“My name is Rosa Marie Perez. I was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. ” In the witness box for Harvey Weinstein’s New York trial, Rosie Perez appeared before the jurors in a soft voice this Friday afternoon. Attorneys for the former producer tried unsuccessfully in the morning to prevent the 55-year-old actress from appearing, but the judge ruled them wrong and allowed potentially prosecution new testimony against the former Hollywood producer. Because the story Rosie Perez is about to tell the jury is that of a phone call to her friend Annabella Sciorra one evening in 1993. “I told her:” Hey, Annabella, how are you? “” But she spoke in a strange way, continues the witness. She was talking about deaf eyes as if she was hiding from someone. “
“I think I was raped”
The actress then begins to whisper to imitate Annabella Sciorra’s voice and resumes the course of her story. “She said to me: something bad happened. I think I was raped. ” Rosie Perez, very moved, said that she advised her friend to call the police. “She said, I can’t, I can’t, I can’t!” Harvey Weinstein, who appeared drowsy earlier in the morning, takes notes, whispers to his lawyers. Rosie Perez goes on and tells how Annabella Sciorra hung up that night and refused to take her calls overnight. “I was so worried because she refused to answer,” says Rosie Perez.
Twenty-four hours earlier, Annabella Sciorra had described her alleged rape to the jurors, perpetrated by Harvey Weinstein in 1993. She had given them details which are found in the testimony of Rosie Perez. Like the white nightgown she wore the night the ex-movie producer allegedly abused her.
Read also “Key testimony at the trial of Harvey Weinstein”
Still seated in the witness box, Rosie Perez continues, very moved, on a conversation with her friend a few months later in London, during which she learns the identity of the alleged aggressor: “She told me that Harvey Weinstein had, in fact, raped her. I told her she should go to the police. She replied: I can’t. He will destroy me. “
When the prosecution calls a private investigator
During his cross-examination, Damon Cheronis, the lawyer for Harvey Weinstein, tries to counterattack under the gaze of his client who chews chewing gum. It is surprising that Rosie Perez did not go to hear from her friend the evening of 1993 when she learned of the assault. “I wanted to respect Annabella’s decision not to talk about it and I was in shock.” Damon Cheronis is surprised that Rosie Perez remembers specific details like the nightgown that Annabella Sciorra wore, he 27 years ago. “Did you speak to Madame Sciorra yesterday after her testimony?” Asked the lawyer. No, “retorts the actress without hesitation.
Before Rosie Perez’s testimony, the prosecution called Sam Anson on Friday. This private detective from Los Angeles had been contacted in August 2017 by Harvey Weinstein to investigate certain people who “gave information to journalists preparing articles on women claiming to have been victims of disgusting sexual behavior” on their part. by Harvey Weinstein.
In a brief E-mail sent on August 8, 2017 by Harvey Weinstein a few months before the scandal was revealed by the American media, the former producer had written to Sam Anson that “the Red Flags (literally “red flags” an English expression meaning warning signals) [étaient] the first to call ”. Harvey Weinstein added an attachment to his E-mail with a list of names some of which were in red. Among them, that of Annabella Sciorra.
Barbara Ziv, a psychiatrist who previously testified during the trial of comedian Bill Cosby in 2018, was also heard on Friday. The expert was called by the prosecution to speak of the “myths associated with rape”, according to which the majority of these rapes were perpetrated by unknown persons and that the victims resisted their attackers. Barbara Ziv also explained to the jury that, contrary to popular belief, victims of sexual assault often do not report what happened to them and in many cases keep in touch with their assailant.
A “complicated” day for Harvey Weinstein
This academic testimony that Damon Cheronis strove to discredit in electrical cross-examination, was intended to explain some of the reactions described by Annabella Sciorra as well as her memory lapses on certain details of her aggression in 1993. Explanation of the expert: “If you find yourself in a traumatic situation, you don’t focus on the elements that are not decisive because your job is to focus on what was important in this specific situation”.
Shortly before 4 p.m. in New York (22 hours in Switzerland), the third day of a complicated trial for Harvey Weinstein ends on a high note. Shortly before the judge releases the jurors for the weekend, the prosecution calls Kara Young, a former model and former conquest of Donald Trump. This tall, slender 45-year-old blonde woman takes her place for a brief testimony around which she recounts having seen, in March 1994, the cuts on the legs that Annabella Sciorra had mentioned the day before when talking about her suicidal temptations.
Determined to make a lasting impression on jurors, Arthur Aidala, one of Harvey Weinstein’s lawyers, embarks on a muscular and heavy-handed cross-examination interrupted by the objections of the prosecution and the judge’s warnings Burke. “I would love to have the reasons for these objections,” said the lawyer. “Mr. Aidala, sit down,” orders the judge. The lawyer, briefly discusses with the magistrate under the glare of Harvey Weinstein, aware of the image projected by the jurors of his defense. Arthur Aidala finally returns to his desk, asks one last question and sits down quickly.
Created: 24.01.2020, 11.51 p.m.