After the outpouring of sexual assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein, the time has come for him to be prosecuted in a court of law. His New York trial commenced last week with Sopranos actress, Annabella Sciorra, being the first victim to take the stand. She detailed having received lewd gifts from Weinstein in the 90’s, which led to him allegedly raping her in her own apartment and forcibly performing oral sex on her.
A second accuser provided her testimony in a Manhattan court on Monday morning (Jan. 27), according to Vulture. Former Project Runway production assistant, Mimi Haleyi, claims that Weinstein also forcibly performed oral sex on her in July 2006. Assistant district attorney, Meghan Hast, tried to discern whether Weinstein targeted Haleyi because she was in a vulnerable position at the time, having moved to New York from London not long before the incident. Weinstein had bought Haleyi a plane ticket to Los Angeles, which caused her to feel obliged to go to his Soho apartment when later invited. Weinstein’s driver picked her up and brought her to his loft, where things started as a “normal exchange.”
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Weinstein and Haleyi initially interacted from opposite sides of a sofa, but “Really soon into me being there, he kind of came towards me and lunged at me, trying to kiss me,” Haleyi said. “I got off the sofa and said, ‘Oh, no, no.’” When Haleyi tried to push him away, “he would just pull me back and keep kissing and fondling me, and I got up and I tried to walk away from him.” “He was coming towards me physically, and I was backed into a bedroom,” she continued. “I fell backwards onto the bed … and I tried to get up, and he pushed me down. I just said, ‘No, no, I don’t want this to happen … I’m on my period. I was just trying to tell him anything to make him stop.”
Weinstein supposedly ignored Haleyi’s insistence that she was on her period and continued to force himself upon her. “He held me down on the bed, and he forced himself on me orally,” she explained. “I kept trying to tell him, ‘No, don’t go there, don’t do that. I’m on my period. I’ve got a tampon in.’ It was as if he didn’t believe me. He literally pulled my tampon out.”
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Haleyi ended up meeting with Weinstein again later that month because “he was very persistent and insistent,” and she thought it might allow her to regain a sense of power. After Haleyi went to Weinstein’s room, “almost instantly, he basically just took my hands like that and just pulled me toward the bed,” she said. Haleyi recalled Weinstein calling her “a whore and a bitch” in an attempt to turn her on.
Weinstein is being charged with one count of predatory sexual assault and one count of criminal sexual act for the alleged incident with Haleyi. He faces another three counts for the allegations made by Annabella Sciorra and Jessica Mann. Weinstein has denied all allegations of nonconsensual sexual activity. His Los Angeles trial is set to start soon, but there have been difficulties establishing a jury.