8:21am PT by Jeremy Barr
Harvey Weinstein's Lawyers Attack Key Accuser's Testimony: "You're Confused a Lot"
On Monday morning, Harvey Weinstein’s top lawyer sought to upend the testimony of Jessica Mann, who told the jury on Friday that the former movie mogul raped her twice in 2013, when they were in a relationship.
Donna Rotunno pointed specifically to emails that Mann sent to Weinstein, including one from April 2013, a month after she said that Weinstein raped her at the DoubleTree Hotel in Manhattan. “I hope to see you sooner than later,” Mann wrote to Weinstein. In August 2013, she told him “I hope some of your genius rubs off on me.”
“You knew that your words were a problem in your testimony,” Rotunno told Mann. “You sent him emails telling him how wonderful he was. You sent him emails thanking him. You sent him emails asking for things.”
As Mann explained to the prosecution during her initial testimony on Friday, she said she flattered Weinstein in emails because she was scared of him and wanted to appear non-threatening. “There was a reason my behavior was like this,” she said. “It’s just keeping him happy. I felt safe on email.”
When Rotunno told Mann that she emailed Weinstein flatteringly because “you still wanted the benefit of what he had to offer,” Mann replied, “That’s your version of the reason.”
“You didn’t find one email in five years that showed that Mr. Weinstein was negative or pushy or difficult in any way,” Rotunno said.
Rotunno also pressed Mann when she admitted to being “confused” about what she had said in the past. “You’re confused a lot, Ms. Mann,” the lawyer said, drawing a sustained objection from the prosecution. At another point, Mann responded to a question by saying that she needed a break. “I’m getting a little foggy,” she said.
Rotunno argued that Mann “manipulated” her client during their interactions. “You made him think that you wanted to be there,” she said. “You could have walked away from Harvey Weinstein and never seen him again.”
Asked why Mann didn’t want her friends to see her leaving a hotel room with Weinstein, Mann said, “Abuse is embarrassing, so yeah, having to talk about it and being perceived certain ways. I’m a very insecure person at that time in my life.”
Mann’s testimony and credibility is key because her rape allegation is contained in the indictment against Weinstein in New York County — along with former Project Runway production assistant Miriam Haley’s sexual assault allegation.
Rotunno also suggested on Monday that Mann continued her relationship with Weinstein because she enjoyed going to the A-list Hollywood parties he could get her into.
On Friday, Mann testified in graphic detail about Weinstein’s body. She provided further clarity on Monday about a time when he allegedly urinated on her. “He asked me to come into the shower and he said, ‘Have you ever had a golden shower?’ and I said, ‘No,’ and then I felt him peeing on me,” Mann said. “I was shocked by it. It was gross.”
Prior to Mann’s testimony, it was revealed that Tarale Wulff, who testified last week that Weinstein raped her while she was working as a waitress at the Cipriani’s Upstairs lounge in the mid-2000s, will be re-called to answer further questions on Tuesday.