‘Sopranos’ actress Annabella Sciorra testifies in court that Harvey Weinstein raped her
In emotional testimony with vivid detail, actress Annabella Sciorra said Thursday that Harvey Weinstein barged into her apartment 25 years ago and raped her.
“The Sopranos” actress said the movie mogul raped and sexually assaulted her at her Manhattan apartment in the winter of 1993-1994. She first publicly spoke about the attack in an October 2017 New Yorker story as part of a wave of accusations against him.
She testified on Thursday that he entered her residence, chased her around and pinned her to the bed during the alleged attack. She said she tried to run to the bathroom, but “he kept coming at me.”
“I felt overpowered because he was very big,” Sciorra told jurors.
Sciorra’s testimony came a day after prosecutors and defense attorneys gave their opening statements in Weinstein’s trial.
Prosecutors said the Hollywood movie tycoon raped and sexually assaulted young women and actresses, including Sciorra, over the course of decades. Weinstein’s attorney Damon Cheronis attacked the credibility of the women’s stories during his opening statements and picked apart their timelines.
Weinstein’s alleged attack of Sciorra is outside of the statute of limitations, and he is not directly charged with assaulting her. Still, he faces two counts of predatory sexual assault, and he can be convicted on those counts if prosecutors prove he committed sex crimes against multiple victims. Sciorra’s testimony is relevant to these two charges.
Sciorra is one of six women expected to testify that Weinstein attacked them. In all, he faces five charges related to the alleged rape of Jessica Mann and forced oral sex of Mimi Haleyi. Three other women will testify as “prior bad acts” witnesses in an attempt to show a pattern in Weinstein’s behavior.
Sciorra accuses Weinstein of rape
Sciorra is best known for her Emmy-nominated role on “The Sopranos” as Gloria Trillo, Tony Soprano’s mistress. But she first reached wider fame with her early 1990s starring turns in Spike Lee’s “Jungle Fever” and the psychological thriller “The Hand That Rocks the Cradle.”
Sciorra met Weinstein at an industry event in the early 1990s and then became part of Miramax’s circle, attending events and dinners around New York City, Assistant District Attorney Meghan Hast said in opening statements.
In the winter of 1993-1994, after a dinner at an Irish restaurant in Manhattan, Weinstein offered Sciorra a ride to her Gramercy Park apartment, Sciorra testified. She put on a nightgown and was getting ready for bed in her apartment when he knocked on the door and, when she opened it, pushed his way inside, Sciorra said.
Weinstein walked around her apartment, looking around to see if anyone else was there, Sciorra said. He began unbuttoning his shirt, she testified, and then grabbed her arm and dragged her into a bedroom.
She said she kicked, punched and fought him until he held her arms above her head on the bed and raped her. Weinstein pulled out of her to ejaculate on her duvet and her nightgown, she testified.
“I have perfect timing,” Weinstein said, according to Sciorra.
He then performed oral sex on her, Sciorra said.
Sciorra said she did not put up much of a fight because her body began shaking and “shut down.” As Weinstein did this he said, “This is for you,” she testified.
Sciorra spoke about the nightgown with particular emotion. She described it as an old white garment from Italy given to her by her grandmother’s cousin.
Sciorra did not tell police about the incident and she does not remember telling anybody about it for years.
“I thought he was an okay guy. I felt confused,” Sciorra testified. “I felt … like I wished I had never opened the door.”