A front desk clerk said he was concerned for Jessica Mann’s safety when she checked in at the DoubleTree Hotel on March 18, 2013 with Harvey Weinstein. The hotel employee’s testimony could bolster prosecutors’ criminal case against the movie mogul.
Mann alleges the Weinstein raped her in his hotel room. Her allegations are a key component in the charges that Weinstein is facing, which include first-degree rape, third-degree rape and predatory sexual assault. If convicted, he faces life in prison.
Rothschild Capulong, a hotel employee who helped Weinstein check in when he arrived in the lobby around 10:30 a.m., recalled the movie producer entering the hotel with a “female companion.” He observed “discontent” between Weinstein and the woman, behavior so atypical that he made a notation in his end-of-shift report, which was sent to the head of security.
“I specifically wrote that security might want to check Mr. Weinstein at the room,” the witness said. He said he did not call security to the lobby because he did not sense immediate danger, but “it was just more of a safety reason for the female.”
Weinstein checked in using the name Max Postal, an alias that he frequently deployed. When asked what concerned him about the check-in, Capulong said he could not hear the words being spoken between Weinstein and the woman, but he observed their body language and remembers they were not smiling and they were not happy. “From what I recall, they weren’t on the same page,” the witness said. “There was discontent on the female.”
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Capulong said the hotel’s policy is “the guest’s safety comes first,” and he tried to get a closer look at the woman. He said could not see her face clearly because Weinstein was looming over him and was rushing the check-in process. “Mr. Weinstein was really imposing and looming over me,” he said. “He was intimidating at some point.”
Capulong said Weinstein paid for the hotel room and walked away, leading the woman toward the elevator.
When being cross-examined, Weinstein’s attorney Donna Rotunno asked, “You never saw him put his hands on her or guide her and pull her away?” Capulong said, “No.”
“She followed him?” Rotunno asked. “Yes,” Capulong said.
Hector Castillo, the head of security at the DoubleTree Hotel in midtown Manhattan, also testified on Wednesday, saying that Capulong filed an end-of-shift-report that noted his concern about Weinstein checking in with a woman.
During her three-day testimony, Mann told the jury about the alleged rape at the DoubleTree Hotel in 2013. She said he became angry and warned her not to embarrass him in the lobby, and said they could finish their conversation privately up in the hotel room. When they got upstairs, Mann said she tried to escape, but Weinstein slammed the door, ordered her to undress, and raped her.
Mann claims that Weinstein tried to entice her to his suite at the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills in 2013 under the pretense of discussing a possible role in “Vampire Academy,” a film he was producing. Marci Liroff, a casting director on that film, testified that she auditioned Mann and Talita Maia, another woman that he promised a part in the film to, but found they didn’t fit the roles.
“They were too old,” said Liroff. “They were looking for a 15-year old. They were in their mid- to late 20s. They were too tall… The role called for an actor who is 5’2″ … And they were not strong enough as actors for this role.”