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A judge Wednesday ruled that five women – but not Daryl Hannah or Rose McGowan – can testify at Harvey Weinstein‘s upcoming rape and sexual assault trial in Los Angeles.
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Weinstein, 70, is not charged with crimes related to the additional witnesses. Their testimony is designed to bolster the rape and sexual assault case against him for alleged attacks on five other women in and around Beverly Hills between 2004 and 2013. He has pleaded not guilty.
During a hearing Wednesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court, prosecutors asked Judge Lisa Lench to admit evidence from a total of 16 women who have made allegations against the disgraced movie mogul.
Weinstein’s defense lawyer Mark Werksman advised that none of the women’s allegations should be introduced at trial – especially Hannah’s given that she didn’t accuse the fallen producer of a crime.
Her claim is that Weinstein banged on her door at the Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc during a Cannes Film Festival, and she fled out a window, Werksman said.
“She doesn’t know what she wanted and didn’t stick around to find out,” the lawyer told Acesparks Digital. “The prosecution wants to introduce her testimony for an inflammatory purpose, to suggest that this man is so despicable that he would attempt to rape America’s sweetheart, the mermaid from Splash.”
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Under California law, prosecutors can introduce evidence of prior sexual assaults against a defendant accused of sex crimes only if the allegations are criminal in nature.
The judge ruled Wednesday that any alleged misconduct from before 2000 is too far in time and can’t come in – knocking Rose McGowan from the list, Werksman said.
McGowan was among Weinstein’s earliest accusers, alleging he sexually assaulted her in 1997 at the Sundance Film Festival.
Weinstein, wearing brown jail scrubs, attended the hearing in a wheelchair.
He was extradited to California in July and has been locked up since he was sentenced in 2020 in Manhattan state court to 23 years in prison for raping aspiring actress Jessica Mann and sexually abusing TV production assistant Miriam Haley
Lench will also allow the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office to tell jurors about Weinstein’s conviction for forcing oral sex on Haley.
“They asked for 16, they got five,” said Weinstein’s spokesman Juda Engelmayer. “We have to consider this a victory, and we are prered to defend Harvey to the fullest extent when it comes to trial.”
Weinstein may go to trial as early as September. He’s due back in court June 10 when the judge is expected to set an official trial date.
Weinstein has appealed his New York conviction and is awaiting a decision from the state’s intermediate appeals court.
The Los Angeles DA didn’t immediately return a request for comment.