By Marlene Lenthang and Daniel Bates In Manhattan Criminal Court For Dailymail.com
Published: 14:35 GMT, 29 January 2020 | Updated: 16:47 GMT, 29 January 2020
Harvey Weinstein demanded a threesome from an aspiring actress in exchange for movie roles and claimed that he made stars of Charlize Theron, Salma Hayek and Uma Thurman, a court heard today.
Screaming, ‘this is how the industry works’, Weinstein told former aspiring actress Dawn Dunning that ‘you’ll never make it in this business’ during a meeting on her career at a New York City hotel room, where he wore nothing but an open bath robe.
Dunning, 40, took the witness stand at Weinstein’s rape trial on Wednesday and broke down as she recounted how the producer said he’d sign her for three movies, on the condition she’d have three-way sex with him.
‘There was a coffee table and I noticed three stacks of paper… He cut to the chase and said here’s three contracts for three films. I will sign them today if you have a threesome with me and my assistant,’ Dunning told the jury.
‘I thought he was kidding. When I started asking (about it) he got really angry and started screaming. He said you’ll never make it in this business! This is how the industry works! This is I made three actresses where they are,’ she continued.
When asked to name those actresses Dunning said they were Charlize Theron, Salma Hayek and Uma Thurman.
Despite the dramatic testimonies slated to be shared today Harvey Weinstein grinned as he arrived at court on Wednesday. The jury will hear from Dunning and former cocktail waitress Tarale Wulff, who claims the producer masturbated in front of her at a New York restaurant and raped her at his apartment in 2005.
Harvey Weinstein demanded a threesome from an aspiring actress in exchange for movie roles and claimed that he made stars of Charlize Theron, Salma Hayek and Uma Thurman, a court heard today. Weinstein pictured grinning arriving to court Wednesday
Former aspiring actress Dawn Dunning, 40, took the witness stand and broke down as she recounted how Weinstein invited her to a hotel for a business meeting and allegedly opened the door wearing an ‘open bathrobe’ and demanded sex
Weinstein claimed he made actresses Charlize Theron, Uma Thurman and Salma Hayek the stars they are today by giving them that same ultimatum – sex in exchange for movie roles. Weinstein and Hayek pictured together in 2003
Weinstein and Uma Thurman at a 2016 gala in New York City
Dunning and Wulff are so-called ‘Molineux’ witnesses who will testify about the producer’s ‘prior bad acts’ at the high-profile trial in New York that’s considered a milestone for the #MeToo movement.
But, Weinstein isn’t facing charges in those cases due to the statue of limitations and other legal issues. Prosecutors are using their testimony to bolster their case against the embattled producer.
Dunning, wearing a camel colored suit and black top, only looked at Weinstein to identify him during her testimony. Through tears she said, ‘This is the worst and hardest thing I’ve ever done.’
She said she first met Weinstein working as a waitress at a Manhattan nightclub called PM in 2004. She told him she was an aspiring actress and gave him her number. To her surprise his assistant called soon after and arranged a screen test at Miramax, his production company.
Dunning and Weinstein met for several meetings and he got her and her fiance tickets to movie premieres and industry events.
During these encounters Weinstein ‘made comments about my body but it wasn’t any worse than anything I’d had’ before, she said.
Things seemed mostly professional before two 2004 incidents.
Then in the spring of 2004 he invited her to what she thought was a business meeting at a SoHo hotel, which he was using as his production officer during film nearby. He ended up putting his hand up her skirt and touched her vagina in that meeting.
‘I was talking with Harvey and he led me into the other room and I sat down on the bed. I was wearing a skirt and he put his hand up my skirt,’ she said through tears. ‘There were people in the other room. So I didn’t think anything of it.’
‘He sat down first and I sat down next to him and he put his hand up my skirt. It was just a few seconds but I just froze for a minute and stood up. He told me don’t make a big deal out of it. He apologized and said it wouldn’t happen again.’
‘I was in shock. I just wasn’t expecting it. He was talking really fast, he was like it’s not a big deal. Don’t make a big deal about it,’ she added.
Tarale Wulff (center in yellow turtleneck) will also take the witness stand at Weinstein’s trial today. She claims he allegedly masturbated in front of her at the Cipriani’s club in New York and on a second occasion allegedly raped her at his apartment
Former cocktail waitress Tarale Wulff claims Weinstein masturbated in front of her at upscale New York lounge Cipriani’s and raped her at his apartment in 2005. Wulff kept her eyes down as she arrived to court Wednesday
The movie giant, 67, hunched over his walker as he hobbled into the Manhattan criminal courthouse on Wednesday
The movie producer clutched onto a staircase railing with both hands as he entered the Manhattan courthouse
Assistant District Attorney Meghan Hast asked if Weinstein actually touched her vagina when he put his hand up her skirt.
Dunning said: ‘Slightly, not all the way’.
Hast asked: ‘Did you indicate in any way you were interested in a sexual interaction with the defendant?’
Dunning said: ‘No’.
She said she did not tell anyone about the incident because she was humiliated.
‘It was embarrassing. I wanted to pretend like it didn’t happen. I didn’t want to be a victim,’ she said to the jury.
Then a few weeks later Weinstein’s assistant Bonnie called and asked her to meet him at a cigar bar near Park Avenue. Dunning thought they’d be meeting at the hotel restaurant. When she arrived she was told that Weinstein was in a hotel suite at the Intercontinental Hotel in Midtown upstairs.
That’s where she found the movie mogul in his bathroom and when he allegedly propositioned her for sex asking for a threesome with his assistant.
‘For some reason the tone – something just seemed different from when I’d spent time with him in the past. He was more serious,’ Dunning told the jury.
She said she looked at his assistant Bonnie, who was still in the room, and she had a ‘blank’ expression on her face.
Weinstein was a ‘big guy and he was towering over me and I was really scared,’ she said.
Frightened she ran out of the door and ‘heard him screaming as I was leaving’.
Dunning didn’t call the police because ‘I didn’t know what he did was illegal’, she told the court.
After that hotel incident, she abandoned her plans to be an actress.
Under cross-examination by defense lawyer Arthur Aidala, Dunning said that one of the lunch meetings she had with Weinstein was at Robert De Niro’s restaurant in Tribeca.
During the seven months she knew him, Dunning and her fiance also had dinner with Weinstein and his ex-wife Georgina Chapman.
Weinstein got her tickets to see the Broadway show The Producers and one year Whoopi Goldberg’s birthday.
Aidala accused Dunning of going on a ‘media tour’ that began in Fall 2017 with the New York Times and include NBC Nightly News, MSNBC, Sky News, and CNN.
In all the interviews Dunning only talked about Weinstein’s proposition for a threesome.
It wasn’t until July last year that Dunning told the Manhattan District Attorney’s office about the previous incident where he allegedly touched her up her skirt.
Dunning agreed that was correct.
Weinstein was in good spirits in court on Tuesday. When a reporter asked him if he was afraid of Chihuahuas, Weinstein laughed and replied, ‘Do I look like I’m afraid of chihuahuas?’
In an exclusive interview with DailyMailTV last year, Dunning said she was terrified to see the shamed Hollywood executive in the flesh again.
Discussing what she’d do, she told DailyMailTV: ‘Honestly I probably would not say anything to him.’
‘I have thought about what would happen if I ran into him again over the years.
‘And I just do not want to see him. I do not want to interact with him, I do not know what I would to say to him. It is still pretty emotional and it would be really hard to be face to face with him again.’
Wulff, who worked as a cocktail waitress at the members-only lounge of New York’s upscale club Cipriani’s, will recount how Weinstein allegedly cornered her in a hallway and started masturbating in front of her in 2005.
Weinstein later offered her the opportunity to read for a potential acting role and Wulff went to his apartment for it. There Weinstein allegedly pushed her onto a bed and raped her.
Weinstein, 67, is accused of five felony counts including rape and predatory sexual assault. Those charges stem from the alleged assaults of former Project Runway production assistant Mimi Haley in 2006 and aspiring actress Jessica Mann in 2013.
The movie mogul has pleaded not guilty to those charges and his defense team is honing in on his accusers’ continued contact with Weinstein after the alleged assaults.
What’s happened in the trial so far
So far two accusers, Mimi Haleyi and Soprano’s actress Annabella Sciorra, have testified against Weinstein.
On Monday Haleyi, whose allegations are at the heart of the Weinstein case, broke down in tears as she recounted how the film honcho, who got her a job as a production assistant on the show Project Runway, allegedly forcibly performed oral sex on her while she was on her period at his New York City apartment in July 2006. She also claimed he raped her at a TriBeCa hotel two weeks afterwards.
‘I did reject him, but he insisted. Every time I tried to get off the bed, he would push me back and hold me down,’ Haleyi, 42, said choking on tears.
Haleyi (in cream trench coat) worked for Project Runway, a reality show Weinstein produced. Pictured in court on Monday
She broke down in tears as she recounted the alleged rape saying: ‘I was crying no, no. I told him I’m on my period. It was as if he didn’t believe me. I said something like where is it then? He literally pulled my tampon out’
Annabella Sciorra cried as she took the stand in Harvey Weinstein’s New York trial last week to tell how he allegedly raped her in 1993 or 1994. She appeared in The Sopranos as Tony Soprano’s mistress (right)
‘I was crying no, no. I told him I’m on my period. It was as if he didn’t believe me. I said something like where is it then? He literally pulled my tampon out,’ she added.
She underwent an intense cross-examination where Weinstein’s attorney Damon Cheronis claimed she had a consensual relationship with Weinstein and zeroed in on her continued contact with the producer even after the alleged assaults, showing e-mails and notes in her diary.
On Tuesday Haleyi’s roommate in 2006, Elizabeth Entin, testified to corroborate her claims. Entin said on one occasion Weinstein barged into their home to demand Haleyi go to Paris with him but got scared by her pet Chihuahua Peanut.
Last week Annabella Sciorra testified that Weinstein forced his way into her Manhattan apartment one winter night in 1993 or 1994 and violently raped her.
In total six women are expected to testify against the producer, while more than 90 women have accused the Miramax founder of sexual misconduct, harassment, rape, and unwanted touching.
Who are Weinstein’s accusers who have or will testify?
Actress Annabella Sciorra testified last week against Weinstein, claiming he raped her in her New York City apartment in 1993.
Former production assistant Mimi Haleyi testified Monday and claimed Weinstein forcibly performed oral sex on her inside his apartment in 2006.
A third accuser, Jessica Mann, is slated to testify this week on how the movie mogul allegedly raped her in a Midtown Manhattan hotel in 2013.
Costume designer Dawn Dunning claims Weinstein sexually harassed her and tried to pressure her into having a three-way with him and his assistant when she was 24 at a Manhattan hotel in 2004.
Aspiring actress Tarale Wulff claims Weinstein masturbated in front of her as she was working as a cocktail waitress at Cipriani Upstairs in Manhattan and he later assaulted her in his bedroom in 2005.
A sixth woman, Lauren Young, claims he groped her in a hotel, masturbated and ejaculated onto a bathroom floor in February 2012 at a dinner event during Oscar season when she was 22.
In addition to these six accusers the judge is allowing four other women to testify to establish a pattern of behavior, even though most of their allegations are too old to prosecute as crimes according to state law.
Two more accusers to testify against Harvey Weinstein at his trial
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