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Weinstein Accuser Flees Court In Tears Following Five Hours Of Questioning

Weinstein Accuser Flees Court In Tears Following Five Hours Of Questioning

Harvey Weinstein's trail was adjourned early on Monday after one of his accusers, Jessica Mann, had a panic attack following hours of cross-examination by the disgraced movie producer's defence team.

Mann, 34, alleges Weinstein raped her in her hotel room in March 2013, and later sexually assaulted and raped her again on two separate occasions.

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Monday's trial saw Weinstein's attorney Donna Rotunno bombard Mann - a hairdresser and former aspiring actress - with questioning, saying she had "manipulated" the 67-year-old mogul.

Jessica leaving court on 31st January 2020 (Credit: Shutterstock)
Jessica leaving court on 31st January 2020 (Credit: Shutterstock)

Following hours of questioning on the stand, Mann broke down in tears, forcing the judge to call for a 10-minute break, when she read out an email which revealed a past sexual abuse. The judge later ended the day's proceedings when the witness was unable to compose herself.

Mann is the fifth accuser to testify against Weinstein in his Supreme Court trial in Manhatten. The former producer faces five charges of rape and sexual assault, including rape in the first and third degree, one count of criminal sexual act in the first degree, and two counts of predatory sexual assault.

The former actress - who has starred in Cavemen (2013), Drudge (2013) and This Isn't Funny (2015) - is one of the prosecution's key witnesses. She claims Weinstein raped her in a New York hotel room in March 2013.

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Harvey Weinstein arriving at court on Monday 3rd February (Credit: PA)
Harvey Weinstein arriving at court on Monday 3rd February (Credit: PA)

Mann also alleges that Weinstein forcibly performed oral sex on her in spring of that year, and raped her again at a hotel in LA where she worked in late 2013 or possibly early 2014.

The witness talked through her long relationship with Weinstein in which says included some consensual sex but was "extremely degrading". The hairdresser described how Weinstein performed a 'golden shower' on her.

Mann kept in contact with Weinstein for years after the alleged rapes, something his lawyer said was done to get invites to A-lost parties.

"You manipulated Mr. Weinstein every single time - as manipulated as you claim you felt - isn't it true?" Ms. Rotunno asked, adding that Mann, "continued to see him after every sexual encounter, is that correct?"

Mann accepted she had manipulated Mr. Weinstein, saying: "How I handled it to survive and process it - yeah, I guess you could say it was manipulation."

Harvey Weinstein's attorney, Donna Rotunno (Credit: Shutterstock)
Harvey Weinstein's attorney, Donna Rotunno (Credit: Shutterstock)

The day's trial came to a head when Ms. Rotunno asked Ms. Mann to read out an email she sent to her former boyfriend, explaining her relationship with Weinstein.

"Sometimes I felt hopeless and that I should just be with an older man because I'm a lost cause," she wrote. Mann added Weinstein had given her "all the validation I ever needed," and he "always offered to help in ways that my parents didn't.

The witness broke down when she read: "I remembered the day I realised I was controlling my world because I was sexually assaulted, and that story played out where I played into sexual dynamics with people to feel like I would never be taken advantage of again.

"I tried to make [Weinstein] a pseudo father."

Harvey Weinstein's trial continues today.

Featured Image Credit: Reuters

Topics: Entertainment, Celebrity Entertainment, court

Ciara Sheppard

Ciara is a freelance writer working for Tyla. After graduating with an English Lit and Media degree from the University of Sussex, Ciara held jobs at GLAMOUR and Yahoo Style before packing up for a solo travelling trip around South America. In between writing, Ciara daydreams of being back on the Copacabana drinking caipirinhas.

 

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