NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The prosecution rested its case Thursday in the trial of Harvey Weinstein, and next the defense will present their side of the story.

Its first witness, who claims to be friends with Weinstein and an accuser, says he’s testifying unwillingly after being subpoenaed, reports CBS2’s Alice Gainer.

Six accusers have testified about alleged rape and sexual assault at the hands of the disgraced movie mogul.

HARVEY WEINSTEIN TRIAL: Annabella Sciorra Details Night She Says She Was Raped By Disgraced Movie Mogul

First up for the defense is expected to be Paul Feldsher, a former agent, producer and friend of actress Annabella Sciorra and Weinstein.

Sciorra testified that in the early 1990s, Weinstein barged into her apartment, threw her on a bed and raped her as she tried to fight him off.

“I was punching him, I was kicking him,” she said in court.

Actress Rosie Perez then testified to back up Sciorra’s account, saying Sciorra told her about it.

Harvey Weinstein arrives at Manhattan Criminal Court for his sexual assault trial on January 29, 2020 in New York City. Weinstein, whose alleged sexual misconduct helped spark the #MeToo movement, pleaded not-guilty on five counts of rape and sexual assault against two unnamed women and faces a possible life sentence in prison. (Photo by David Dee Delgado/Getty Images)

On Thursday, Feldsher says Sciorra told him back in the 1990s that her encounter was a “crazy thing in her life,” and it was his “understanding that she fooled around with him.”

Feldsher testified that he couldn’t recall any other details and says, while they were very close back then, he hasn’t spoken to Sciorra in seven years but still cares about her.

He also testified that he did work for Weinstein in recent years and remains in constant contact with him. Feldsher said it’s his “understanding he has a sex addiction.”

The prosecution pounced, reading texts Feldsher sent Weinstein about the case, even mentioning Sciorra, texting him: “I think she’s full of (expletive)” and “Annabella is an (expletive).”

The prosecutor read texts Feldsher sent to Sciorra around the same time, saying “sorry about a bunch of stuff” and “Obviously, acknowledgment goes to that awfulness.”

He also texted Weinstein in relation to the charges against him: “If any of these girls were my daughter, I’d want to beat the (expletive) out of you.”

HARVEY WEINSTEIN TRIAL: Final Accuser Takes The Stand

In New York, Weinstein’s criminal charges are based on two allegations of rape at a Manhattan hotel in 2013 by Jessica Mann, and sex assault in 2006 by Mimi Haley.

Sciorra’s rape claim is outside the statute of limitations, but her allegation is being used as part of the predatory sexual assault charge.

Additional accusers have been allowed to testify as prosecutors try to prove Weinstein was a serial predator.

Now years later, the 67-year-old Weinstein maintains any sexual encounters were consensual. It is unclear if he’ll be called to testify. If convicted, he faces life in prison.

Comments

Leave a Reply