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Harvey Weinstein

Harvey Weinstein's First Witness' Victim-Blaming Texts Read In Court

Gettyimages | Scott Heins
By Carolyn B.

Harvey Weinstein's New York trial is well underway. The former Hollywood producer has been charged with multiple counts of sexual assault and harassment by multiple women in the film and television industry.

The prosecution has called several witnesses to tell their side of the story. Current and former actors, models, and assistants have given harrowing details of their run-ins with Weinstein to the court. Now it is the defense team's turn and their first witness has been called to the stand.

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A Pattern Formed

Harvey Weinstein
Gettyimages | Spencer Platt

The women who have sat in the witness' chair so far have all told similar stories. Many met Weinstein while trying to break into Hollywood, as writers, actors, or assistants. They were promised success and invited to meet with Weinstein at hotels to work out their projects.

More than one witness spoke of ultimatums -- appease Weinstein's demands or see their career ruined. The women also mentioned assistants or other models being in the room to aid Weinstein in his attacks.


Selma Hayek and Charlize Theron
Gettyimages | Christopher Polk

One of these stories detailed an encounter between the former producer and his assistant at the time. Dawn Dunnings said she had met Weinstein while working as a server in a bar and was promised three film roles for projects he was working on.

Dunnings met with Weinstein in a hotel room where she was propositioned for a threesome with the producer and his assistant. When she refused, he allegedly became angry and claimed to have created the careers of Selma Hayek and Charlize Theron in this manner.


Anabella Sciorra

Weinstein's defense team cross-examined the witnesses, leaving many followers of the case with a feeling of unease. The defense lawyers seemed to be using victim-blaming as a tactic to undermine the credibility of the witnesses.

The witnesses were pushed to explain why they did not come forward earlier and why they did not fight back in different ways. Actor Rosie Perez was forced to answer why she did not push friend Annabella Sciorra to report the assault despite her being afraid of speaking out at the time.

Texts Are Exposed

Harvey Weinstein
Wikimedia |

Producer Paul Feldsher was called to the stand to defend Weinstein today. Feldsher spoke on the alleged assault on Sciorra, saying the actor did not seem very upset when supposedly hinting at an encounter with Weinstein, implying things were consensual between them.

The prosecution accused Feldsher of having a bias and read text messages sent from the producer to Weinstein. In the messages, Feldsher expressed sympathy for Weinstein being abandoned by everyone around him and claimed to hold on to the thought of "innocent until proven guilty." Feldsher accused the victims of lying and called their "dogpile" against Weinstein "hideous."

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