In the latest development in accused former Hollywood movie producer Harvey Weinstein sexual assault case, the friend of one of the victim was testified in the court on Monday. Jessica Mann is one of the two women who accused Weinstein of sexually assaulting her. On Monday, her former friend testified in the court stating that on the day of the assault, Mann was not in distress nor crying. She adds that Mann states Weinstein to be her soulmate.
Further, Weinstein (67) plead not guilty in front of the judge on the accusation of raping Jessica Mann and sexually assaulting his former production assistant Mimi Haleyi.
Previously, Mann had testified in the court accusing Weinstein of raping her in March 2013 in a Manhatten hotel. However, Mann’s friend, Talita Maia had a different story, Maia said that on the day of the rape, she spent time with her and throughout the day Mann did not show any sign of distress.
Maia adds that despite not willing to testify in the court, she had no option as Weinstein’s lawyers had given her subpoena.
80 Women Testify Against Weinstein
As the rape case on Weinstein began, more than 80 women have accused the former producer of sexually assaulting them.
Due to this trial, the famous #MeToo Movement began in many countries. Through this movement, many women from all sectors have accused powerful men from business, entertainment, sports, media and politics of sexual misconduct.
Standing on the witness stand, Mann adds that the rape occurred while she was in a relationship with Weinstein from many years. She also called her relationship as “extremely degrading”.
Maia states that Jessica Mann used to talk a lot about her relationship with Weinstein even calling him her “spiritual soulmate”. She adds that Mann used to like him as a person.
Later, when the prosecutor cross-examined her, Maia states that she had stopped talking to Mann. This is for some time before Jan 2017. However, due to that, she does not hate her. She further stated that Mann once mentioned Weinstein as a controlling person. Also, adds that he pressurized her to engage in sexual activity with another woman which made her upset.
Later, Weinstein’s lawyer Donna Rotunno put a follow-up question to Maia. She asked about her fight with Mann. The latter stated that it had nothing to do with her testimony.
Lauren Young’s Friend Claudia Salinas Changes her Statement
Moving further, the defence called Weinstein’s second victim, Lauren Young’s friend Claudia Salinas for testifying. Salinas is a Mexican-born social media influencer. Previously, Young in her statement had mentioned about her friend Salinas. She states that her friend was standing outside the Los Angles hotel bathroom as Weinstein assaulted her. However, when questioned about the same, Salinas denied it.
Later, when the prosecutor cross-examined Salinas stated that Young’s statement about her was true. She adds that when investigators first questioned her, she wasn’t able to recollect that day hence denied Young’s statement.
Following this, Assistant District Attorney Meghan Hast asked Salinas if she mentioned the same to the investigators. Adding if she did not remember the incident though there are possibilities that the incident took place.
Hast further questioned Salinas if she introduced her friends to Weinstein as per his request.
Though New York prosecutors did not charge Weinstein for sexually assaulting Young, they called her to testify. But the Los Angles prosecutors have charged him for assaulting Young.
The prosecutors rested the case after six women testified against him in front of the jurors last Thursday. Out of the six women, one woman named Annabella Sciorra revealed to e raped in her home in the 1990s.
So, now the lawyers will give their closing arguments by the end of the week. Later, the jurors will begin to discuss and give a verdict soon.
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