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Published On: Fri, Jan 24th, 2020

Annabella Sciorra: ‘Harvey Weinstein held me down, raped me’

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3f7a43e7e8c2667d49d5c54c5fa49e60NEW YORK: “Sopranos” actress Annabella Sciorra confronted Harvey Weinstein from the witness stand Thursday, testifying that the former Hollywood studio boss overpowered and raped her.

Actress Annabella Sciorra took the stand Thursday in the criminal sex crimes trial of movie producer Harvey Weinstein. She is the first of six women expected to testify that they were raped or sexually assaulted by Weinstein.Weinstein is charged with five counts of rape and assault against two women in New York City. Weinstein maintains all of the sexual contact was consensual.

Sciorra spent several emotional hours on the witness stand, testifying that Weinstein raped her in the winter of 1993-94. Through sometimes tearful testimony, she explained to the jury how she came to know the movie mogul.
According to the actress, the two first met at a party in Los Angeles sometime in 1990, after which he gave her a ride home. The Harvey Weinstein Trial: A Brief Timeline Of How We Got Here LAW-

The Harvey Weinstein Trial: A Brief Timeline Of How We Got Here
As NPR’s Rose Friedman reported, Sciorra eventually set up a table read of a script for Weinstein. At the time, she said she did not want to act in the project but he insisted.”He sent her gifts,” Friedman said, including “some penis-shaped chocolates and a bottle of valium.”
When she declined, Weinstein allegedly threatened to sue her.But it wasn’t until another encounter in New York that Weinstein assaulted her, Sciorra told the court. After a dinner with other film industry people, Sciorra said she accepted a ride home from Weinstein. “She says he dropped her off at her apartment building, she went upstairs, got ready for bed.”
A few minutes later, however, Weinstein was back, according to Scoirra. She said he pushed his way into her apartment and began looking to see if she was alone. All while unbuttoning his shirt, she added.
“The Sopranos” actress Annabella Sciorra fought back tears as she told a court  that being raped by Harvey Weinstein left her feeling like she was having “a seizure” and caused her to self-harm.”It was just so disgusting that my body started to shake in a way that was very unusual. I didn’t really even know what was happening,” the 59-year-old said.
Sciorra faced the jury as she held her hands above her head and clasped her wrists to demonstrate how Weinstein, then three times her weight, held her down on her bed and sexually assaulted her.

“He got on top of me and he raped me,” she said, under questioning by lead prosecutor Joan Illuzzi-Orbon.”He put his penis inside of my vagina and he raped me,” repeated Sciorra, the first of Weinstein’s accusers to testify in proceedings symbolic to the #MeToo movement.
Weinstein, 67, avoided eye contact as Sciorra told the New York state court that the former film producer then performed oral sex on her.”I didn’t have very much fight left inside me at this point. My body just shut down,” said Sciorra, wearing a navy blue dress with long sleeves.
Weinstein has pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting former production assistant Mimi Haleyi and raping actress Jessica Mann. He denies all allegations of non-consensual sex.
Her allegation is too old to be included on the charge sheet, but the charge of predatory sexual assault, which carries possible life imprisonment, requires prosecutors to prove he sexually assaulted at least two people.
(With Agency Inputs ).

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