Published: Tue, February 11, 2020
Life&Culture | By Sue Mclaughlin

Weinstein's attorneys mount defense as sex assault trial nears end

Weinstein's attorneys mount defense as sex assault trial nears end

Young said she met Weinstein and Salinas, an acquaintance, in the Montage hotel on 19 February 2013.

"If I had done that, I would remember that", Salinas testified.

"I would never close the door on anybody, ever", she said.

Salinas, now 38 and working as a social media influencer, took the witness stand as the defence called witnesses for a third day after more than two weeks of prosecution testimony. She said she met Weinstein in 2012 while she was an aspiring actress and never had a romantic relationship with him, adding that he had a "very strong personality" and "at times, he wasn't nice to me".

Prosecutors called other accusers as witnesses as part of an effort to show he has used the same tactics to victimize many women over the years.

Maia claims she met both Mann and Weinstein for breakfast at the hotel in March 2013, and accompanied Mann to her room before she checked out.

Weinstein, 67, has pleaded not guilty to charges in NY of raping Mann and to sexually assaulting former production assistant Mimi Haleyi. Damon Cheronis, one of Weinstein's lawyers, suggested in his opening statement last month that Haleyi was trying to hide evidence of her contacts with Weinstein after the alleged assault.

"That's correct", Weinstein confirmed when asked by the judge. Three other women who are not part of the criminal charges, Dawn Dunning, Tarale Wulff and Lauren Young, testified that Weinstein sexually assaulted them.

It comes after Mann's former friend Talita Maia, a Brazilian-born actress, testified on Monday that Mann did not show any distress after the alleged attack.

Young, a model, testified last week that Salinas closed the door behind her and Weinstein as they went into the bathroom, where she alleges he stripped off his clothes, grabbed her breast and masturbated. "It could have happened but it didn't mean I was there".

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Last week, court 99 of the NY supreme court heard an heard an account from Young, 30, a model from Pennsylvania.

Since testimony began on January 22, six women have taken the stand in NY to say they were sexually assaulted by Weinstein, allegations the ex-Hollywood titan denies.

The accuser told the court last week that she did not tell anybody what happened but was "pretty shut down" at breakfast.

Illuzzi downplayed the issue by noting that the jury has not, in fact, seen Weinstein enter and exit the courtroom even if (as she pointed to the device that's been by Weinstein's side throughout the trial) "the walker has been there as a prop". Weinstein lawyer Donna Rotunno asked.

She explained: "Jessica did things in my life that impacted my life in a negative way, but I don't hate her".

The Associated Press does not typically identify people who say they have been victims of sexual assault, unless they come forward publicly.

Maia said she was testifying against her wishes under a subpoena from Weinstein's lawyers.

Mann never told her ex-roommate that she had been assaulted by the former producer, Maia said during the cross-examination, while insisting that her former friend did not look upset and "seemed like herself" after the producer allegedly raped her in a DoubleTree hotel back in 2013.

Later, Illuzzi asked Maia how Mann often spoke of Weinstein. "It's because he's so cute".

If he does, he faces the prospect of prosecutors grilling him over the allegations and could give them an opening to bring in more witnesses in an attempt to rebut anything he says.

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