In a fiery courtroom theatrical performance, Harvey Weinstein’s defense attorney aimed to poke holes in Jane Doe #2’s account of an alleged 2013 sexual assault by focusing on the timeline and specific details of her allegations.
Tuesday’s cross-examination was the liveliest court session yet at Weinstein’s Los Angeles trial. His attorney, Alan Jackson, pounded the podium, removed his suit jacket, and pushed a chair across the floor to dramatically dissect the story of Jane Doe #2. It was also the most visible reaction from Weinstein, who laughed at one point and shook his head contradictorily at another point when the woman testified.
Lauren Young – who is known in this case as Jane Doe #2 – has claimed Weinstein masturbated in front of her and fondled her breasts after he cornered her in a hotel bathroom during a business meeting that was set to take place in a hotel lobby . Young previously testified during Weinstein’s New York trial in 2020.
During cross-examination, Weinstein’s attorney, Jackson, drew specific testimony from Young’s previous interviews with detectives and went into the details of their allegations, which he says have changed over time. Young responded by declaring, “When you’re sexually assaulted, things get blocked,” allowing her to remember “little things,” but her various interviews with authorities have allowed her to remember more clearly.
“It was traumatic and it’s a memory I wish had never happened,” she said of the alleged attack. “There are parts I will never forget.”
“I know that’s your story,” Jackson said at one point, prompting Young to shoot back, “It’s not a story. This happened to me,” as Weinstein shook his head from the defendant’s table.
For example, Jackson pointed out that Young had told detectives that she was “trapped” in a sliding bathroom door at the hotel where she was assaulted. Jackson showed the jury photos showing the door on a hinge — not sliding — and asked Young a series of questions about those details.
“Would you like to change your statement about being trapped and imprisoned in that bathroom?” Jackson asked. “You’re describing a full-blown kidnapping, right?”
“I felt locked in there — I described how I felt,” Young said. Jackson fired back, “You felt like you were locked in there, but you weren’t locked in there. You felt that you were sexually assaulted, but you weren’t.”
“I was definitely sexually assaulted by Harvey Weinstein,” Young said.
The judge shot that question down from Jackson. At another point, prosecutor Paul Thompson asked Jackson to stop interrupting Young and let her finish her answers.
Young didn’t initially recall the hotel’s name, Jackson pointed out, and had originally told detectives she only remembered that her alleged assault took place at a Beverly Hills, California hotel, but not specifically in the Montage . When authorities brought her into Montage, she said “walking through this room” “she has to relive her trauma” as memories returned to her.
“And since then, your statements and your statements have become a lot more detailed and a lot more colorful, haven’t they?” Jackson asked. “You had no idea what hotel this even happened at?” Jackson asked, adding that Young appears to have “forgotten details like the year it happened and the location where it happened “.
Young said that while certain details may be unclear — like the type of door in the bathroom, whether it was locked and the name of the hotel — she recalls key events of the alleged attack.
“You did know that you disclosed an assault on a very, very, very famous man?” Jackson nudged Young.
“I was sure I was being sexually assaulted,” she replied. “I gave the best of my memory at the moment.”
In Young’s testimony, she said Weinstein undressed and took a shower so quickly that she was unable to process what happened. She said when she tried to leave the bathroom, Weinstein blocked her. “Everything happened so quickly,” Young said earlier in the stands. “I was so shocked … I just wanted to get out of there as soon as possible.”
At one point, to demonstrate the speed with which Weinstein could have undressed, Jackson removed his suit jacket in the courtroom, apparently with the intention of showing the jury that there would be many steps to fully undress if Weinstein were wearing a suit would, although Young claimed Weinstein quickly undressed.
“Did he wear a suit like mine?” Jackson asked. Amid laughter around the gallery, Young replied, “It definitely wasn’t the same size.”
To mimic how long it might have taken Weinstein to undress, Jackson removed his suit jacket. “I dont get any further. Don’t be afraid,” Jackson said to Young, removing his jacket. “Please don’t,” she said to the lawyer.
Jackson also asked about the dress Young was wearing on the night of the alleged incident. She testified that Weinstein opened her dress, pulled it down and felt her breasts. She had turned the dress over to the authorities and it was brought into the courtroom as evidence. Jackson asked why she never told the detectives about the button on the dress over the zipper. “How about that little button?” he said. “You didn’t mention he unbuttoned it.”
Like many other witnesses cross-examined by Weinstein’s defense, Jackson questioned why Young continued to communicate with The Weinstein Company after the alleged attack. Young explained that she was afraid of retaliation, which is why she met with one of Weinstein’s executives and also responded to an email inviting her to an Oscars party — but Young was certain she never attended the party . She also made it clear that she never saw Weinstein again.
As with every woman testifying at the trial, Jackson questioned why there was a delay in reporting it to the police. Young stated she was “paranoid” that Weinstein was so powerful he could have had ties to the police force. “I thought he might have me killed,” she said.
“You thought he would murder you?” Jackson asked. Young replied, “I didn’t know what he was capable of.”
After Young’s questioning by Weinstein’s defense attorney, her attorney, Gloria Allred, issued a statement diversityShe praises her client as a “heroine”.
“I was very proud of my client today,” Allred said in part. “She was subjected to hours of cross-examination and attempts by Harvey Weinstein’s defense team to undermine and discredit her testimony. In my opinion it has held up very well and has not been undermined or discredited in any way.”
The high-profile attorney noted that Young is the only witness who testified against Weinstein in both New York and Los Angeles. “Testifying twice in two separate trials poses far more challenges than victims who testify only once,” Allred said. “She went through all of this for one reason and one reason only: she wants justice done.”
“Soon it will be up to the jury to make their decision and we expect them to do the right thing,” Allred continued. “Whatever you decide, my client is a hero. She told the truth and went on to claim without hesitation that Harvey Weinstein sexually assaulted her in the bathroom at the Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills.”
https://variety.com/2022/film/news/harvey-weinstein-attorney-cross-examination-jane-doe-2-lauren-young-1235426081/ Harvey Weinstein’s attorney cross-examines Jane Doe 2