Jennifer Siebel Newsom to testify in Harvey Weinstein's sexual assault trial in CA

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ByAmy Powell via KABC logo
Tuesday, October 11, 2022
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Jennifer Siebel Newsom, the wife of Gavin Newsom, will testify in disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein's trial on sex-crime charges in Los Angeles.

LOS ANGELES -- Jennifer Siebel Newsom, the wife of California Gov. Gavin Newsom, will testify in disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein's trial on sex-crime charges in Los Angeles.

The 70-year-old former film producer has already been convicted of rape and other sex crimes in New York. Now he'll go on trial for similar charges in L.A., years after allegations that helped spark the #MeToo Movement in Hollywood.

Jury selection is expected to begin Monday on rape and other sex-related counts involving five women who have said Weinstein attacked them in luxury hotels between 2004 and 2013.

All five of Weinstein's accusers are expected to testify, as well as several other women whose accusations are not part of the criminal charges. However, they are expected to describe Weinstein's past behavior.

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ABC News confirmed one of those women is California's First Partner.

"Like many other women, my client was sexually assaulted by Harvey Weinstein at a purported business meeting that turned out to be a trap," Siebel Newsom's attorney, Beth Fegan, said in a statement. "She intends to testify at his trial in order to seek some measure of justice for survivors, and as part of her life's work to improve the lives of women. Please respect her choice to not discuss this matter outside of the courtroom."

To stand trial, Weinstein was extradited from New York, where he has already served two years of a 23-year sentence for sex crimes. That case is being appealed.

The #MeToo Movement gained momentum about five years ago after dozens of women accused Weinstein of sexual harassment and assault.

The multiple accusations over a period of time will help make the prosecution's case stronger, according to one legal analyst.

"That's going to be one of the strongest arguments for the prosecution," said attorney and analyst Lou Shapiro. "It's called pattern evidence. It's not just one person coming across on this, it's several people who don't know each other. What are the chances of different people from different locations, different time periods all having similar stories? It's not just a coincidence."

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If convicted of the Los Angeles charges, Weinstein faces the possibility of spending the rest of his life in prison.

Jury selection could take two weeks, with the trial itself estimated to take about two months. No cameras will be allowed in the courtroom.

Before his downfall, Weinstein was seen as one of the most influential and successful film producers in Hollywood, with his company putting out Oscar winners and highly regarded classics such as "Shakespeare in Love" and "Pulp Fiction."

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