Annabella Sciorra’s Jan. 23 testimony about being raped by Harvey Weinstein and her subsequent acceptance of a role in a movie the then-Miramax chief was producing, was examined this morning once again by jurors in Weinstein’s sexual misconduct trial.
Although the jurors yesterday requested to hear a read-back of all of Sciorra’s testimony beginning with her cross-examination and going on to re-direct, today they signaled to New York Supreme Court Judge James Burke that they’d heard all they needed before the cross-exam was finished.
Shortly thereafter, the jurors requested a 10-minute break, apparently to go outside for some fresh (and very frigid) Manhattan air.
And so the fourth day of deliberations seemed, once again, to be focused significantly on the former Sopranos actress’ interactions with Weinstein, including her claims that the producer got her addicted to Valium during the filming of 1993’s Miramax movie The Night We Never Met, through the winter night of 1993-1994 when, she says, Weinstein gave her a lift to her Gramercy Park apartment after an industry event and later barged in and raped her.
Weinstein is charged with five criminal counts, including two of predatory sexual assault – one involving accuser Miriam Haley and actress Sciorra, the other count involving Sciorra and accuser Jessica Mann. Although the statute of limitations has expired on Sciorra’s claim of rape in 1993-1994, her testimony is permitted in conjunction with that of Haley and Mann to establish predatory behavior.
In addition to the predatory counts, which carry sentences up to life in prison, Weinstein is charged with one count of criminal sexual assault (against Haley), and two counts of rape (one in the first degree, one in the third, both involving Mann). Those crimes carry possible prison sentences of five to 25 years.
The testimony heard today covered Sciorra’s continued interactions with Weinstein, including her acceptance of a role in Miramax’s 1997 film Cop Land. The cross-examination transcription also included defense attorneys drawing out Sciorra’s admission that a previous assertion about inviting her father on a Cop Land press tour to avoid “being alone” with Weinstein was false: Her father actually accompanied her on a 1993 press tour for The Night We Never Met, prior to the alleged assault. The actress testified that she misremembered.
The jury will continue Day 4 of deliberations this afternoon, ending an hour earlier than usual – a shortened day that resulted in some angry words from defense attorney Donna Rotunno prior to the jury’s entrance this morning. Rotunno took issue with attorney Gloria Allred telling TV reporters that the early dismissal was due to a funeral in Rotunno’s family.
Rotunno, who was warned by Judge Burke not to talk to the press following an op-ed she recently wrote about the case for Newsweek, complained to the judge about Allred’s frequent TV appearances (Allred’s clients include Sciorra, Haley and Young).
This morning Rotunno told the judge she was “fine” with Allred “attacking” her, but that the mention of her personal life and family was “horrible behavior” (she also corrected Allred: the funeral is for a family friend).
The judge took no action on the complaint, having previously said he has no authority over Allred, who, while being a constant presence in the courtroom, is not directly involved in this criminal trial.
The jury likely does not know the reason for today’s early dismissal. The judge yesterday told jurors and spectators simply that “something suddenly came up.” He gave proper attribution to The Brady Bunch‘s Marcia Brady.
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.