Jennifer Siebel Newsom, who has written about being assaulted by Harvey Weinstein in a Los Angeles hotel in the early 2000s, will be one of at least five women scheduled to testify against the legendary Hollywood producer as he faces trial in Los Angeles for alleged sex crimes committed on the West Coast.
Jury selection for Weinstein’s Los Angeles trial began Monday, and California’s first partner has been identified as Jane Doe No. 4 in court filings, Deadline and the Los Angeles Times reported Monday. Weinstein, 70, faces 11 counts of sexual assault stemming from allegations by five women that he sexually abused them in high-end Los Angeles hotels between 2004 and 2013, the Los Angeles Times reported.
If convicted, Weinstein faces a sentence of up to 135 years to life, prosecutors told the Los Angeles Times. Weinstein, “a disgraced, debilitated shell of the pugnacious movie titan he once was,” is serving a 23-year sentence following his 2020 conviction for rape and criminal assault in New York.
For Weinstein’s second trial in Los Angeles, his alleged accusers only will be known in court or in court records as either Jane Does or by their first names and last initial, a spokesperson for the district attorney’s office told the Los Angeles Times. The women will testify in open court and their faces will not be obscured, the spokesperson said.
Weinstein has repeatedly denied assaulting any women and insisted all of his encounters with his accusers were consensual.
One of Weinstein’s defense attorneys, Mark Werksman, told the Los Angeles Times that the trial will feature testimony from well-known figures, including women who have appeared in movies or well-known ad campaigns.
Siebel Newsom is testifying to “seek some measure of justice for survivors, and as part of her life’s work to improve the lives of women,” her attorney Elizabeth Fegan said in a statement to Deadline and the Los Angeles Times.
A long-time documentary filmmaker, Siebel Newsom was as an actress before her 2008 marriage to then-San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom. In court documents, Jane Doe No. 4 has accused Weinstein of forcible rape that occurred sometime between September 2004 and September 2005.
“Like many other women, my client was sexually assaulted by Harvey Weinstein at a purported business meeting that turned out to be a trap,” Fegan the told Deadline in a statement this morning. “Please respect her choice to not discuss this matter outside of the courtroom.”
Siebel Newsom also wrote about being assaulted by Weinstein in a 2017 essay for the Huffington Post. The essay was published after the New York Times and New Yorker published lengthy exposes about Weinstein’s decades-long history off allegedly raping, harassing and otherwise abusing women in Hollywood, including such high-profile actors as Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow.
In her essay, Siebel Newsom didn’t offer details about the alleged attack but described how Weinstein took advantage of her desire to advance her career to engineer time alone with her.
“I was naïve, new to the industry, and didn’t know how to deal with his aggressive advances — work invitations with a friend late-night at The Toronto Film Festival, and later an invitation to meet with him about a role in The Peninsula Hotel, where staff were present and then all of a sudden disappeared like clockwork, leaving me alone with this extremely powerful and intimidating Hollywood legend,” Siebel Newsom wrote.
More than 90 women have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct, with the allegations going back decades. The allegations spurred the #MeToo movement, leading to the downfall of other powerful men in media, business and politics.
The New York Times reported Weinstein’s trial is expected to last up to eight weeks, and could overlap the Nov. 18 release of “She Said,” a $30 million drama about the newspaper’s Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation that helped exposed Weinstein’s behavior.