NEW YORK (Reuters) - A woman testified at Harvey Weinstein’s rape trial on Wednesday that the film producer trapped her in a hotel bathroom in 2013 and masturbated in front of her while groping her breasts, and told her: “This is what all the actresses do to make it.”
Lauren Young, a 30-year-old model and actress, is the last of six accusers scheduled to testify in a Manhattan courtroom against Weinstein, a once-powerful Hollywood figure.
Young’s claims are not part of the criminal charges against Weinstein. She is among three women whom prosecutors are calling to bolster their case against the former movie producer.
Young is also one of two accusers in a sexual assault case brought against Weinstein in Los Angeles.
In the New York case, Weinstein, 67, has pleaded not guilty to raping aspiring actress Jessica Mann and to sexually assaulting another woman, former production assistant Mimi Haleyi. Since 2017, more than 80 women have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct.
Weinstein, who produced films including “The English Patient” and “Shakespeare in Love,” has denied the allegations and said any sexual encounters were consensual.
The trial is widely seen as a milestone in the #MeToo movement in which women have accused powerful men in business, entertainment, media and politics of sexual misconduct.
Young told jurors that she met Weinstein in 2012 at an Oscars dinner, where she also became friendly with actress Claudia Salinas.
Young said Salinas invited her to a meeting with Weinstein in the lobby of a Beverly Hills hotel in February 2013, where she hoped to pitch a script she was working on.
Then, Young testified, Weinstein said he had to go up to his hotel suite to prepare to receive an award and asked the two women to accompany him.
Weinstein led Young through a bedroom in the suite to a bathroom, at which point Salinas closed the door behind her. Young testified. She said Weinstein turned on the shower and began to undress.
“I felt so trapped and I was in shock,” Young said. “I just couldn’t believe what was happening.”
Young said Weinstein stood between her and the door and told her, “We’re just going to have a talk here.” He unzipped her dress, pulled it down and began touching her breast with one hand while masturbating, as Young repeatedly told him no, she testified.
She said Weinstein told her, “This is what all the actresses do to make it.”
She said he did not let go of her until he ejaculated, at which point he left the bathroom while Young stayed behind “in shock.”
During cross-examination, one of Weinstein’s lawyers, Damon Cheronis, grilled Young about inconsistencies between her testimony and what she had earlier told investigators.
Young conceded that she had previously told investigators that she was “pushed” into the bathroom and that the attack had taken place shortly after her first meeting with Weinstein, rather than the following year.
During her direct testimony, prosecutors also asked about Weinstein’s genitals.
“It looked like it had been cut and sewn back on,” Young said of his penis. “Not a normal-looking scar from circumcision. Something didn’t look normal.”
On Tuesday, jurors were shown naked photos of Weinstein. Prosecutors did not say why the photographs were introduced or how many were presented. Weinstein’s attorney, Donna Rotunno, said in an email on Tuesday evening that the photos were shown to shame Weinstein.
Mann testified last week that he did not appear to have testicles and said he appeared “deformed” or “intersex.” The term “intersex” refers to individuals with sex characteristics “that do not fit typical binary notions of male or female bodies,” according to the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Reporting by Brendan Pierson; writing by Tom Hals; Editing by Noeleen Walder, Jonathan Oatis and Cynthia Osterman