Harvey Weinstein’s rape trial in New York continued Tuesday with the former roommate of one of the ex-movie mogul’s accusers corroborating details of Weinstein’s alleged 2006 sexual assault.
Elizabeth Entin, who was Miriam Haley’s roommate at the time Haley alleged she was sexually assaulted by Weinstein, testified that Haley, a former assistant on “Project Runway,” relayed explicit details of the alleged rape shortly after it occurred in 2006.
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According to Entin, Haley told her she had gone to Weinstein’s New York City apartment, assuming it was a work-related visit.
“She came in and he started rubbing her shoulders and kissing her and she said, ‘No, no,'” Entin told the jury. “She said ‘I’m on my period’ and he said ‘I don’t care,’ at which point he threw her down and he wouldn’t stop… He pulled down her underwear and pulled down her tampon and went down on her when she was saying, ‘No.’”
On Monday, Haley, a former “Project Runway” assistant, took the witness stand and provided graphic testimony of being sexually assaulted by Weinstein. During her six hours on the stand, she said she had told her roommate, Entin, about what happened at the time. Haley was the second alleged victim of Weinstein to take the stand, following actor Annabella Sciorra last week, who testified that the disgraced ex-film mogul raped her in 1993 or 1994.
On Tuesday, Entin, questioned by Assistant District Attorney Meghan Hast, said she was traveling for work in 2006 as a fashion-stylist assistant when Haley first told her about being attacked by Weinstein. Entin said it was unusual for Haley to call her when she was away for business. Subsequently, according to Entin, Haley told her in person about the alleged assault by Weinstein.
“I said, ‘Miriam, that sounds like rape’ and told her to call a lawyer,” Entin testified. She said Haley seemed very distraught and was shaking, and didn’t seem like she could really talk about the incident. She “was not really present,” Entin said, explaining that she didn’t “feel it was right” to keep pushing her roommate to pursue rape charges. “I didn’t feel it was my place or was right. I didn’t feel I could take over how someone feels with rape,” Entin said, adding that Haley was “much more withdrawn” afterward.
Entin said she had not spoken to Haley since 2006-2007, and has not been in touch at all after Haley’s allegations against Weinstein came out. She specified that they did not have a falling-out, but that their friendship ended, simply because, “We just drifted like many people do at that stage of life.”
On cross-examination, Weinstein attorney Donna Rotunno asked her about the day Haley told her about the alleged attack. Entin said she “very clearly” remembers the day, and recalls Haley standing in her doorway of her bedroom in the East Village apartment in which they resided to tell her the story. “She was pacing. She seemed anxious,” Entin recalled.
Rotunno asked Entin why she told Haley to call the lawyer instead of the police. Entin responded, “I was thinking that as any woman, in the case of sexual assault, should stand up for themselves” and said she thought it was criminal so she should obtain a lawyer. Rotunno snapped, “You know you have to call the police for that, right?” Entin said she did not know at the time, and explained she was solely concerned in helping her friend, who had just told her she was sexually assaulted.
Entin testified that she never heard Haley say anything about consensual sex with Weinstein. Asked about the time Weinstein showed up at their apartment unannounced and tried to convince Haley to go with him on a trip to Paris, Entin said the two women thought it was “silly” and “pathetic” that an older man was pursuing Haley, and although they thought it was bizarre, they never imagined Weinstein would sexually assault Haley, based off of that apartment visit.
Entin also shared an anecdote from the time Weinstein pushed his way into their apartment to beg Haley to go to Paris. Although Entin wasn’t home when Weinstein showed up to talk to Haley, her pet dog, named Peanut, was in the apartment. Entin recalls asking Haley what happened when Weinstein showed up. “Apparently my little dog was chasing him around and he was frightened of this little Chihuahua,” Entin said on the stand. “He said, ‘What is this thing? Get it away from me!'”
Under questioning by Rotunno, Entin also testified that she did not know about Haley’s subsequent communication with Weinstein in the years that followed.
Entin repeatedly said her understanding of the visit to Weinstein’s apartment in 2006 when Haley was allegedly orally assaulted was supposed to be a business meeting. Rotunno tried to ask Entin about Haley’s dating life at the time of the alleged assault, asking, “Was Miriam concerned that she had a boyfriend when she went to visit Harvey Weinstein at his apartment?”
The prosecution objected to that line of questioning, and the judge sustained the objections.
When the jury was let out, another Weinstein attorney, Damon Cheronis, explained to Justice James Burke why they intended to ask about Haley having a boyfriend in 2006. Prosecutor Hast responded, “There is absolutely no relevance whatsoever to the fact that someone has a boyfriend when they are raped.” With a raised tone, Cheronis exclaimed, “First of all, it’s an alleged rape!,” and then proceeded to explain why the conversation is “extremely relevant.”
Weinstein’s criminal trial began Jan. 6 at the state Supreme Court in Manhattan, where he faces five counts of predatory sexual assault, rape, and criminal sexual acts. If convicted, the 67-year-old faces a potential life sentence. He also faces four charges in L.A. for allegedly raping one woman and sexually assaulting another in 2013, which carry a maximum sentence of 28 years in prison.
Pictured above: Harvey Weinstein arrives at court for his trial on charges of rape and sexual assault in New York on Jan. 28
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