Harvey Weinstein accuser details sexual assault allegations in court

Harvey Weinstein accuser details sexual assault allegations in court

Former actress Jessica Mann choked back tears in court on Friday as she detailed the sexual assaults she allegedly suffered at the hands of Harvey Weinstein.

Mann is one of two women, along with production assistant Mimi Haleyi, whose accusations against the fallen film producer helped New York prosecutors pursue five felony charges for rape and sexual assault, for which Weinstein is currently standing trial.

On Friday, Mann took the witness stand and recalled multiple encounters with the movie mogul after meeting at a Los Angeles party in 2012, when she gave him her number in the hope of gaining his professional guidance.

She claimed Weinstein soon invited her and a friend to a sit down in the bar of the Montage hotel in Beverly Hills, California, and lured them to his suite by indicating he wanted to cast the pair in a vampire movie.

Once there, he is said to have pulled Mann into the bedroom: "We got into this tussle back and forth. I was able to turn around... He still had me by one arm. The more I fought, the angrier he got."

Weinstein reportedly forced her onto the bed and began giving her oral sex, and, in a bid to make a quick exit, she started to lie about his performance.

"I started to fake an orgasm to get out of it...," Mann said. "He asked me how it was, did I like it? I told him, 'Oh, the best I ever had.'"

An emotional Mann went on to accuse Weinstein of pressuring her into giving him a massage during another incident, and even urinated on her on a later occasion.

The meetings allegedly culminated in rape at a hotel in New York later in 2013.

Weinstein's attorneys attempted to discredit Mann by insisting the sexual contact was consensual, highlighting friendly emails exchanged between the two after the alleged attacks, but the former aspiring actress insisted fear was the driving force behind her decision to stay in touch.

Her lengthy appearance on the stand took place after New York Supreme Court Judge James Burke, who is presiding over the trial, rejected defence attorney Damon Cheronis' call for a mistrial, accusing prosecutors of breaking the rules for discovery.

Cheronis also repeatedly objected to Mann's testimony, questioning why authorities had not called the friend who accompanied her to the Montage hotel to give evidence. He claimed her absence was due to her contradicting memory of Mann's relationship with Weinstein.

The producer has pleaded not guilty to all counts. He faces life behind bars if convicted.

The trial continues.


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