’t happen … however, sometimes these things do because this is real life.”
Weinstein faces 11 charges of sexual assault from allegations spanning from 2004-2013. The trial is expected to last into December after a two-week jury selection process seated a panel last Thursday of nine men and three women. Weinstein could face up to 140 years in prison if convicted.
He is already serving 23 years in a New York prison for criminal first-degree sexual assault and third-degree rape, a conviction he has been granted the right to appeal. Weinstein has maintained his innocence since the New York Times first published accusations against him five years ago this month.
More to come…