Another actor has given their side of the story in the New York trial against Harvey Weinstein. The former producer has been accused of sexual assault, sexual harassment, stalking his victims, and more.
Today, the It Could Happen To You actor testified for an hour about the night she learned of actor Annabella Sciorra's alleged rape at the hands of Weinstein. Perez gave a recount of how she found out about the incident and how Sciorra was emotionally affected by it.
A Frantic Phone Call
While giving her testimony, Perez said she had called Sciorra because they were good friends and she wanted to see if the actor wanted to go with her to a club. She was then told what had transpired between Sciorra and Weinstein.
Perez testified that Sciorra was upset and crying and that she was afraid to go to the police for fear of retaliation from her attacker. After ending their initial call, Perez tried to contact Sciorra several more times with no success.
Discredit And Sow Doubt
Defense attorney Damon Cheronis tried to tear apart Perez's testimony, asking in a rather accusatory way why she did not go to Sciorra's place of living when she wouldn't answer the phone. Perez said she was trying to be respectful, likely assuming Sciorra wanted to be left alone.
Cheronis also blasted Perez for not working harder to convince Sciorra to go to the police at the time and called the actor's timeline into question, pointing out inconsistencies with Ronan Farrow's infamous New Yorker article. Perez stated the article did not convey her entire story.
Didn't Try Hard Enough
The cross-examination questions implying Perez did not work hard enough to console or report Weinstein's rape of Sciorra are a common tactic. Making victims look like they are exaggerating is used to sow doubt.
Sciorra testified yesterday and was asked similar questions. While she had previously said she kicked Weinstein, she was asked if she tried to run or if she had tried to poke him in the eyes. A tactic meant to victim blame in order to deflect responsibility from the attacker.
Sciorra's reported concern that reporting Weinstein would lead to her ruin seems to be a valid one. Many actors have spoken about their treatment after being assaulted by the producer. Evidence has come to light showing Weinstein hired people to stalk actors who he had assaulted to make sure they would not report him.
Other accusations against Weinstein claim that he had definitively ruined the Hollywood careers of several of his victims. Many have stated he intimidated directors and producers to prevent them from finding work.