Harvey Weinstein’s lawyer pressured California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s wife, Jennifer Seibel Newsom, into Weinstein’s rape trial in Los Angeles on Tuesday, trying to poke holes in her testimony during candid cross-examination.
Siebel Newsom took the stand for a second day on Tuesday, clashing with Weinstein attorney Mark Werksman through his rapid-fire line of questioning, which centered on Newsom’s claim and his earlier testimony that Weinstein raped her at the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills in 2005.
Weinstein — who is already serving a 23-year prison sentence following a separate trial in New York — is currently on trial in Los Angeles on 7 counts of sexual assault, stemming from allegations by five different women who say he abused them in hotels between 2004 and 2013. Weinstein denies the allegations and has paid acquitted
Werksman focused on what Sibel Newsom told LA District Attorney investigators and the grand jury in 2020 about the alleged assault, which also prompted her to testify Monday. Sibel Newsom told Werksman that she initially thought her claim was beyond the statute of limitations.
“When you told the police, do you think the things you said to the police would lead to criminal charges?” Werksman asked, according to the trial pool report. Siebel Newsom replied, “Honestly, I was just telling the truth and didn’t know what the outcome would be.”
Sibel Newsom said during cross-examination Tuesday that she’s not sure if she told police that in an effort to get out of the assault, she helped Weinstein ejaculate, as she testified yesterday.
“Sometimes things are in my head and I don’t remember if I said them or not,” said Sibel Newsom.
“Yesterday you mentioned having nightmares. Did you really have difficulty distinguishing what happened in a nightmare and what actually happened in a bedroom on the peninsula?” Werksman asked. “No no.” Siebel Newsom replied.
“Over the past several days, my client, Jane Doe 4, has taken the incredibly difficult and painful step of publicly recounting her sexual assault at the hands of Harvey Weinstein. She knew it might have been easier to keep the memory of her 2005 assault buried, but she is… She couldn’t.” “Throughout her testimony, she demonstrated tremendous strength and determination in telling her truth and stood firm while Weinstein’s defense team ruthlessly tried to discredit her.”
On Monday, Sibel Newsom testified that to get out of the situation, she made “pleasant noises” and helped Weinstein ejaculate with her hand, then managed to get dressed and leave the room. With Werksman’s questions, Siebel Newsom took issue with Werksman’s use of the word “orgasm”.
“I faked an orgasm,” Werksman said. “Not long ago. This was not when Harry met Sally.” The use of the word orgasm was “pretty gross,” said Siebel Newsom, telling Werksman.
In op-ed remarks, Werksman said Sibel Newsom would be “just another bimbo who slept with Harvey Weinstein to get ahead in Hollywood” if she didn’t call herself a rape victim.
Werksman suggested in op-ed statements that two of the women’s accounts were false, while the other three women engaged in the “sex trade” with Weinstein to further their careers.
“Your energy is so intense, you’re just adding stuff,” said Sibel Newsom Lerksman, who greeted her for correcting him. He said she didn’t answer some of his questions.