'He raped me', Sopranos actress Annabella Sciorra says in Harvey Weinstein trial
NEW YORK • The Sopranos actress Annabella Sciorra fought back tears as she told a court on Thursday that being raped by Harvey Weinstein left her feeling like she was having “a seizure” and caused her to self-harm.
In an emotional testimony at Weinstein’s trial, Sciorra described him barging into her New York apartment late at night in the early 1990s and attacking her while she was wearing a nightgown.
“It was just so disgusting that my body started to shake in a way that was very unusual. I didn’t really even know what was happening,” the 59-year-old said.
Sciorra faced the jury as she held her hands above her head and clasped her wrists to demonstrate how Weinstein held her down on her bed and sexually assaulted her.
“He got on top of me and he raped me,” she said, under questioning by lead prosecutor Joan Illuzzi-Orbon.
Sciorra was the first of Weinstein’s accusers to take the stand in proceedings seen as key to the #MeToo movement.
Weinstein, 67, avoided eye contact and gestured towards one of his lawyers as Sciorra told the New York state court that the former film producer then performed oral sex on her.
“I didn’t have very much fight left inside me at this point. My body just shut down,” said Sciorra, wearing a navy blue dress with long sleeves.
Weinstein has pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting former production assistant Mimi Haleyi and raping actress Jessica Mann. He denies all allegations of nonconsensual sex.
Sciorra, best known for her role as Gloria Trillo in American mob drama The Sopranos (1999 to 2007), gave evidence to support the prosecution’s case that Weinstein was a career sexual predator.
Her allegation is too old to be included on the charge sheet but the charge of predatory sexual assault, which carries possible life imprisonment, requires prosecutors to prove he sexually assaulted at least two people.
Sciorra said the alleged attack occurred in the plush Manhattan neighbourhood of Gramercy Park in the winter of 1993 to 1994 after Weinstein dropped her off at home following a business dinner at a restaurant.
It left her traumatised and withdrawn and she started drinking heavily and began cutting herself afterwards, Sciorra testified.
She said she did not go public with the allegations until The New Yorker magazine published her account in October 2017 because she was “afraid for her life”.
She said at Weinstein’s trial that she never reported the alleged incident to the police because she was confused that it had been allegedly perpetrated by someone she knew.
More than 80 women, including actress Angelina Jolie, have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct, but the trial, scheduled to run until March 6, relates to just two.
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