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Actress Rosie Perez testified in Harvey Weinstein’s sexual assault trial Friday afternoon that her friend Annabella Sciorra told her back in 1993 that she thought she was the victim of rape.
In emotional testimony Thursday, Sciorra said that Weinstein raped her in the winter of 1993 after an industry dinner.
Perez told jurors that she sensed something was wrong when she called Sciorra one night in 1993 and asked her to hang out. “She was talking in this very strange whisper of a voice, as if she was hiding from someone,” she said. “I said, ‘What’s wrong with you?’ She said, ‘I think something bad happened. … I think I was raped.’ The way she said it was so strange, because she was still whispering. … She started crying.”
Perez said that, at the time, Sciorra wouldn’t tell her who raped her. “I can’t, I can’t,” Sciorra allegedly told her. “I kept trying to call her back, all night long, because I was so upset. And she wouldn’t pick up the phone.”
But, later on, Perez said that Sciorra “told me that it was in fact Harvey Weinstein who raped her.” At that point, Sciorra described the alleged assault to Perez, she said.
Back in the 1990s, Sciorra had told Perez not to tell anybody. She refused Perez’s suggestion that she tell police about the alleged assault. “It’s going to destroy me,” Perez said Sciorra told her.
On cross-examination from Weinstein’s lawyer, Perez explained why she did not come to Sciorra’s residence when she was informed of what happened. “I was being respectful,” she said. “I kept calling and calling and calling. If you have a friend, a girlfriend, who tells you something like that, you don’t know what to do. You don’t want to overstep your bounds.”
Perez continued: “It was shocking. I was in a shock. I was in a panic. I kept calling her repeatedly, crying, begging her to pick up the phone to say she was OK.”
The actress teared up as she finished her testimony and left the witness stand.
Later Friday afternoon, the prosecution called Kara Young, who worked as a model and is friends with Sciorra.
Young testified that she interacted with Sciorra in the next few months after the alleged sexual assault, in March 1994, when they watched a broadcast of the Academy Awards together. “She was different,” Young said. “She was fidgety and nervous and seemed like a mess.”
Young said that Sciorra “had cuts between her legs, on her upper thighs. Long, skinny cuts.” Sciorra admitted to Young that she was cutting herself.
Arthur Aidala, a lawyer for Weinstein, suggested to the witness that Sciorra’s behavior may have been explained by her use of the drug Valium, which she discussed Thursday.
“She was jittering?” Aidala asked Young. “Just like someone who may have been coming off an addiction? People who are detoxing from drugs have certain symptoms.”
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