Annabella Sciorra Didn’t Gain From Weinstein Charge, Prosecutor Says – Deadline

Posted 2020/02/14 0

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The lead prosecutor in the Harvey Weinstein rape trial Friday derided yesterday’s depiction of Annabella Sciorra by defense attorneys as a broke and washed-up actress who decided to become “relevant” again by making up rape allegations against the ex-mogul.

“Seriously,” lead prosecutor Joan Illuzzi told jurors shortly after beginning her closing arguments this morning, “how marketable do you think it makes Annabella Sciorra to have to come here to this courtroom, in public, in front of all of you…in front of the entire world” and describe the details of her rape and the self-destructive activities that followed?

“How does it benefit her to say she was cutting herself and putting blood on her wall with the gold leaf?,” Illuzzi asked, referring to Sciorra’s testimony that in the wake of the alleged rape in the early ’90s she became a Valium addict, drank too much and began to cut herself on the legs. At one point, Sciorra testified, as she was painting a white room red, she began to mix her own blood into the paint, marking the blood spots with bits of gold leaf.

“Do you think that’s a career booster?” Illuzzi asked the jury. “What producer would want that image associated with whatever film they were putting out? This is a career move? Really?”

Illuzzi began the prosecution’s closing arguments today by suggesting the case against Weinstein is about “power, manipulation and abuse” and the “wanton lack of human empathy that most of us possess.”

Describing Weinstein’s approach to the women he allegedly attacked, said Illuzzi, is “This universe is run by me so they don’t get to complain…” The prosecutor described Weinstein as “an abusive rapist” who maintained contact with his victims “to make sure that one day that they won’t step out of the shadows and accuse him of what he was.”

After addressing the Sciorra testimony, Illuzzi then moved on to the other women who testified in the trial. She will likely focus on Miriam Haley and Jessica Mann, the accusers whose charges are the subject of this trial for most of the day.

Weinstein, the 67-year-old former Miramax chief who has been publicly named by dozens of women for alleged sexual misconduct, is on trial in New York State Supreme Court in the cases of Haley, now 42, who was a production assistant on Project Runway in 2006 when, she says, Weinstein held her down in a hotel room and forcibly performed oral sex on her; and Mann, 34, a former actress, model and hairstylist who claims Weinstein raped her in 2013 at the DoubleTree Hotel in Midtown Mannhattan.

Weinstein insists all sexual relations were consensual, and has pleaded not guilty in this Manhattan courtroom to five felony charges including rape, criminal sexual assault and predatory sexual assault. He could be sentenced to life in prison if convicted of predatory sexual assault.



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