Rape attack at Harvey Weinstein hotel was hell, governor’s wife Jennifer Siebel Newsom told court
California Governor Gavin Newsom’s wife broke down in tears as she described being raped by film producer Harvey Weinstein, telling a court: “It was hell.”
Jennifer Siebel Newsom, an actress and documentary filmmaker, said Weinstein “locked” on her at a Hollywood event in 2005 and later attacked her at a Beverly Hills hotel.
She believed Weinstein had invited her to a business meeting to help her with her career, but he suddenly appeared wearing just a bathrobe.
” I’m shaking. I am like a rock. I am frigid. It’s my worst nightmare,” she told the Los Angeles court. “He was so big and so determined… It was hell.”
Ms Siebel Newsom, 48, was accompanied in court by her husband, the newly re-elected California governor who has been tipped to one day run for president, and is one of four women accusing Weinstein of rape or assault sex in this trial.
The former film producer, 70, denies the charges and his lawyer called Ms Siebel Newsom a ‘bimbo’ earlier in the trial.
In the witness box, Ms Siebel Newsom cried repeatedly as she recalled the alleged rape and was asked if her attacker was in the courtroom.
“Yes,” she replied, identifying Weinstein. “He’s wearing a blue suit and tie, and he’s looking at me.”
She first went public with her allegations against Weinstein in 2017 during the first wave of the MeToo movement.
In court, Ms Siebel Newsom said she was a young actress when she met ‘kingmaker’ Weinstein in the hotel suite, and said she protested as he then groped her dragged her or carried her into the bedroom.
She told him “Please don’t, please don’t” and looked for the exit, she said, and felt “like a blow up doll” for the attack.
“I felt immense shame,” she told the jury.
During her acting career, Ms Siebel Newsom appeared on TV shows such as Mad Men and she created the acclaimed 2011 documentary Miss Representation, which tackled media representations of women. Ms Siebel Newsom was questioned by Weinstein’s legal team about a donation the producer made to her husband’s political campaign and a 2007 email she sent seeking advice on media management.
In his opening remarks to the trial, Weinstein’s lawyer, Mark Werksman, suggested that Ms Siebel Newsom had made herself “a prominent victim in the #MeToo movement”, adding: “Otherwise she would only be ‘another bimbo who slept with Harvey Weinstein to get ahead in Hollywood.
Weinstein is already serving a 23-year prison sentence for rape and sexual assault, but is appealing the conviction in New York.
The trial in Los Angeles continues.