Home USA News Jennifer Ziebel Newsom speaks at the Weinstein trial

Jennifer Ziebel Newsom speaks at the Weinstein trial


LOS ANGELES — Jennifer Ziebel Newsom, a documentary filmmaker and wife of California Governor Gavin Newsom, took the stand at Harvey Weinstein’s rape trial.

Ziebel Newsom spent 15 minutes in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom before a lunch break Monday, becoming the fourth woman accused of sexual assault by Weinstein to testify at the former movie mogul’s trial.

Ziebel Newsom, 48, was a “powerless actor trying to break into Hollywood” in 2005 when Weinstein raped her during what she thought was a meeting to discuss her career at a Beverly Hills hotel, the deputy district attorney said. Paul Thompson said during his opening statement at the trial.

Weinstein’s lawyers say they had consensual sex and that she sought to use the powerful producer to advance her career.

When the prosecutor asked if she had seen the man she met at the Toronto Film Festival in 2005 in court, she fell silent, then burst into tears before muttering “yes” into the microphone.

“He’s wearing a suit and a blue tie and he’s looking at me,” she said when asked to describe him. She only described their first meeting before the court adjourned for lunch.

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In court, Ziebel Newsom is known as Jane Doe #4 and, like other Weinsteins accused of rape or sexual assault, has not been named in court. But both the prosecution and the defense identified her as the governor’s wife during the trial, and attorney Sibel Newsom confirmed to the AP and other news outlets that she was Jane Doe #4.

The Associated Press typically does not name people who say they have been sexually assaulted unless they have come forward publicly.

Weinstein has had many high-profile accusers, including A-list actors, since he became a magnet for the #MeToo movement in 2017. But none of the women who told their stories in court had the same notoriety as Siebel Newsom, the first partner of the man who last week set sail for a second term as governor of the nation’s most populous state and could run for the White House.

“She intends to testify at trial in order to achieve some measure of justice for survivors and as part of her work to improve the lives of women,” her attorney, Elizabeth Fegan, said at the start of the trial.

Weinstein’s attorney, Mark Werksman, told jurors during opening statements that Sibel Newsom is “a very well-known Californian” who made herself a “prominent victim of the #MeToo movement.”

“Otherwise,” Werksman said, “she’d be just another deserter sleeping with Harvey Weinstein to get her way in Hollywood.”

Actress Daphne Zuniga, star of “Spaceballs” and “Melrose Place,” testified about her friend Sibel Newsom in court last week.

Zuniga said she and Sibel News were hiking when she told her she had met Harvey Weinstein. When asked how it went, Zuniga said Ziebel Newsom told her, “Too bad, I don’t want to talk about it.”

“I’ve always known her to be positive, upbeat, look you in the eye, with great energy,” Zuniga said, but here “she seemed upset, cranky, agitated.”

In a pattern described by many of Weinstein’s other accusers, Ziebel Newsom expected them to meet in a public space with others present, but instead ended up alone with him in his room, prosecutors said.

Judge Lisa Lench is allowing the defense to use an email Siebel News sent to Weinstein in 2007 asking for help in dealing with the media scandal involving her husband, who was the mayor of San Francisco at the time.

Already serving a 23-year sentence in New York, Weinstein has pleaded not guilty to four counts of rape and seven counts of sexual assault involving five women. He denied ever engaging in non-consensual sex.

Copyright © 2022 The Washington Times, LLC.

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