Actress Annabella Sciorra took the stand Thursday in the criminal sex crimes trial of movie producer Harvey Weinstein.
She is the first of six women expected to testify that they were raped or sexually assaulted by Weinstein.
Weinstein is charged with five counts of rape and assault against two women in New York City. Weinstein maintains all of the sexual contact was consensual.
Sciorra spent several emotional hours on the witness stand, testifying that Weinstein raped her in the winter of 1993-94. Through sometimes tearful testimony, she explained to the jury how she came to know the movie mogul.
According to the actress, the two first met at a party in Los Angeles sometime in 1990, after which he gave her a ride home.
As NPR’s Rose Friedman reported, Sciorra eventually set up a table read of a script for Weinstein. At the time, she said she did not want to act in the project but he insisted.
“He sent her gifts,” Friedman said, including “some penis-shaped chocolates and a bottle of valium.”
When she declined, Weinstein allegedly threatened to sue her.
But it wasn’t until another encounter in New York that Weinstein assaulted her, Sciorra told the court.
After a dinner with other film industry people, Sciorra said she accepted a ride home from Weinstein. “She says he dropped her off at her apartment building, she went upstairs, got ready for bed.”
A few minutes later, however, Weinstein was back, according to Scoirra.
She said he pushed his way into her apartment and began looking to see if she was alone. All while unbuttoning his shirt, she added.