Harvey Weinstein rape accuser Jessica Mann had repeatedly called the once-powerful movie mogul her “spiritual soulmate,” a former pal testified at Weinstein’s sex abuse trial Monday.
Talita “Coco” Maia, a Brazilian actress and ex-friend of Mann’s, glanced at Weinstein and smiled as she was called to the witness stand at Manhattan Supreme Court.
“She said a few times that [Weinstein] was her spiritual soulmate,” Maia told jurors in reference to Mann, and added that Mann never told her that Weinstein hurt her or raped her.
“She seemed to really like him as a person,” Maia, who said she was subpoenaed to testify, noted.
During her testimony, Maia said she met Mann on a movie set in October 2012 before Mann eventually moved in with her in late 2012 or early 2013.
Maia said she took Mann to a party in the Hollywood Hills where they met Weinstein for the first time.
“He approached me and made a joke [that] I was the only person eating at a Los Angeles party,” Maia testified, adding that Mann then approached.
“Then I realized I had to introduce them and I didn’t know who he was, so I said, ‘by the way, we’ve been talking a long time’ and he said his name was ‘Harvey Weinstein.’”
Then, Maia, said she “made a joke,” telling Weinstein “that’s why everyone is being so nice to you.”
Mann, Maia claimed, “reacted and put her arm around Harvey and pinched his cheek and said, ‘no, it’s because he’s so cute.’”
Maia testified that at the Hollywood Hills party she saw Mann and Weinstein “coming out of a secluded area” and said that she remembered that Mann gave Weinstein her number.
“I think she was impressed, maybe.”
Mann, 34, who has accused Weinstein of raping her twice, including at the DoubleTree Hotel in Midtown on March 18, 2013, previously testified that Maia was inside a suite at the Montage Beverly Hills when Weinstein allegedly forced oral sex on her inside the bedroom.
Mann, who has admitted to having on-and-off consensual sexual encounters with Weinstein for years, testified that during that alleged incident at the Montage she “started to fake an orgasm to get out of it.”
Maia recalled on the stand how she, Mann and Weinstein went up to Weinstein’s suite at the Montage after getting drinks with Weinstein following an Oscars party.
“When I got out of the bathroom, I got kind of surprised by them,” she said. “They asked me to go upstairs with them. They were very clear there was nothing for me to worry about.”
Maia said she obliged.
“I was just uncomfortable…I didn’t want to go to a room with them,” Maia testified. “I didn’t know what they were going to do…I know that Mann was already seeing him.”
Maia said she watched TV on the couch “for about 10 minutes, “while Mann and Weinstein went into a room “and closed the door.”
She testified that Mann never asked her for help and that Mann did not seem upset afterwards.
“She seemed ok,” Maia said of Mann.
Under cross-examination by Assistant DA Joan Illuzzi-Orbon, Maia said that Mann was supposed to be a bridesmaid at her January 2017 wedding ceremony and that Mann was planning to take Weinstein as a date.
“He was going to be her date if he was available,” Maia said. “I invited him as a gesture. I didn’t expect him to go.”
Maia said that she decided to not invite Mann anymore after they had a falling out.
When asked whether Mann ever said she was “romantically interested” in Weinstein, Maia said: “She seemed like she was…she was always wanting to see him.”
Maia replied “yes” when she was asked by Illuzzi-Orbon if she got the impression that Mann was looking to date Weinstein.
“She said she sang for him…it wasn’t an audition…she mentioned that there was flirtation.”
Prosecutors have said that Maia had encouraged Mann to carry on a relationship with Weinstein to advance their careers, but Maia denied those claims Monday.
Maia was at the DoubleTree Hotel on the morning of the alleged rape, and said that later that day, she and Mann went to a movie screening where they saw Weinstein and his now ex-wife Georgina Chapman.
When asked by defense lawyer Arthur Aidala, how was Mann’s reaction seeing Weinstein and Chapman, she said: “I think it was awkward for both of us, but she was just in awe. She’s a very beautiful woman.”
Illuzzi-Orbon later produced a January 2014 email in which Maia wished Weinstein a happy New Year and thanked him for his help and connections.
Weinstein responded: “Tell your friend Jess, I’m friendly,” in reference to Mann.
Maia said that she “understood that as a joke.”
“They seemed to have a really friendly, really good relationship,” Maia said. “She was always saying good things about him.”
During her testimony, Maia admitted that Mann had told her she was upset that Weinstein had allegedly pressured her to have a threesome with Italian actress Emanuela Postacchini.
“Mann was curious about girls,” Maia said. “When she met Emanuela she mentioned that she was gorgeous. She kept saying that.”
“For me what I understood back then is [Mann] just panicked,” Maia said. “For me it wasn’t something with Harvey. It was something with herself.”
Earlier Monday, Nelson Lopez, the longtime building manager of the former home of Weinstein accuser “The Sopranos” actress Annabella Sciorra, nervously took the stand.
Lopez, who was subpoenaed to testify, said he has worked as the resident manager at 60 Gramercy Park North in Manhattan for more than three decades and noted that it was his job to make sure the building was staffed with a doorman 24 hours a day.
Sciorra, 59, previously testified that Weinstein allegedly raped her inside her Gramercy Park apartment in the early 1990s after a dinner. The actress claimed Weinstein forced his way into her apartment and then forced himself on her before boasting, “I have perfect timing.”
Lopez testified that Sciorra never contacted him about someone coming to her apartment unannounced and that she never complained someone was let up to her apartment before going through the doorman first.
Lopez, who noted that in the evenings there were two doormen, said it was building policy that a tenant had to be called before a visitor came up, and that Sciorra never complained the policy was violated.
“When the resident is receiving a guest, they first meet the doorman at the main entrance,” Lopez explained. “The doorman asks them, ‘May I help you?’ They say, ‘I wish to see Mr. or Misses…and they call that particular tenant.”
Under cross-examination, Lopez said that he does not know the date of the alleged rape, or whether or not a doorman called in sick that day.
Lopez also testified that he “never” saw Weinstein in the building.
When Illuzzi-Orbon asked about a doorman possibly being bribed by someone to let them up, Lopez responded, “I don’t think they could be bribed.”
Weinstein’s defense attorneys said in court Monday that they may rest their case Tuesday.
The charges against Weinstein in the Manhattan case stem from sex assault encounters involving Mann, Sciorra, and former production assistant Miriam “Mimi” Haleyi.
Weinstein, 67, has denied all accusations of non-consensual sex. He faces up to life in prison.
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