Harvey Weinstein’s victim Jennifer Siebel Newsom to testify

Harvey Weinstein’s victim Jennifer Siebel Newsom to testify

One of the Harvey Weinstein victims who will testify in his rape and sexual assault trial that started Monday is Jennifer Siebel Newsom, a documentary director and actress who is married to California Governor Gavin Newsom.

Elizabeth Fegan, Newsom’s lawyer, said in a statement, “Like many other women, my client was sexually assaulted by Harvey Weinstein during a claimed business meeting that turned out to be a trap.” In order to help survivors get some justice and as part of her life’s effort to better the lives of women, she plans to testify during his trial.

The 70-year-old former movie tycoon, Weinstein, has pleaded not guilty to 11 charges of rape and sexual assault involving Newsom and four other women. Weinstein is now serving a 23-year jail term after being found guilty in New York. In the eight-week trial in a Los Angeles court, where jury selection started on Monday, each of them will give testimony as Jane Doe.

The Associated Press typically does not identify those who claim to have experienced sexual abuse, but Newsom asked to be identified via her lawyer.

The Los Angeles Times broke the news of her participation first.

Between 2002 and 2011, Newsom, 48, made many brief film and television appearances. She just directed the films “Fair Play” from this year and “The Great American Lie” in 2020. Both discuss gender issues in society.

After the New York Times and New Yorker articles made Weinstein a target of the #MeToo movement, she wrote about her encounter with him in a 2017 column for the Huffington Post, but she provided little specifics.

Weinstein, who is being detained in a prison in Los Angeles County, was wheeled into court on Monday via a side door and gingerly stepped out of it to take a seat next to one of his attorneys at the defense table.

He was wearing a blue suit, which he is permitted to change into during the trial in place of his prison garb.

When the first panel of 67 potential jurors entered the room, he rose with the rest of the audience but eventually sat down. When his attorneys formally introduced them, he waved at them from his seat.

A comprehensive questionnaire was presented to the jury members in an effort to weed out any candidates for dismissal.

The questionnaire’s questions and responses are both kept confidential, but earlier hearings on its contents revealed that it asks respondents whether they have seen much coverage of Weinstein in the media and whether they have formed opinions as a result. However, the judge rejected inquiries about specific stories and media outlets.

Parts of Weinstein’s conviction for rape and sexual assault, for which the state’s highest court consented to hear his appeal, will be admissible as evidence by the prosecution.

The questionnaire also asks about a California statute that allows a jury to convict a defendant based only on the testimony of a sexual assault victim.

In order to ascertain if they had any connections to the accusers, the jurors were also given a lengthy list of the witnesses who would testify during the next trial.

More than 270 people were initially listed as witnesses in the case, but less than half of them are anticipated. The majority of the potential witness list is still confidential.

A judge informed one witness, Barbara Schneeweiss, a producer for “Project Runway” and other television programs, that she was on call and might appear in court at any moment.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, two further panels of up to 75 jurors will be brought in. Opening remarks may not start for two weeks and individual jury questioning is not anticipated to start until the next week.

The trial takes place five years after the #MeToo movement erupted in response to women’s accounts of Weinstein.

Four allegations of rape and seven more counts of sexual assault are brought against Weinstein.

Like Newsom, Weinstein utilized Beverly Hills and Los Angeles as his California headquarters, where he could be seen during award season and throughout the year.

Most of the episodes in his indictment occurred there under the pretense of business meetings.

Four of these happened in the week leading up to the 2013 Oscars, when Weinstein released “Silver Linings Playbook” and “Django Unchained” would take home the best picture prize.

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