Jennifer Siebel Newsom, a documentary filmmaker and the wife of California Gov. Gavin Newsom, nearly screamed through tears from the witness stand Monday when she told the court Harvey Weinstein raped her in a hotel room and spoke of the devastating effect it had on her in the 17 years since, the AP reports. “He knows this is not normal!” she shouted during the Los Angeles trial, recalling her thoughts amid the alleged 2005 rape. “He knows this is not consent!” She then shouted “Oh God!” as if overcome by the memory, and gave in to the crying. Weinstein watched from the defense table. Siebel Newsom said she found herself unexpectedly alone with Weinstein in a suite at the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills, where she had agreed to join him for a meeting. She said she assumed others would be present and they would talk about her career.
When he emerged from the bathroom in a robe with nothing underneath and began groping her while he masturbated, she described her feelings. “Horror! Horror!” she said. “I’m trembling. I’m like a rock, I’m frigid. This is my worst nightmare. I’m just this blow-up doll!” She then gave a graphic description of a sexual assault and rape by Weinstein in the suite's bedroom, crying throughout her 2 1/2 hours on the stand. Weinstein's lawyers, who only got to cross-examine her briefly and will continue on Tuesday, say the two had consensual sex and that she was seeking to use the powerful producer to advance her career. Weinstein is already serving a 23-year sentence for a rape conviction in New York, and has pleaded not guilty to 11 counts of rape and sexual assault in California involving five women.
Siebel Newsom, now 48, is the fourth woman Weinstein is accused of sexually assaulting who has taken the stand in Los Angeles. Her testimony was the most dramatic and emotional so far in the three-week trial. During cross-examination, Weinstein attorney Mark Werksman pressed Siebel Newsom repeatedly about when she told her husband about the assault, pointing out in a transcript of a 2020 interview with prosecutors that she said Newsom was “maybe” the first person she told. Werksman suggested that the couple sought the donations from Weinstein at a time when Newsom must have known her story. (Gov. Newsom ultimately returned former political donations from Weinstein after accusations against him became widespread in 2017.) The governor took money “from somebody you hinted had done something despicable to you?" Werksman asked. “It’s complex,” Siebel Newsom responded. (More from her testimony here.)