Jurors in the trial of Harvey Weinstein will be allowed to hear Gavin Newsom’s wife emailed the movie magnate for advice about dealing with the media amid a scandal involving the California Governor two years after Weinstein allegedly raped and sexually assaulted her, a judge has ruled.
The judge granted narrow permission to the defense to introduce evidence of the message sent to Weinstein in 2007, when Newsom was mayor of San Francisco and dating Jennifer.
But Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Lisa B. Lench forbid the defense from discussing the underlying issue behind the email – the revelation of an affair Newsom had had in 2005 with an aide.
Jennifer Siebel Newsom, wife of Democratic California Governor Gavin Newsom has confirmed that she is one of Weinstein’s accusers and will testify at trial . Pictured in 2019
The couple are pictured years earlier at a San Francisco gala in 2010
Judge Lench called it ‘too tangential in relation to this trial.’ Weinstein’s attorney Mark Werksman argued adamantly for the inclusion of the details.
‘Of all things you’d think a woman that is raped by Harvey Weinstein wouldn´t do, it’s ask him how to deal with a sex scandal,’ Werksman said.
Deputy District Attorney Marlene Martinez responded: ‘I´m not sure how Mr. Werksman knows’ how a rape victim would behave.
‘They do not react in a matter how someone who has not been raped would think,’ Martinez said.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom and Jennifer Lynn Siebel Newsom seen in September 2021
Siebel alleges that Weinstein raped her in 2005, when she was an actress. It was three years before she married Newsom
Werksman argued that the contents of the email were essential, saying that for Siebel Newsom and the other accusers in the trial, the power dynamic with Weinstein was essential.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Lisa B. Lench has been deciding what evidence will be allowed to be presented in court to the jury during the trial
‘When her boyfriend the mayor seduces an underling’s wife and gets scandalized over it,’ she sides with the mayor,’ he said, and suggested it was essential to Weinstein’s rights that the judge allow that line of questioning.
The judge suggested the attorney was overstating the case by saying Weinstein’s due process was at stake.
‘Very dramatic, Mr. Werksman,’ Lench said.
Werksman replied, ‘Forgive the melodrama your honor.’
Weinstein is charged with raping Siebel Newsom at a Beverly Hills hotel and forcing oral sex on her in 2004 or 2005.
Elizabeth Fegan, her attorney, said: ‘Like many other women, my client was sexually assaulted by Harvey Weinstein at a purported business meeting that turned out to be a trap.
Vice President Kamala Harris waves with California Gov. Gavin Newsom and his wife Jennifer Siebel Newsom during a campaign event in September 2021
Newsom and his wife, left. She has never spoken at length about her experience with Weinstein but is expected to take the stand. Right, Siebel Newsom in the 2008 movie April Fools Day
California’s Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gavin Newsom gestures with his wife by his side at his election night watch party in Los Angeles, California in November 2018
‘She intends to testify at his trial in order to seek some measure of justice for survivors, and as part of her life’s work to improve the lives of women.’
Siebel Newsom first accused Weinstein of attacking her in a 2017 article for The Huffington Post.
‘I was naive, new to the industry, and didn’t know how to deal with his aggressive advances,’ she wrote at the time.
In all, Weinstein is charged with 11 counts of rape and sexual assault involving five women.
He is already serving a 23-year prison sentence for a rape and sex assault conviction in New York.
Siebel Newsom, a documentary filmmaker and actor, began dating Gavin Newsom in 2006, and married him in 2008. He was elected governor in 2018.
Weinstein’s attorneys say the imminent release of She Said, a new movie about the scandal and how New York Times journalists first broke the story of Weinstein’s sexual crimes
The judge also ruled that the prosecution could play for jurors a secret recording that another forthcoming witness in the trial, Ambra Battilana Gutierrez, made of Weinstein in conjunction with New York police in 2015.
In the recording, Weinstein apologized for his conduct in a previous meeting, where she said he had touched her thigh and grabbed her breasts.
Police investigated the incident, but prosecutors brought no charges – a decision that came under scrutiny in 2017 when a wave of allegations against Weinstein gave fuel to the #MeToo movement.
‘It seems to me that to the extent that it constitutes an admission, that it is admissible,’ the judge said.
The judge also ruled that the prosecution could play for jurors a secret recording that another forthcoming witness in the trial, Ambra Battilana Gutierrez, made of Weinstein in conjunction with New York police in 2015
THE LOS ANGELES CHARGES AGAINST WEINSTEIN
JANE DOE #1 – Unidentified Italian actress
Forced oral copulation – February 18, 2013
Sexual penetration by foreign object – February 18, 2013
Forcible rape against the same woman on the same day – February 18, 2013
JANE DOE #2
Sexual battery – February 19, 2013
JANE DOE #3
Sexual battery by restraint – May 11, 2010.
‘Weinstein unlawfully touched an intimate part of Jane Doe #3 while she was unlawfully restrained’.
JANE DOE #4 – Jennifer Siebel Newsom
Forcible oral copulation – September 2005
Forcible rape – September 2005
JANE DOE #5
Forcible oral copulation November – 2009
Forcible rape – November 2009
Forcible oral copulation – November 2010
Forcible rape – November 2010
Deputy District Attorney Paul Thompson said he could play just a short excerpt from the recording, but after a discussion with the defense, the two sides agreed he should play all 43 minutes of it.
Gutierrez, an Italian model, is one of four women who have been allowed to testify at the trial about being sexually abused by Weinstein, though their allegations are not among those he is charged with.
Siebel Newsom´s identity was first reported by the Los Angeles Times and her attorney said that she is among the women Weinstein is charged with sexually assaulting who will testify during the trial.
After a day and a half of arguing motions on what evidence will be heard during the trial, including one in which actor-director Mel Gibson was approved as a prosecution witness, the judge and jurors resumed jury selection in the afternoon.
Siebel Newsom came up again during the process.
‘What if I told you that the governor´s wife is going to be one of those witnesses?’ Weinstein attorney Alan Jackson asked the jury panel. ‘By the way she will be.’
The jury panel already knew this from the juror questionnaire they filled out last week.
When asked if their opinion of the governor or his wife would affect their judgment, none said it would.
At least five jurors said they had never heard of the #MeToo movement when asked by Thompson.
Views were mixed on the movement among those who had strong feelings.
‘I believe in the feminine voice being outspoken,’ one woman said.
Another woman said she didn´t have much respect for those who decided that ‘after 10 years, ‘oh this happened to me too.”
‘I think they´re looking for their 15 minutes of fame,’ she said.