Lucia Evans gave a wrenching account on Tuesday of her efforts to hold Harvey Weinstein responsible for sexual assault, saying she felt betrayed after the Manhattan D.A.’s office dropped her allegations last year.
Evans spoke to Variety after giving a speech at a conference on influencer fraud in Manhattan, making her first public comments on the case since prosecutors dismissed her claims.
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“I was blindsided,” she said in the speech, tearing up as she recounted the D.A.’s decision. “The thing that had consumed my life for the past year, that has taken its toll on my marriage, my family, my career — it’s just over. I felt so abandoned. I felt betrayed.”
Evans alleges that Weinstein forced her to perform oral sex on him during a midday meeting at his Tribeca office in 2004. She first made the allegation in Ronan Farrow’s piece in the New Yorker in October 2017. After the story was published, three officers from the New York Police Department showed up to her door, saying that she was the “only one” who could put the Hollywood bigshot in jail.
Evans worked with the detectives for months and testified before the grand jury, which indicted Weinstein on six counts. But prosecutors later spoke with a witness who alleged that Evans had given a contradictory account of the incident, saying it was consensual. Prosecutors also said that Evans had written a different version of the story in a draft email to her fiance in 2015. Citing the conflicting versions, the D.A. voluntarily dropped the charge. Evans has stood by her allegations, and her attorney blasted D.A. Cyrus Vance last year for “throwing cooperative crime victims under the bus.”
Weinstein is set to go on trial on Jan. 6 on the remaining five charges, which include allegations that he raped another woman in 2013 and forcibly performed oral sex on a third victim in 2006. Actress Annabella Sciorra is also expected to testify that Weinstein raped her in 1993. Weinstein’s attorneys have denied all of the allegations.
Evans, once an aspiring actress, is now chief experience officer at Storified Brands. She gave the keynote address at the inaugural Influencer Fraudnomics Summit in Manhattan, hosted and produced by Sylo, recounting for the audience her turbulent story after coming forward with the accusation.
She revealed that one of the hardest moments was when police and the D.A.’s office had her visit the scene of the alleged crime.
“They made me go walk the crime scene in [Weinstein’s] old office in Tribeca,” said Evans. “And afterwards, I just sat on the subway with my husband saying, ‘Everything’s gonna be all right.’ I just cried because ‘How could it be?’”
Other actresses started approaching Evans with their own stories. But immediately after the charge was dropped, she said that her new friends stopped calling. She recalled feeling “disposable” and like “a pawn.” But now, she said that although she still deals with the pain, she found herself again and is ready to tell her story and help others do the same.
“I was so excited to go meet with [Weinstein], I thought it was going to be my big break,” Evans told Variety after the summit. “I know that everyone goes through this. I’m one of what, 100 people that have gone through this with this one man and most people have much worse stories than me. But I know that this happens to all of us. This happens to men, the trans community, every marginalized community. Yes, it’s really painful and it’s not been easy. But at least I’m finding myself again. I can finally look in the mirror and recognize myself again.”
Although Evans called her journey “messy,” she wants survivors to keep coming forward with their stories and “own their truth,” even in the face of other disappointing stories.
“I just don’t want [survivors] to feel demoralized. News comes out that’s like, ‘No recourse for the [Jeffrey] Epstein victims.’ They never feel like they got their justice. And then Christine Blasey Ford. I just don’t want women to be demoralized,” Evans said. “Don’t let this stop you. There’s always going to be people and entities that stand in our way. We just have to keep going.”
Evans is still following the Weinstein case closely, and was heartened when Sciorra came forward with her own allegations. The trial was initially set for September, but was postponed to January to give the defense more time to respond to those allegations.
“Things are just unfolding slowly and both sides are pushing and it seems like they’ve made some progress, which is nice, which I’m happy about,” she said. “With Annabella Sciorra, she’s amazing. She’s one of the few actresses that still talks to me even after this happened. I’m happy with the progress they’ve made. We’ll see when it happens.”