Haleyi, a former production assistant, began crying as she
testified in a Manhattan courtroom while Weinstein watched from
the defense table.
Weinstein, 67, has pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting
Haleyi and Jessica Mann.
One of Weinstein's lawyers, Damon Cheronis, on cross-examination
pressed Haleyi about her continued contact with Weinstein for
several years after the alleged assault, showing her messages
she sent him signed "lots of love" and "peace and love."
Since 2017, more than 80 women, including many famous actresses,
have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct.
Weinstein, who reshaped the independent film industry with
critically acclaimed pictures such as “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 watershed moment for the #MeToo
movement, in which women have accused powerful men in business,
entertainment, media and politics of sexual misconduct.
Haleyi, 42, said Weinstein invited her to his SoHo home after
she had worked on one of his television productions.
"At some point, fairly soon into meeting him there, he kind of
came towards me and lunged at me," she said. "I got up from the
sofa and said, 'Oh, no, no, no.'"
Haleyi said Weinstein backed her into a bedroom, held her down
on the bed and forced himself on her orally.
She testified that she told Weinstein she had a tampon in, but
that he pulled it out.
Haleyi said she subsequently accepted an invitation from
Weinstein to meet him at a Tribeca hotel.
"I believe I was trying to regain some sort of power or
something," she said.
When she met him, Haleyi said, Weinstein immediately pulled her
onto the bed and had sex with her, calling her a “whore” and a
“bitch.” She said that she did not fight back, but did not want
to have sex with him.
Haleyi said that she blamed herself for that encounter.
[to top of second column]
Weinstein has not been criminally charged over Haleyi's second
On cross-examination, Cheronis asked Haleyi whether she had accepted
trips to Los Angeles and London paid for by Weinstein shortly after
the alleged attack, and questioned her decision to meet him again in
Cheronis presented Haleyi with several messages in which she asked
Weinstein about possible jobs or, in one instance, feedback on a
Haleyi said she stayed in touch with Weinstein because he was
powerful in her industry, and she needed work.
"I asked for jobs from many people, including Harvey Weinstein," she
Under follow-up questioning by a prosecutor, Haleyi said she had
"buried" memories of the alleged assault during the time she was in
contact with Weinstein.
"Because I felt trapped and not really able to do anything about it
... I decided to just almost pretend it didn’t happen and just put
it aside and carry on as usual," she said.
Weinstein's lawyers have said that messages from his accusers would
show that their relationships with him were consensual.
Last week actress Annabella Sciorra testified that Weinstein
violently raped her in her Manhattan apartment in the early 1990s.
While Sciorra's allegation is too old to support a separate rape
charge against Weinstein, prosecutors hope it will show he is a
repeat sexual predator - a charge that could put him in prison for
(Reporting by Brendan Pierson in New York; Editing by Noeleen Walder,
Grant McCool and Tom Brown)
[© 2020 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2020 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Thompson Reuters is solely responsible for this content.