The massage therapist says the shame of Weinstein’s attack kept her quiet
A massage therapist has testified that the humiliation and shame she felt after repeatedly allowing herself to be alone after being sexually assaulted by Harvey Weinstein kept her quiet for years.
The woman testified that in 2010, when she was 28, after meeting Weinstein briefly through a friend, she was hired to give him a massage in his hotel room in Beverly Hills.
She cut the meeting short after about 40 minutes, and while she was washing her hands in the bathroom, Weinstein walked in, closed the door and masturbated in front of her.
I panicked. I thought I was going to be abused.Jane Doe
“I said, ‘What are you doing?'” the woman recalled saying as she sat on the witness stand at the 70-year-old former movie mogul’s trial in Los Angeles.
“That’s not fair! Can you please go into another room and put on your clothes?”
She began to cry, saying: “I was terrified. I thought I was going to be raped.
She said Weinstein was closing the door then pushed her against a wall and grabbed her breasts before finishing.
“I was in shock. I felt frozen, I felt paralyzed. I was trying to understand,” she said.
The woman, who is suing Jane Doe, was the second of five women accused of sexual assault by Weinstein to take the stand at his trial.
The Associated Press typically does not name people who say they have been sexually assaulted.
The woman said Weinstein repeatedly called and texted her after the incident.
A month or so later, she reluctantly agreed to meet him again with the assurance that there would be no sexual contact. But Weinstein undressed and exposed himself to her during the massage, she testified.
She later saw Weinstein again, only to work on an injured foot, but when he was done, he began masturbating in front of her again.
She said she refused to take any money, crying that she was “disgusted. Disgusted that this happened to me, and I just stood there.”
“That’s one of the reasons I didn’t want to come forward,” she said, “because it’s embarrassing.”
She said she saw Weinstein again several months later, when he introduced her to a friend who was publishing a coffee table book about Los Angeles.
She thought she could get away with being alone with him, but when Weinstein asked her to speak alone, he resumed masturbating and moved toward her, grabbing her breasts again.
“This time I screamed.” she said.
Asked why she didn’t go to the police, she said, “I was humiliated, I was scared.”
“I work on high-end clients who trust me,” she said.
“If I said publicly that I was sexually assaulted by Harvey Weinstein, and I didn’t win, I wouldn’t be able to work with high-profile clients and that’s all I do.”
When she finally went to the police years later, she only told them about the first incident. He told others slowly only in conversations with authorities and in testimony to the grand jury that indicted Weinstein.
He has been charged with one count of sexual battery against the woman and faces a total of 11 counts of rape and sexual assault in California.
He is serving a 23-year sentence after being convicted in New York.
Weinstein has pleaded not guilty and denies engaging in any non-consensual sex.
The woman’s willingness to see Weinstein again after the initial alleged assault is likely to be at the center of cross-examination by his defense on Thursday.
She said the first person she told about the assault was actor Mel Gibson, a client and a friend of hers.
He is expected to testify later in the trial.
The problem came to light, unintentionally, when she was giving Gibson a massage and the actor-director made a film in which she was working with Weinstein.
“I went into shock and I started crying,” she said.
“He was the first person I finally opened up about. I told him he sexually assaulted me, but I didn’t want to go into all the details, I was embarrassed and humiliated.