“The Sopranos” actress fought back tears as she told a hushed courtroom, in excruciating detail, about the night she said she was attacked.
They met at a party in Los Angeles in the early 1990s. She was an up-and-coming actress. He was a young producer. As they got to know each other over the next few years, there were, she said, some “inappropriate” gestures: a care package of popcorn and Valium, a box of chocolate penises.
Then, Annabella Sciorra said on the witness stand on Thursday, Harvey Weinstein raped her.
Fighting back tears, Ms. Sciorra testified in excruciating detail to a hushed courtroom about the night she said she was attacked. After shoving his way into her Manhattan apartment, she said, Mr. Weinstein took her to a bedroom, forced her onto the bed and, as she sought to fight him off, sexually assaulted her.
“I was trying to get him off me,” Ms. Sciorra told the jury, her voice cracking with emotion. “I was punching him, kicking him.” But Mr. Weinstein held her down, she said, adding: “He got on top of me and he raped me.”
The testimony in State Supreme Court in Manhattan marked the first time that one of Mr. Weinstein’s numerous accusers took the stand at a long-awaited criminal trial that has come to symbolize the #MeToo movement. Several women are expected to testify during the trial that Mr. Weinstein attacked them, though Mr. Weinstein faces charges of rape and criminal sexual act based on the allegations of only two of them. The judge is allowing the others to testify to establish a pattern of behavior, even though most of their allegations are too old to qualify as crimes under state law.
Ms. Sciorra’s encounter with Mr. Weinstein also happened too long ago to be charged as a rape, but prosecutors are using her testimony to bolster a charge of predatory sexual assault. That count carries a possible life sentence and requires the state to prove Mr. Weinstein committed a serious sexual offense against at least two people.