Actress Annabella Sciorra testified in court yesterday that film producer Harvey Weinstein raped her in the mid-’90s. Sciorra is the first rape accuser to contribute testimony in the Weinstein trial in Manhattan. He is currently facing five counts of rape and assault against two women. Aside from Sciorra, the trial will also include the testimony of five more rape accusers.
Sciorra, who’s notably known for her roles in The Hand That Rocks the Cradle, The Sopranos, and Mr. Wonderful, testified that she had first met Weinstein in 1990 in Los Angeles. However, it was a few years later in the winter of 1993-94 that she alleges Weinstein raped her in her apartment in New York, NPR reports. The alleged rape occurred after the release of the successful film The Hand That Rocks the Cradle, but Sciorra said that Weinstein had pursued after they first had met.
“He sent her gifts,” NPR reports, including “some penis-shaped chocolates and a bottle of valium.”
According to this report, her testimony included that Weinstein gave her a ride home after a film event, and she believed he had left after he dropped her off at her apartment. She got ready for bed, but Weinstein returned to her place, knocked on her door, and pushed his way in. Her harrowing testimony, which took hours to complete yesterday and was very emotional for her. She included details in which she alleges that she yelled ‘no’ and tried to fight him off, but he was just too large and overpowered her.
“My body shut down. It was just so disgusting that my body started to shake in a way that was unusual. I didn’t really even know what was happening. It was like a seizure,” Sciorra said, according to NPR.
After the alleged rape, Sciorra confronted him at another event, Weinstein told her “That’s what all the nice Catholic girls say,” and then leaned into her and said, “This remains between you and I,” CNN reports.
Sciorra said that Weinstein attempted to have contact with her a couple of times after that. He came to her hotel room, but she refused to open the door. Weinstein’s attorneys say that sex between the two was consensual. His defense questioned the actress and asked her how Weinstein knew which apartment unit she lived in, why the building security didn’t stop him from entering and why her neighbors didn’t call the police if she was yelling for help.