A day after breaking down on the stand as she recounted a nightmare assault and a deformed penis, Jennifer Siebel Newsom faced an ugly cross examination by Weinstein Defense Lawyer Mark Werksman.
Harvey Weinstein’s defense lawyer did not hold back Tuesday as he pressed Jennifer Siebel Newsom on her allegations that the disgraced titan raped her in 2005, demanding she “define the word acquiesce” and describe to jurors how she “faked an orgasm” to escape.
“Do you understand the paradox of trying to stop a rapist by faking an orgasm?” defense attorney Mark Werksman asked the actress and wife of California Gov. Gavin Newsom at one point during the cross-examination in Los Angeles Superior Court. (Emphasis mine, RMK)
Siebel Newsom is one of four women set to testify against Weinstein in his second sex-crimes trial, where the convicted rapist faces seven new criminal charges. She told jurors on the stand Monday that Weinstein invited her to his Peninsula Hotel in September 2005 under the guise of career development.
A packed courtroom watched as she broke down in tears — struggling to catch her breath — as she testified on Monday that Mr. Weinstein dragged her to a bed at a Beverly Hills hotel in 2005 where he grabbed at her breasts, forcibly removed her underwear and then penetrated her with his fingers and penis. At the time, she was a young actress trying to break into the business.
She testified knowing that her detailed account against Mr. Weinstein — who is facing seven charges in Los Angeles, including two counts of rape and five counts of sexual assault — could invite a brutal cross-examination from his defense lawyer, Mark Werksman, who had referred to her in open court as “a bimbo” in his opening statement last month.
And that is what happened on Tuesday as Mr. Werksman pelted Ms. Siebel Newsom with rapid-fire questions on the stand.In tense confrontations, he suggested that she had invited Mr. Weinstein’s sexual advances to promote her own career. “You thought that you could advance professionally by having a relationship with Mr. Weinstein,” Mr. Werksman said. Later, Mr. Werksman questioned her about the account she gave to the authorities in 2020. At one point, when she was slow to respond, the defense lawyer said, “Are you too tired to testify?” Ms. Siebel Newsom teared up, and Mr. Werksman said, “Are you able to answer my questions?”
As became clear in the trial, Ms. Siebel Newsom has helped Mr. Newsom’s political career, soliciting a campaign contribution from Mr. Weinstein and seeking advice from the producer. . . . Both of those events took place after Ms. Siebel Newsom’s encounter with Mr. Weinstein and have been discussed in court the past two days.
Ms. Siebel Newsom’s foundation has also benefited from contributions from companies and figures that have done business with Mr. Newsom’s government, an arrangement that has drawn criticism from government watchdogs.