LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jennifer Siebel Newsom, a documentary filmmaker and the wife of California Gov. Gavin Newsom, took the stand Monday at the rape trial of Harvey Weinstein.
Siebel Newsom spent 15 minutes on the stand at the downtown Los Angeles courtroom before a lunch break, becoming the fourth woman Weinstein is accused of sexually assaulting to testify at the former movie magnate’s trial.
The 48-year-old Siebel Newsom was “a powerless actor trying to make her way in Hollywood” in 2005 when Weinstein raped her during what she thought was going to be a meeting to discuss her career at a Beverly Hills hotel, Deputy District Attorney Paul Thompson said during the trial’s opening statements.
Weinstein’s lawyers say the two had consensual sex and that she sought to use the powerful producer to advance her career.
When asked by a prosecutor if she saw the person in court that she met at a Toronto film festival in 2005, she went silent then burst into tears before managing to mutter “yes” into the microphone.
“He’s wearing a suit, and a blue tie, and he’s staring at me,” she said when asked to describe him. She had only described their initial meeting before the court broke for lunch.
Siebel Newsom is known as Jane Doe #4 at the trial, and like the others Weinstein is charged with raping or sexually assaulting, her name is not being spoken in court. But both the prosecution and the defense identified have identified her as the governor’s wife during the trial and Siebel Newsom’s attorney confirmed to the AP and other news outlets that she is Jane Doe #4.
The Associated Press does not typically name people who say they have been sexually abused unless they have come forward publicly.
Weinstein has had many famous accusers, including A-list actors, since he became a magnet for the #MeToo movement in 2017. But none of the women telling their stories at the Los Angeles trial have had anywhere near the prominence of Siebel Newsom, first partner to the man who last week sailed to a second term as governor of the nation’s most populous state and may make a run for the White House.
“She intends to testify at his trial in order to seek some measure of justice for survivors, and as part of her life’s work to improve the lives of women,” her attorney Elizabeth Fegan said …read more