In her opening argument, Assistant District Attorney Meghan Hast also described the testimony of three “prior bad acts” witnesses. Such testimony was critical in the prosecution of comedian Bill Cosby, and it could also be the key to convicting Weinstein. Until Wednesday, those witnesses had not been identified. Here’s who they are, and their stories.
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Dunning was a waitress in the meatpacking district when Weinstein encountered her, in 2004, and took an interest. He invited her to a meeting and gave her tickets to a Broadway show — she took her boyfriend. “This beautiful young woman was not, for one second, interested sexually or romantically in the defendant,” Hast said. She said Weinstein slowly groomed her, and ultimately lured her into a bedroom. Dunning alleges that while the two were sitting on a bed, discussing her acting career, Weinstein slid his hand up her leg and inserted it into her vagina. She jumped up and left the meeting, but later convinced herself that if she was firm that she did not want a sexual relationship, he would understand.
When Dunning went to another meeting, Weinstein was standing there naked, and gesturing to three movie contracts on the coffee table. “You can have all three of these parts if you have a threesome with me and my assistant,” Weinstein said, according to the D.A. She ran out of the room and made it to the elevator, with Weinstein screaming after her. He called the next day, but she ignored it, and that was the last she heard from him. Dunning originally told her story to the New York Times in October 2017. Defense attorney Damon Cheronis noted that her story has changed since then, as she did not initially include the claim that Weinstein had inserted his hand into her vagina.
One year later, Weinstein was at the Cipriani lounge in New York when he started talking to Wulff, a waitress. Hast told jurors that Weinstein took her upstairs and into a room, where he started masturbating under his shirt. She threw a towel at him and left, the prosecutor said.
Weinstein subsequently set up a meeting about casting her in a movie. She later realized that the part had already been cast, but at the time she thought it could be a big break. Weinstein sent a car to pick her up, and the driver took her to his Soho apartment. Moments after she arrived at the large loft, Weinstein was on top of her on a bed, Hast said. “She simply froze and turned her head trying to escape the horror,” Hast said. “He told her not to worry because he couldn’t have kids and then he put her penis in her vagina and she laid there like a dead fish.” She never told anyone, and never saw Weinstein again. “She did what she learned to do when she was a child when her power was taken away by people she was subjected to: put on a brave face and pretend like nothing happened,” Hast said. “Who would believe her? She was stupid enough to end up alone with him in his apartment. He was Harvey Weinstein and she was a waitress.”
Wulff is represented by attorney Douglas Wigdor, who also represents several other Weinstein accusers. She has not filed a lawsuit because her claims fall outside the statute of limitations. “As a former prosecutor myself, I have no doubt that Ms. Wulff will be a highly credible witness with a disturbing and compelling account of what she was forced to endure at the hands of Harvey Weinstein,” Wigdor said in a statement.
In 2013, Young was working in L.A. as a 22-year-old model. She wanted to be an actress, and told Weinstein she had an idea for a script. According to Hast’s statement, he invited her to the bar at the Montage Hotel. But then he said he had to get ready for a meeting with Quentin Tarantino, and invited her up to his room, Hast said. There, she followed him into a bathroom. She alleges that another woman was there, and closed the door behind her. Then Weinstein blocked the door and began masturbating while grabbing Young’s breast, Hast said. He ejaculated onto the floor, the prosecutor said. Hast said Young left terrified and hysterical. She had one more meeting with Weinstein’s assistant, but then cut off all contact with him, and even declined an invitation to an Oscar party. Prosecutors in Los Angeles filed four charges against Weinstein earlier this month, including one count of “sexual battery by restraint” pertaining to Young’s allegation.
In his argument, Cheronis said the bathroom doors at the hotel do not lock from the outside. “Those aren’t little details,” he said. “Those are significant details.”
Weinstein’s defense team has denied all allegations of non-consensual sex.
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