Massage therapist breaks down on stand at Harvey Weinstein’s LA rape trial as she describes being ‘sexually assaulted in a bathroom’ by the disgraced mogul – and reveals she told friend Mel Gibson about the incident before reporting
- A message therapist who alleges she was sexually assaulted by Harvey Weinstein said the first person she told was actor Mel Gibson
- The masseuse, identified only as Jane Doe 3, said Weinstein groped her and masturbated in front of her after a massage session in 2010
- ‘I was terrified, I thought I was about to get raped,’ she said, describing how Weinstein aggressively barged into a bathroom she was in
- Weinstein allegedly offered her a book deal after the incident and told her they were now ‘close friends’
- She felt powerless to report the incident until she had a session with Gibson, and ‘freaked out’ when he said he was doing a movie with Weinstein
A massage therapist broke down on the stand at Harvey Weinstein’s trial in Los Angeles, where she described being sexually assaulted by the disgraced producer and feared speaking up about it until she told one of her other clients, Mel Gibson.
The masseuse, identified only as Jane Doe 3, said Weinstein, 70, groped her and masturbated in front of her in a bathroom after one of their appointments.
She said she was ‘young and naive’ at the time and felt like she couldn’t tell her authorities or her fiancé, but when Gibson indicated he’d be working with Weinstein, she told him what happened.
Weinstein is accused of 11 rape and sexual assault counts in the trial, and has pleaded not guilty and said all encounters were consensual.
The first assault allegedly occurred after a massage session with Weinstein in a Montage Hotel bathroom in 2010.
Jane Doe 3 said Weinstein masturbated in front of her and groped her chest after a massage session in 2010, and said they were ‘close friends’ when she asked why he did it
‘He tried to normalize what he did to me. He made me feel like it was strange for making it awkward like masturbation is something everybody does,’ the accuser said of Weinstein
Weinstein is accused of 11 rape and sexual assault counts in the Los Angeles trial, and is currently serving time behind bars after being convicted of assaults in New York
When we she went to wash her hands in the bathroom, the movie mogul barged in naked and began masturbating before pushing her up against a wall and groping underneath her shirt.
‘He went toward me in a very aggressive manner. He pushed me against the wall. That’s when he started to put his hand under my bra and feel my chest,’ she said.
She said the relentless assault continued despite her clearly asking him to stop and saying ‘this is not appropriate.’
‘I was terrified, I thought I was about to get raped,’ she said.
After he finished, the masseuse asked him ‘why did you do this to me?’ to which he responded ‘We’re close friends now, you have full access to me. I want to get you a book deal to write about massage.’
‘He tried to normalize what he did to me. He made me feel like it was strange for making it awkward like masturbation is something everybody does. Basically humiliating me, like my reaction wasn’t normal’ she said.
Weinstein offered her a book deal which eventually fell apart, and she was left scared to tell the police out of fear she’d lose her other ‘high-end’ clients for reporting the assault.
‘I blame myself because I didn’t do more. I blame myself because I just wish I did more,’ she added.
Jane Doe 3 and Weinstein had more massage sessions, and at a later one, he again masturbated ‘about six feet away’ from her and asked her to watch him.
When actor Mel Gibson told Jane Doe 3 he would be working with Weinstein, she ‘freaked out’ and told him about the assault, leading to him testifying at the trial against him
Jane Doe 3 said the assault occurred after a massage session at the Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills in 2010
‘That’s one of the reasons why I didn’t want to come forward. Because this is embarrassing,’ she said.
But when actor Mel Gibson said he would be working with Weinstein, she ‘freaked out.’
‘I freaked out, I started basically saying how could you ever want to work with this man, why would you ever want to work with this person? He asked what happened,’ said Jane Doe 3.
‘I went into shock and I started crying. He was the first person that I finally opened up to about what happened. I told him that he sexually assaulted me, but I didn’t want to get into all the details, I was embarrassed and humiliated,’ she said.
Gibson asked if she would like to report the assault to the police or speak to a lawyer, but Jane Doe 3 said she was overwhelmed because ‘it was the first time I had ever opened my mouth and told someone about it verbally.’
Gibson is set to take the stand in support of her allegations, though Weinstein’s lawyers have indicated they will ask Gibson about his past anti-Semitic and racist remarks.
Judge Lisa B. Lench said Gibson cannot be cross-examined over those incidents, but the defense can ask whether Gibson had a motivation against Weinstein because he is Jewish.
Weinstein’s attorneys argued against allowing Gibson to testify, saying that what he learned from the woman while getting a massage from her does not constitute a ‘fresh complaint’ by the woman under the law by which Gibson would take the stand.
A ‘fresh complaint’ under California law allows the introduction of evidence of sexual assault or another crime if the victim reported it to someone else voluntarily and relatively promptly after it happened.
Gibson did not remember the timing of the exchange, but the prosecution will use another witness, Allison Weiner, who remembers speaking to both Gibson and the woman in 2015.
Judge Lench said Gibson’s testimony will depend on how the accuser describes the exchange with him when she takes the stand, and she may choose to rule against it at that time.
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