Jan 22, 2020
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Weinstein Trial Begins, 2 Years After Accusations Led to #MeToo

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Opening statements started at 10:15 a.m., as Ms. Hast led the jury through nearly 30 years of Mr. Weinstein’s mistreatment of women. The litany of abuse, the prosecutor said, began in the early 1990s, when Mr. Weinstein raped the up-and-coming actress Annabella Sciorra, who was later known for her work in “The Sopranos.”

After meeting at an Irish bar in Lower Manhattan one night, Ms. Hast told the jury, Mr. Weinstein dropped Ms. Sciorra off at her apartment, forced his way inside and began unbuttoning his shirt. Ms. Sciorra thought that she could flee into the bathroom, Ms. Hast said, but Mr. Weinstein pushed her onto a bed, pinned her arms above her head and raped her.

For decades after the attack, Ms. Hast recounted, Mr. Weinstein made Ms. Sciorra “live in terror,” seeking her out whenever she filmed movies, leaving messages for her and showing up at hotels she was staying in.

Once, according to Ms. Hast, when Ms. Sciorra was placed in a hotel room next to Mr. Weinstein’s during a film festival, she opened her door to find him standing in the hallway in his underwear, with a bottle of baby oil in one hand and a videotape in the other.

Ms. Haleyi, who went public with her story in 2017, met Mr. Weinstein at the Cannes Film Festival in 2006 and soon took a job as a production assistant on Mr. Weinstein’s show “Project Runway,” Ms. Hast said. For the next few months, according to the prosecutor, Mr. Weinstein pressured Ms. Haleyi, offering her trips to Paris and Los Angeles. Eventually, Ms. Hast told the jury, Ms. Haleyi went to Mr. Weinstein’s apartment, where he forced oral sex on her.

“Miriam decided to just check out,” Ms. Hast said, referring to Ms. Haleyi’s given name. “She tried to endure the violent sexual assault Harvey Weinstein was perpetrating on her.”

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