NEWS
24/01/2020 8:09 AM IST

'Sopranos' Actress Annabella Sciorra Gives Graphic Testimony At Weinstein Trial

She says the former Hollywood producer raped her in the early 1990s.

Charles Sykes/Invision/AP
Annabella Sciorra at a "Sopranos" 20th anniversary in 2019. She testified this week at the trial of Harvey Weinstein. 

“I was punching him, I was kicking him, I was trying to get him away from me,” actress Anabella Sciorra told a packed courtroom assembled for Harvey Weinstein’s rape trial Thursday.

But, she said, “He got on top of me and he raped me.”

On the hearing’s second day, the actor known for her work on “The Sopranos” and several films took the stand for nearly two hours to give a detailed account of the night she says Weinstein burst into her New York apartment in late 1993 or early 1994. Prosecutors will use her accusation of an incident too old to be prosecuted under state law to bolster sexual assault claims by two other women. 

Weinstein faces the possibility of life imprisonment if convicted on either of the two most severe felony counts against him. He has maintained that all of his sexual encounters have been consensual. 

Sciorra said she met the now-disgraced producer at a party in Los Angeles, and he would occasionally send her gifts. On one occasion, she received a box of chocolate penises. On another, a selection of movies, some popcorn and a bottle of Valium. 

The night of the alleged attack, Sciorra said she had gone out to dinner with Weinstein and other people, and Weinstein offered to drive her home. She had already gone inside, brushed her teeth and changed into pajamas when he knocked. Sciorra opened it thinking it was a neighbor or her doorman. 

What Weinstein wanted “was pretty obvious” after he “pushed the door open,” she said. 

“He started to unbutton his shirt, and then I realized that, in his head, he wanted to have sex and I didn’t want to.”

I was just shaking like a seizure. I don’t know how else to describe it.Annabella Sciorra

She said she backed up toward her bathroom as he approached her, thinking of taking refuge there. But Weinstein grabbed her torso and brought her to the bedroom, where he raped her, Sciorra alleged. She said she fought back until he pinned her arms above her head. 

Afterward, Sciorra said, he forcibly performed oral sex on her, allegedly saying, “This is for you.”

“I was just shaking like a seizure,” she told the courtroom. “I don’t know how else to describe it.” 

Weeks later, she testified, she confronted him about the assault to let him know she blacked out afterward. 

“That’s what all the nice Catholic girls say,” Weinstein allegedly replied. He then leaned in threateningly, she said, and told her, “This remains between you and I.”

She said she was too scared and confused to call police. After the alleged assault, she began self-harming, cutting her hands and fingers.

Weinstein did not leave her alone in the years that followed, once trying to gain access to her hotel room while she was filming a movie in 1994, Sciorra said. She also said he once showed up at her apartment in 1997 in just his underwear, holding a bottle of baby oil in one hand and a videotape in the other.

Attorneys for the former Hollywood mogul have attacked Sciorra’s story, in part because she has not been able to pin down the exact date she was raped.

Dozens of women have publicly accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct after his pattern of misbehavior was detailed in a pair of explosive 2017 reports in The New York Times and The New Yorker. The five felony charges against him in New York state, however, focus on just two. 

Aspiring actress Jessica Mann says Weinstein raped her at a Manhattan hotel in 2013, and former Weinstein Company production assistant Mimi Haleyi says he forced her to accept oral sex at his Manhattan townhouse in 2006.

Three other women who say Weinstein assaulted them are also expected to testify at the trial.