Warning: Graphic content
A day after breaking down in tears under cross-examination, a key accuser at Harvey Weinstein's trial returned to the witness stand Tuesday and told the jurors: "I want the jury to know that he is my rapist."
Jessica Mann also testified to the disturbing way that the movie mogul consoled himself when his mother died, alleging that he masturbated in front of the actress after saying he wanted to talk to her because she "understood grief".
Mann described the November 2016 incident, the last sexual encounter she would have with Weinstein, saying that he also had her perform oral sex on him.
"He needed to be consoled for his grief, and he wanted to talk to me because I understood grief," said Mann, whose father died a year earlier.
Mann said that when she arrived where Weinstein was staying, "he's naked on the bed and wants to do something sexual".
"I think he masturbated in a mirror and put himself in my mouth."
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Mann was expected to be on the stand much of the day as Weinstein's lawyers continued a painstaking review of her emails and other communications. They say the 34-year-old former actress was a manipulator who gritted her way through sexual encounters with Weinstein because she enjoyed the perks of knowing him.
She has previously testified that Weinstein urinated on her and pressured her into a threesome.
Her return to the stand followed an emotional episode Monday, when she sobbed while reading an email passage about being abused earlier in her life. It was part of a lengthy email she sent in May 2014 to a boyfriend about her relationship with Weinstein. The judge halted proceedings when she was unable to continue.
Resuming questioning on Tuesday, Weinstein lawyer Donna Rotunno revisited the woman's email to her boyfriend, as well as friendly emails she sent to Weinstein after she alleges the film producer raped her twice in 2013.
In one, the woman asked Weinstein about meeting up for a drink in Los Angeles. Rotunno also asked the woman about accepting Weinstein's invitation to an Oscar party in 2015, and about her decision to meet him at the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, in 2016 — one of the hotels where she says he'd previously raped her.
After that meeting, the woman emailed Weinstein saying, "I feel so fabulous and beautiful. Thank you for everything."
She testified that Weinstein "was being really nice to me" at the time but said she couldn't remember if they had sex on that occasion. Weinstein, now 67, was married at the time to fashion designer Georgina Chapman.
At one point, Rotunno asked Mann why she would accept favours from "your rapist". That's when she turned to jurors and said: "I want the jury to know that he is my rapist."
While dozens of women have accused Weinstein of sexual assault or harassment, he is on trial for allegations involving just two episodes with two women: Mann and a former film and TV production assistant, Mimi Haleyi, who alleges he forcibly performed oral sex on her in 2006.
Weinstein's lawyers are focusing so much attention on Mann because her allegations are the foundation for some of the most serious charges against him. But the exhaustive cross-examination, coupled with her emotional reaction on Monday, could run the risk of alienating jurors and making her appear more sympathetic.
Defence lawyer Brian McMonagle found himself navigating the same murky waters on the way to winning a mistrial because of a hung jury in Bill Cosby's first molestation trial in 2017. Cosby was later convicted.
"Of course a lawyer has to go in there and attack credibility and attack inconsistencies," said McMonagle, who's not involved in the Weinstein case. "It's just how you do it. There's a way to do it without being despicable."
SEXUAL HARM - DO YOU NEED HELP?
If it's an emergency and you feel that you or someone else is at risk, call 111.
If you've ever experienced sexual assault or abuse and need to talk to someone contact Safe to Talk confidentially:
• Call 0800 044 334
• Text 4334
• Email firstname.lastname@example.org
• For more info or to web chat visit www.safetotalk.nz
Alternatively contact your local police station -
-Additional reporting, Associated Press