×

After Harvey Weinstein’s Conviction, More Accusers Are Willing to Testify in L.A. Trial

ALTERNATIVE CROPMandatory Credit: Photo by JUSTIN
JUSTIN LANE/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

During a TV interview this week, attorney Gloria Allred said the scope of Harvey Weinstein’s Los Angeles trial will widen to allow more women to take the stand than in New York.

“You’re going to see more women who are going to be testifying in that L.A. case,” Allred said on “The View.” “I think Mr. Weinstein is in a world of trouble, and this is not going to end for a while.”

Allred represents Lauren Young, a model who testified as a “prior bad acts” witness in New York, telling the jury that Weinstein grabbed her breasts and masturbated in a Beverly Hills hotel bathroom in 2013.

Assuming the Los Angeles case goes to trial, she will have to testify again. On Jan. 6, the L.A. District Attorney filed four charges against Weinstein for rape and sexual assault, based on the allegations of Young and of an Italian actress and model who has not been identified.

The timing of the Los Angeles proceedings is still undetermined. After his sentencing in New York, which is scheduled for Mar. 11, the Los Angeles D.A.’s office can file for extradition. As in New York, Los Angeles prosecutors can seek to call their own prior bad acts witnesses to establish a pattern of sexual misconduct.

In the wake of the guilty verdict on Monday, several Weinstein accusers have said they are interested in testifying.

As Allred said this week on ABC News’ “Nightline,” “Courage is contagious.”

At a press conference at Los Angeles City Hall on Wednesday, several Weinstein accusers said they would like to be called. Many of them seem to be motivated by solidarity — that is, the idea that a difficult experience could be made easier if it were shared.

Louise Godbold, a Weinstein accuser, witnessed Annabella Sciorra’s testimony in New York, in which Sciorra accused the producer of raping her in the early 1990s. She said she especially sympathized with Jessica Mann, who broke down in sobs repeatedly over three days of testimony.

“Annabella stood up very well to the questioning, even though she was white as a sheet,” Godbold told Variety. “Jessica Mann was clearly more fragile. I just felt for her so much. She’s so brave… We would have loved to have been in that witness box, but she took that on for us.”

Silence Breaker Caitlin Dulany — who accused Weinstein of sexual assaulting her in a hotel room in France in 1996 — told Variety that it’s been tough waiting on the sidelines, as the judicial system has dragged on the process for all Weinstein survivors.

“There are so many of us that he assaulted and it took two years to bring him to trial. The statute of limitations cut out almost all of our potential cases and even the strict prior bad act statues in New York limited that case,” Dulany says. “It’s been such a difficult road just to bring him to trial, and I just really feel that women have and will continue to face difficulties when they come forward with accusations of sexual assault against powerful men in Hollywood.”

Back in 2015, Ambra Battilana Gutierrez reported being groped by Harvey Weinstein to law enforcement. She even participated in a sting operation with the NYPD, which captured Harvey Weinstein admitting to sexually assaulting her, in a secret recording. When the recording was brought to Manhattan D.A., Cy Vance, he dropped the case, stating the tape was not strong enough evidence to prosecute, leading to public outrage.

Gutierrez was not called as a witness in Weinstein’s New York trial, but years after her 2015 allegations, it appears the model may get her moment in court. Following Monday’s verdict, Gutierrez said in a TV interview she intends to testify in the Los Angeles trial.

“There will be an L.A. trial, and I’ll be a witness,” Gutierrez told anchors Rosanna Scotto and Lori Stokes on Fox 5’s “Good Day New York.” Asked by Scotto why she wasn’t called as a witness in the New York trial, Gutierrez said, “I don’t really know…That’s the question I still ask myself every day, but I’m happy I’m going to be part of that.”

The Los Angeles D.A.’s office declined to comment on whether Gutierrez or any other particular witnesses will be called.

Gutierrez alleges that Weinstein groped her breasts and attempted to put his hand up her skirt in 2015. The next day, she participated in a sting where she wore a wire to his hotel room and asked why he grabbed her breasts. Weinstein played it off, told her it wouldn’t happen again and threatened her not to ruin a friendship with him.

When Gutierrez went to the police station to report the incident in 2015, she said, “I spoke through the window to the police person. I said, ‘Harvey Weinstein assaulted me.’ He answered with, ‘Again.’ And I said, ‘What do you mean, again? This happened before?’ And he couldn’t answer me. And from that moment, I really, really thought I had to do something, and that’s why, then, I decided to do everything I could.” Looking back at how the Manhattan D.A.’s office handled her 2015 situation, she said, “I think that they knew of the pattern, and not doing anything about that, it didn’t leave me with a good feeling.”

After reporting the incident with no success, Gutierrez has said her life changed for the worse with Weinstein planting negative tabloid stories to discredit and attack her character. Gutierrez left her home and work in New York City.

“I lost everything that I worked for,” she told “Good Day New York.” “As you know, I’m Italian, and getting to the United States and New York, it was my dream.”

Asked what gave her the strength to initially report her alleged incident with Weinstein, Gutierrez said, “I always believed in the justice system. I always believe that you have to do the right thing.”