Harvey Weinstein is a “serial predator” and rapist said Jennifer Siebel Newsom today after a Los Angeles jury was unable to come to a unanimous verdict on the much-accused producer’s guilt in allegedly attacking her back in 2005.
“Harvey Weinstein will never be able to rape another woman,” California’s First Partner asserted in a statement sent out within minutes of the mixed verdict Monday. “He will spend the rest of his life behind bars where he belongs. Harvey Weinstein is a serial predator and what he did was rape.”
Found guilty on a trio of charges and now facing 18 – 24 years in state prison, the already incarcerated Weinstein was acquitted on another sexual battery count and saw the jury deadlocked on three other counts. That final round of charges were all the counts related to Jane Doe #4 a.k.a. Siebel Newsom.
Talking to the stand in mid-November, an often-emotional Siebel Newsom meticulously provided detail on her initial meetings with the once powerful Pulp Fiction producer almost two decades ago, and the alleged assault at Beverly Hills’ Peninsula Hotel 17 years ago. “I could tell he just needed, he was so determined, just so scary, just all about him and his pleasure, his need for satisfaction, so I just did it to make it stop,” Siebel Newsom told the jury, Judge Lisa Lench, lawyers and onlookers on November 14 of Weinstein and the alleged rape that occurred several years before she married then San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom “Oh, I just made some noises to get him to ejaculate faster,” Siebel Newsom said of her reaction later in the assault to the masturbating Weinstein after he put his “weird and messed up” penis inside her.
In the defense’s closing argument on December 1, attorney Alan Jackson focused on Siebel Newsom’s testimony, mocking it as “a theatrical, overly dramatized performance” for the court. “Jane Doe #4 cannot square in her mind the idea that she’s a successful, well educated, well-bred refined woman who had consensual sex with Harvey Weinstein in exchange for opportunity and access,” the Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP partner said, stressing the importance of reasonable doubt to the panel of eight men and four women.
Viewed as a pivotal witness by both LA County prosecutors and the defense., Siebel Newsom addressed the Weinstein team’s tactics in her statement today.
“Throughout the trial, Weinstein’s lawyers used sexism, misogyny, and bullying tactics to intimidate, demean, and ridicule us survivors,” she said. “This trial was a stark reminder that we as a society have work to do. To all survivors out there – I see you, I hear you, and I stand with you.”
Along with California’s First Partner commenting on the mixed verdict Monday, California’s Governor also had something to say. “I am so incredibly proud of my wife and all the brave women who came forward to share their truth and uplift countless survivors who cannot,” Gavin Newsom said this afternoon. “Their strength, courage and conviction is a powerful example and inspiration to all of us. We must keep fighting to ensure that survivors are supported and that their voices are heard.”
Facing a maximum of 60 years to life plus five if found guilty, Weinstein was charged with two counts of rape and five counts of sexual assault in incidents in L.A. County from 2004 to 2013. Following a scathing 2017 exposé by the New York Times and dozens of allegations over more than 40 years, the 70-year-old Pulp Fiction producer was found guilty and sentenced to 23 years in prison by a Manhattan jury in March 2020 for multiple sex crimes. That case is currently on appeal in the Empire State.
Extradited to the Golden State in the summer of 2021, Weinstein was first facing 140 years behind bars if found guilty in the LA case. However, the original 11 sexual assault charges out of grand jury indictments last year were reduced on November 15 when the four counts related to Jane Doe #5 were removed from the case. With testimony from eight women who have claimed Weinstein sexually assaulted them, including Siebel Newsom and three other Jane Does, the criminal proceedings in LA Superior Court Judge Lench’s courtroom started on October 24. The case officially went to the jury for deliberations on December 2.
After a hearing tomorrow on what the D.A.’s office calls “aggravating factors,” Weinstein is expected to be sentenced in the new year.