Harvey Weinstein accused of violent rape by Annabella Sciorra

Harvey Weinstein
Harvey Weinstein

US actress Annabella Sciorra has testified in Harvey Weinstein’s trial that the film producer pinioned and raped her at her home 25 years ago.

Ms Sciorra, best known for her role in The Sopranos, said Mr Weinstein forced himself into her apartment and attacked her.

Annabella Sciorra
Annabella Sciorra

“I was trying to get him off me,” Ms Sciorra said to the New York jury. “I was punching him, kicking him.”

The 67-year-old denies all charges, which include rape and s*xual assault.

If convicted, he could face life behind bars.

WARNING: This story contains details some readers may find upsetting.

The incident that Ms Sciorra alleges would have happened too long ago to be pursued under New York law.

But prosecutors intend to use her testimony to support their argument that the accused is a s*xual predator.

To do so, they must prove Mr Weinstein committed a serious s*xual offence against at least two people.

Mr Weinstein is charged with raping one woman, Jessica Mann, in a hotel room in the New York borough in 2013, and performing a forcible s*x act on a second woman, Mimi Haleyi, in 2006.

His defence team said his actions were consensual, including one “loving” relationship.

According to her emotional testimony, Ms Sciorra had dinner with Mr Weinstein in the winter of 1993-94. The Hollywood mogul then offered to drive the actress back to her Manhattan apartment.

Soon after Mr Weinstein dropped her off, the actress heard a knock at her door. The producer shoved his way into her apartment, she said, and took her to a bedroom where he forced her on to a bed and s*xually assaulted her.

Mr Weinstein ignored her attempts to fight him off, Ms Sciorra testified on Thursday, fighting back tears.

“He got on top of me and he raped me,” she said. “He had intercourse with me and I was trying to fight him, but I couldn’t fight anymore because he had my hands locked.”

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She said he then forcibly performed oral s*x on her, telling her: “This is for you.”

“It was just so disgusting that my body started to shake in a way that was very unusual,” she said. “It was like a seizure or something.”

Ms Sciorra said she confronted Mr Weinstein at a dinner weeks later. His response was “menacing”, she said. The producer allegedly leaned into her and said: “This remains between you and I.”

“It was threatening and I was afraid,” the actress testified.

Mr Weinstein continued to harass her, Ms Sciorra said. At the 1997 Cannes Film Festival, Ms Sciorra said she opened her hotel room door to find Mr Weinstein standing in front of her, holding a bottle of baby oil and a movie tape.

She ran back inside her room and Mr Weinstein eventually left.

“I got very scared,” she said.

Asked by prosecutor Joan Illuzzi why she did not call the police, Ms Sciorra said she was “confused”.

“He was someone I knew,” she said. “I felt at the time that rape was something that happened in a back alleyway in a dark place.”

Ms Sciorra says the attack left her traumatised. She testified that she began drinking and cutting herself, smearing her blood on to a wall.

Once one of Hollywood’s most lauded producers, Mr Weinstein has been accused of s*xual misconduct by more than 80 women – allegations which helped drive the #MeToo campaign against s*xual misconduct.

But few of the complaints have led to criminal charges. Earlier this month, Los Angeles prosecutors charged Mr Weinstein with the rape and s*xual assault of two additional women.

The New York trial is expected to conclude in early March.

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