Jennifer Siebel Newsom to testify about Weinstein assault at LA trial

Jennifer Siebel Newsom, who has written about being assaulted by Harvey Weinstein in a Los Angeles hotel in the early 2000s, will be one of at least five women scheduled to testify against the legendary Hollywood producer as he faces trial in Los Angeles for alleged sex crimes committed on the West Coast.

Jury selection for Weinstein’s Los Angeles trial began Monday, and California’s first partner has been identified as Jane Doe No. 4 in court filings, Deadline and the Los Angeles Times reported Monday. Weinstein, 70, faces 11 counts of sexual assault stemming from allegations by five women that he sexually abused them in high-end Los Angeles hotels between 2004 and 2013, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Harvey Weinstein arrives at a Manhattan courthouse as jury deliberations continue in his rape trial, Monday, Feb. 24, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

If convicted, Weinstein faces a sentence of up to 135 years to life, prosecutors told the Los Angeles Times. Weinstein, “a disgraced, debilitated shell of the pugnacious movie titan he once was,” is serving a 23-year sentence following his 2020 conviction for rape and criminal assault in New York.

For Weinstein’s second trial in Los Angeles, his alleged accusers will only be known in court or in court records as either Jane Does or by their first names and last initial, a spokesperson for the district attorney’s office told the Los Angeles Times. The women will testify in open court and their faces will not be obscured, the spokesperson said.

Weinstein has repeatedly denied assaulting any women and insisted that all of his encounters with his accusers were consensual.

One of Weinstein’s defense attorneys, Mark Werksman, told the Los Angeles Times that the trial will feature testimony from well-known figures, including women who have appeared in movies or well-known ad campaigns.

Siebel Newsom is testifying to “seek some measure of justice for survivors, and as part of her life’s work to improve the lives of women,” her attorney Elizabeth Fegan said in a statement to Deadline and the Los Angeles Times.

Lt.  Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, hugs his wife, Jennifer Siebel Newsom as he celebrates at an election night party after he defeated Republican opponent John Cox to become the 40th governor of California Tuesday, Nov.  6, 2018, in Los Angeles, Calif.  (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, hugs his wife, Jennifer Siebel Newsom as he celebrates at an election night party after he defeated Republican opponent John Cox to become the 40th governor of California Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, in Los Angeles, Calif. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

A long-time documentary filmmaker, Siebel Newsom was an actress before her 2008 marriage to then-San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom. In court documents, Jane Doe No. 4 has accused Weinstein of forced rape that occurred sometime between September 2004 and September 2005.

“Like many other women, my client was sexually assaulted by Harvey Weinstein at a purported business meeting that turned out to be a trap,” Fegan told Deadline in a statement this morning. “Please respect her choice not to discuss this matter outside of the courtroom.”

Siebel Newsom also wrote about being assaulted by Weinstein in a 2017 essay for the Huffington Post. The essay was published after the New York Times and New Yorker published lengthy exposes about Weinstein’s decades-long history of allegedly raping, harassing and otherwise abusing women in Hollywood, including such high-profile actors as Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow.

In her essay, Siebel Newsom did not offer details about the alleged attack but described how Weinstein took advantage of her desire to advance her career to engineer time alone with her.

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