An "agitated" Harvey Weinstein called a private investigator asking him to look into a "red flag list" of women likely to speak to journalists about his sexual behaviour, a court has heard.
Sam Anson, the investigator, told jurors in Weinstein's rape trial that he was contacted by him in 2017. He said the film producer was "agitated and concerned" and worried about women speaking to journalists regarding his sexual activity.
"Generally the people on the list were those he suspected may be speaking to journalists," said Anson. "He was concerned that articles would be written about him that would expose his sexual activity in a negative way."
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Some of the women were marked with red flags, he said, among them Annabella Sciorra, an actress who testified on Thursday that she was raped by Weinstein, now 67, in her own home in the early Nineties.
"Did he say someone might be trying to extort him?" asked Arthur Aidala, for Weinstein. "He said a woman named Rose McGowan," said Anson.
McGowan, an actress and activist, is among those who have spoken out about Weinstein.
Joan Illuzzi-Orbon, prosecuting, asked Anson: "When you spoke to Harvey Weinstein himself, was he concerned that people were talking about his sexual conduct against women?" He replied: "Yes, among other things."
Earlier, the jury heard from a forensic psychiatrist that 85 per cent of victims of sexual assault and rape know their attacker and often stay in touch.
Dr Barbara Ziv, whose testimony helped jail Bill Cosby, the actor and comedian, said an attack by an unknown perpetrator in a dark alley was the exception not the rule, adding: "Another common myth is they will not return to the perpetrator. That contact can vary from texts to maintaining a relationship."
Weinstein is accused of five counts of sexual assault and rape, based on accusations made by Jessica Mann and Mimi Haleyi, both of whom had multiple encounters with Weinstein.
His trial is expected to last until March. If convicted, he could face life in prison.