Magazine article Screen International

Hollywood Writer: Harvey Weinstein “Sex Addict” but No Rapist

Magazine article Screen International

Hollywood Writer: Harvey Weinstein “Sex Addict” but No Rapist

Article excerpt

Defence case expected to last three days.

The first defence witness in Harvey Weinstein’s rape trial said on Thursday (6) he thought the former Hollywood mogul was a sex addict, but did not believe he was capable of committing the crimes of which he has been accused.

Writer Paul Feldsher also acknowledged sending messages to the former producer in which he disparaged the “dog pile of actresses” who had accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct.

Feldsher testified for the defence that actress Annabella Sciorra told him in the early 1990s that she had a sexual encounter with Weinstein but did not say she had been raped.

Under cross-examination by prosecutors, Feldsher, who was a friend of Sciorra’s, acknowledged that he had been in regular contact with Weinstein since allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced against the former producer.

“I think the dog pile of actresses who are suddenly brave and recalling repressed memories is hideous,” Feldsher wrote in one text to Weinstein. Dog pile is a slang term sometimes used to describe mass bullying of one person by a large group.

“I stand by the description,” he said of the text on Thursday.

Sciorra testified on January 24 that Weinstein forced his way into her apartment on a winter night in 1993 or 1994 and violently raped her. Though that allegation is too old to be charged as a separate crime, prosecutors hope it will show Weinstein is a repeat sexual predator, the charge that could put him in prison for life.

Feldsher was the first witness called by Weinstein, after the prosecution rested its case earlier on Thursday.

Under direct examination, Feldsher said Sciorra told him she had “done this crazy thing with Harvey,” and that he understood her to mean that she had “fooled around with him.” Feldsher said that they did not discuss it further, and that he had no indication it was a negative experience.

During cross-examining by prosecutors, Feldsher said he had stayed in touch with Weinstein because he “felt badly that he was completely abandoned.”

He acknowledged sending Weinstein text messages disparaging Sciorra in harsh language, calling her “full of shit” and “an asshole.”

“Well the rape version got her an agent at (Creative Artists Agency), so there’s that,” he said in one text.

Feldsher seemed surprised when presented with his messages by prosecutors.

“I’m learning a lot now and I had no idea my text messages would end up in a courtroom,” he said.

Feldsher also sent Weinstein texts criticising his behavior with women, telling him, “If a lot of these girls had been my daughter I would have wanted to beat the shit out of you.”

Weinstein, 67, has pleaded not guilty to raping former aspiring actress Jessica Mann and to sexually assaulting former production assistant Mimi Haleyi. Since 2017, more than 80 women have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct. He has denied any non-consensual sex.

Weinstein’s defence case is expected to continue on Friday with testimony from Warren Leight, a director and producer who worked with Sciorra in the 1990s, and from Elizabeth Loftus, a psychology professor at the University of California, Irvine who will testify as an expert on memory. …

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