The final accuser at Harvey Weinstein’s rape trial testified Wednesday that he stripped off his clothes, pulled down her dress and groped her breast in a hotel bathroom in 2013, all the while telling her his lewd acts were part of the way things worked in Hollywood.
“This is what all actresses do to make it,” model and actress Lauren Marie Young quoted Weinstein as saying after she was called to the witness stand in a final push by prosecutors to show there was a pattern to how he preyed on women.
Weinstein persisted by masturbating, despite her telling him, “’No, no, no’ the whole time,” Young added.
Young, 30, is expected to be the last of six women to testify at the trial about alleged sexual assaults by Weinstein.
The criminal charges are based on two allegations: that he raped a woman in March 2013 and forced oral sex on a TV and film production assistant in 2006. Additional women, including Young, have been allowed to testify as prosecutors attempt to show there was a practiced method to Weinstein’s attacks, including inviting women to his hotel room to discuss business, then disrobing and demanding sexual favours.
Weinstein, 67, has insisted any sexual encounters were consensual.
Young began her testimony by describing how she put on her favourite dress before heading off to a meeting with Weinstein where she expected to “network and pitch my ideas.” After he invited her up to his Beverly Hills hotel room, Weinstein lured her into the bathroom while a female friend of Weinstein’s who was there closed the door behind them, she said.
The witness testified that after Weinstein was nude, he kept her from escaping by pushing her against the sink and blocking her way to the door.
“I felt so trapped and I was in shock,” she said, adding that she started weeping and pleading with Weinstein not to hurt her before he finally stepped out of the bathroom.
She pulled up her dress and walked out to find Weinstein’s friend “still standing right there,” she said. “I shot her an evil look and I left as quick as I could.”
Young’s allegations involving the hotel encounter in California are partly the basis of criminal charges filed by the Los Angeles County District Attorney on Jan. 6, just as Weinstein’s New York trial was getting underway. Weinstein is also charged with raping a different woman in that case.
The Associated Press typically does not publish the names of people alleging sexual assault unless they give their consent, as Young has done through her attorney.
Earlier Wednesday, jurors heard from a former front desk manager who checked Weinstein into a midtown Manhattan hotel where he is alleged to have raped a different women in March 2013. The testimony was meant to corroborate the woman’s claim that Weinstein bullied his way into the hotel over her objections.
“Usually couples checking in are in a happy mood,” Rothschild Capulong told the jury, adding he was so concerned about Weinstein’s behaviour that he made a note in his end-of-shift report that security might want to check on his room.