LOS ANGELES –
A woman testified Monday that Harvey Weinstein sexually assaulted her in a resort room in the course of the Toronto Film Festival in 1991, then did it once more when she went to confront him in the identical resort throughout the identical pageant 17 years later.
Kelly Sipherd instructed a Los Angeles jury that she was a 24-year-old aspiring actor on the 1991 pageant and did not know who Weinstein was earlier than she met him at a celebration. She mentioned her pals there have been abuzz concerning the man whose firm Miramax had surged to the forefront of impartial movie and was making its mark on the Oscars.
Sipherd mentioned she was charmed by Weinstein at first as they mentioned books and movies.
“We acquired alongside very effectively,” she mentioned. “He was very clever. We had an exquisite dialog.”
The Associated Press doesn’t usually title individuals who say they’ve been sexually abused, however Sipherd agreed Monday to be named by means of her lawyer.
She mentioned the 2 of them left the occasion for a glass of wine at a close-by cafe, then she went with him to his room on the Four Seasons Hotel as a result of he mentioned he had a script for a movie with a task that may be excellent for him.
Once there, he went into the toilet and emerged carrying solely an open shirt and holding a scorching washcloth, Sipherd testified.
“It all occurred very, very in a short time,” she mentioned. “I used to be in shock. It was so sudden.”
She mentioned he pulled her skirt off, put the washcloth on her and instructed her “my spouse loves this.”
She testified that she felt “nauseous, scared, terrified” and repeatedly instructed him to cease and requested “what are you doing?”
She mentioned he held her down and sexually assaulted her along with his mouth and his hand. He then climbed on high of her and began to rape her however she was in a position to slip away and depart the room.
Sipherd testified that Weinstein known as her at house repeatedly within the weeks that adopted, and she or he usually hung up, however finally spoke to him.
“The encounter that you simply describe sounds horrifying,” Jackson lawyer Alan Jackson instructed Sipherd in his cross-examination, saying Weinstein appeared like somebody one would cross the road to keep away from in any respect prices. “But you did not stroll the opposite means, or cross the road, or spit on him, you truly took his cellphone calls.”
Sipherd finally accepted a suggestion from him to come back to New York and discuss to a woman who does casting for him, however took a pal with plans to maintain her continuously at her facet.
“Your rapist was persuasive in making an attempt to get you to come back with him to see him in New York?” he requested. Sipherd replied, “sure.”
In New York, she mentioned Weinstein known as her in her resort room from the foyer and instructed her to eliminate her pal and he was developing. She refused, and left New York having by no means seen him or the casting agent.
Already serving a 23-year sentence in New York, Weinstein, 70, has pleaded not responsible to 11 counts of rape and sexual assault involving 5 girls in Los Angeles and has denied participating in any non-consensual intercourse.
He shouldn’t be charged with the alleged assaults described in Monday’s testimony. Sipherd, together with three others, is being allowed to testify so prosecutors can try to point out Weinstein’s propensity for the crimes he is charged with.
Sipherd testified that she didn’t see Weinstein once more till 2008, when she was 41 and quickly dwelling on the Four Seasons together with her husband and youngsters. She bumped into Weinstein within the foyer throughout that 12 months’s pageant.
“My blood sort of stopped,” she mentioned. “I used to be very indignant.”
When Weinstein’s assistant got here to her room to say he needed to fulfill together with her, she agreed.
“I needed to confront him,” she mentioned. “I felt like I used to be prepared to present it to him.”
Once in his room, she remembered asking, “How does it really feel to be in entrance of the one woman who mentioned no to you?”
Weinstein then dismissed his assistant from the room, and rapidly guided her towards a door. She mentioned earlier than she realized it she was in a closed toilet with Weinstein, the place he was blocking her means out.
She mentioned Weinstein grabbed her breasts and masturbated in entrance of her earlier than letting her depart the room.
Jackson mentioned it gave the impression of Weinstein “escorted” her into the toilet “politely.”
She replied that she did not know she was being led into the toilet.
“You did not see the sink, the vainness, the mirror?” Jackson requested.
“It was darkish,” she replied.
“So you went with him in a darkish room?” Jackson mentioned.
Then Jackson requested why she did not depart, or make better efforts to sound an alarm.
“You end up for the second time alone with this rapist and also you did not scream?” he requested.
“I used to be mortified and in shock,” Sipherd mentioned.
Sipherd mentioned she did not inform anybody concerning the second assault for years due to the “sheer embarrassment” of getting it occur once more.
“I used to be in shock,” she mentioned. “So embarrassed, simply so embarrassed.”
Her testimony seems to be the primary time she has instructed her story in a public setting.
Resources for sexual assault survivors in Canada
If you or somebody you understand is combating sexual assault or trauma, the next sources can be found to assist folks in disaster:
If you might be in speedy hazard or concern on your security, it is best to name 911.
A full listing of sexual assault centres in Canada that supply data, advocacy and counselling may be discovered at ReeseCommunity.com. Resources in your neighborhood may be discovered by getting into your postal code.
Helplines, authorized providers and areas that supply sexual assault kits in Alberta, B.C., Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Quebec, Ontario and Nova Scotia may be discovered right here.
(*17*) Residential School Crisis Line: +1 866 925 4419
24-hour disaster line: 416 597 8808
Canadian Human Trafficking Hotline: +1 833 900 1010
Trans Lifeline: +1 877 330 6366
Sexual misconduct assist for present or former members of the Armed Forces: +1 844 750 1648
Read about your rights as a sufferer right here.