Harvey Weinstein trial adjourned


Harvey Weinstein's trial was adjourned on Monday (03.02.20) after a witness suffered a panic attack on the stand.

Jessica Mann - who has accused the producer of rape and claimed she was in a non-sexual relationship with him for some time - was being questioned by the defense and broke down when asked to read a letter she had written to a former boyfriend, which mentioned she had been sexually assaulted when she was younger.

The witness was asked to read the note, in which she talked about her relationship with Weinstein, describing him as a father figure who validated her, and she began to cry when she read a line that revealed she had been sexually abused long before meeting the movie mogul when she was 27.

A short break took place to allow Jessica to compose herself, but she struggled as lead prosecutor, Joan Illuzzi, tried to comfort her.

She was told: "Sit back. Take a deep breath."

When she was still unable to calm down, the judge adjourned the trial for the day and the 34-year-old witness appeared to be struggling to breath as she left the court room, still crying.

Before the case was adjourned, Jessica insisted she had no choice but to stay with Weinstein after the defence suggested she "could have walked away and never seen him again".

In response, Jessica said: "Not from my point of view. [I] engaged with my abuser because of what I believed in my mind and the perception of the society I lived in ... it was always in my best interest to feel that the temperature gauge between us was going to be okay."

Jessica was also asked about her "role play" with Weinstein, in which she would help him "create a fantasy" without having sex.

She added: "I would put on the face and do what I said earlier, which was like role playing. When I didn't think he could have actual sex, I thought we were creating a fantasy as if he were having actual sex."

And when asked by Weinstein's defence lawyer Donna Rotunno if she was "happy" to engage in sexual encounters with the producer, Jessica alleged there were often "negotiations" before the encounters took place.

She said: "I wasn't happy to do it ... oftentimes there would be a negotiation.

"The more I realised I was just being used, I tried not to have sexual encounters with him ... sometimes he just wanted to masturbate while holding me."

Last week, Jessica told courts that Weinstein had raped her in a hotel room in March 2013.

The producer is facing predatory sexual assault and rape charges stemming from the allegations of three women - Jessica, Miriam "Mimi" Haleyi, and Annabella Sciorra.

He has pleaded not guilty, and has denied all allegations of non-consensual sex.