LOS ANGELES (AP) — Shifts in a massage therapist’s account of the former movie mogul’s 2010 sexual assault mean she fabricated details and insisted that working through the trauma was more accurate, a lawyer for Harvey Weinstein suggested Thursday. Memories.
Weinstein attorney Mark Werksman pointed to changes over time in the stories she told police and prosecutors in 2019 and 2020, in her testimony to a grand jury last year and in witness statements Wednesday, when she said Weinstein framed her. After hiring her for a massage in his Beverly Hills hotel room, he masturbates in front of her and touches her breasts.
“Do you think your memory is better now than it was three years ago?” asked the workman.
“Yes,” she replied. Another time she said, “My memory is hazy then, but I remember everything now.”
The woman said that discussing the assault with friends, authorities, a therapist and others brought clarity and forced her to face the difficult information that had been embedded in her memory.
Werksman asked if the talks represented an attempt at “consensus building”.
The woman insisted that it was not.
“The more I talked about it, the more I remembered the shock,” she said. “I blocked it out for so long.”
The woman goes by Jane Doe in court. The Associated Press typically does not name people who say they were sexually abused.
Weinstein is charged with sexual battery in a restraining order for the incident, one of 11 sexual assault counts involving five women who accused him in the Los Angeles trial. He has pleaded guilty and denied engaging in non-consensual sex. He is already serving a 23-year sentence for the offense in New York.
Werksman dwelled specifically on whether Weinstein touched her over or under her clothes, her story suspiciously changing over time to include skin-on-skin contact, which is required by California law for sexual battery.
“You didn’t change your story from ‘it never happened’ to ‘I’m 95% sure’ to ‘I’m 100% sure’ so they could criminally prosecute Mr. Weinstein?” asked the workman.
“No,” she said.
“Your story sounds like the US economy, eight percent inflation, doesn’t it?” After a protest, the judge overruled the question, Werksman said.
She testified Wednesday that she was embarrassed and humiliated by allowing herself to be alone with Weinstein several more times, including during two other massages where she said he engaged in similarly unwanted sexual behavior.
In cross-examination, the defendant seized on this issue.
“He calls for another massage, you say ‘Buss off creep’ and hang up, okay?” asked the workman.
“No,” said the woman.
“No,” replied the Workman, “you schedule another massage.”
During the first massage, Weinstein and the woman discussed writing a book about her techniques for the publishing arm of his film company, Miramax.
Werksman suggested the woman had willingly provided Weinstein with sexual favors to increase his chances of publicity.
“You pursued a book deal because it was the end of a bargain to have sex with Mr. Weinstein, right?” he asked.
“Wrong,” she said.
The woman said the book was Weinstein’s idea, and while she was intrigued and engaged in e-mails with his employees for several months, the decision to give it up was mutual.
Follow AP Entertainment Writer Andrew Dalton on Twitter: twitter.com/andyjamesdalton
For more information on the Harvey Weinstein trial, visit: https://apnews.com/hub/harvey-weinstein
Copyright 2022 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This information may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.