Judge in Harvey Weinstein’s LA rape trial refuses to let jury hear contents of email written by Jennifer Siebel Newsom seeking media advice on how to handle affair California governor Gavin Newsom had with aide’s wife
- The prosecution in Harvey Weinstein’s rape trial rested their case on Thursday: the defense will begin on November 28
- Judge Lisa Lench was asked by the defense for permission to read to the jury emails one of the accusers sent to Weinstein after she was allegedly raped
- Jennifer Siebel Newsom, the wife of California’s governor Gavin Newsom, claims she was attacked by him in 2005 in a Beverly Hills hotel
- An aspiring actress, she kept in contact with the Hollywood titan, and in 2007 she emailed Weinstein asking for help in dealing with an affair Newsom had
- Newsom in late 2005 – before he met his now-wife – had a brief affair with his campaign manager’s wife: Newsom himself was divorcing Kimberly Guilfoyle
- Judge Lench said before the trial that she would not allow details of the emails about the affair to be made public, describing them as ‘tangential’
A Los Angeles judge refused to allow Harvey Weinstein’s lawyers to read out in court emails sent to him from Gavin Newsom’s now-wife Jennifer, insisting she did not want the court to ‘get into the whole details of the sex scandal.’
Jennifer Siebel Newsom, 48, spent Monday and Tuesday on the stand – the fourth woman to testify against the Hollywood producer, who is already serving a 23-year sentence in New York for rape and sexual assault.
In a tearful and at times angry account, Siebel Newsom alleged that Weinstein, now 70, raped her in 2005 at the Peninsula hotel in Beverly Hills, when she was 31 and trying to build a career as a producer and actor.
On Thursday the prosecution rested its case against Weinstein, who faces seven charges of rape and sexual assault and has pleaded not guilty.
The defense will begin their case on November 28, after the Thanksgiving break.
Harvey Weinstein is pictured in court on Thursday, as the prosecution rests its case. He faces seven counts of sex crimes
Jennifer Siebel Newsom, 48, is seen testifying in court on Tuesday – her second and final day on the stand
Siebel Newsom is pictured in 2017 with her husband Gavin, the governor of California
Judge Lisa Lench on Thursday was asked by the defense for permission to read to the jury emails which Siebel Newsom sent to Weinstein after the alleged attack, in which she asked for his help.
Siebel Newsom, now the First Lady of California and a documentary maker, met Newsom on a blind date in 2006 – the year after the Peninsula hotel attack.
In 2007, she learned that details of an affair Newsom had in late 2005 with his campaign manager’s wife were about to be made public.
Newsom, then 37 and the mayor of San Francisco, was in the midst of his divorce from Fox News host Kimberly Guilfoyle – who is now the girlfriend of Donald Trump Jr.
Newsom’s aide Alex Tourk resigned on learning of the affair with his then wife Ruby Rippey-Tourk – she told him in February 2007, as part of a rehab program for substance abuse.
Siebel Newsom got in touch with Weinstein to ask for his advice on handling the PR fallout.
Before the trial began, Judge Lench ruled that attorneys cannot discuss the underlying reason for Siebel Newsom’s emails in front of the jury, calling it ‘too tangential in relation to this trial.’
Siebel Newsom testified on Monday and Tuesday (pictured), giving an emotional account of the night in 2005 she says Weinstein raped her
Weinstein is pictured on October 4 at a pre-trial hearing
On Thursday, she reiterated the refusal to allow the emails to be read out in court.
‘I’m not going to let you get into the whole details of the sex scandal,’ she said.
‘I will allow you to ask that question but I am not going to allow you to get into the details.’
Siebel Newsom was not in court on Thursday.
The jury was dismissed in the afternoon, after the final prosecution witness – a member of LAPD who worked on the case, and provided a brief summary of his work.
Weinstein’s lawyers then attempted to convince Judge Lench to dismiss all the charges.
Alan Jackson, Weinstein’s lawyer, insisted that none of the women were forced, and questioned whether Jane Doe 1 – the first of the four accusers – ‘was even at the location’.
Jackson said Siebel Newsom consented, in a bid to further her career.
‘All the evidence points to a consensual encounter,’ he said, arguing that she ‘willingly engaged in a sex act with Mr. Weinstein.’ Jackson said there was ‘no corroboration of her assertion that there was force,’ emphasizing that she remained in contact with him afterwards.
‘She had no problem in the waning days and weeks and months and years with having a relationship with Mr. Weinstein,’ Jackson said.
Judge Lench, however, refused to dismiss the charges.
‘This is going to be an issue for the jury. There is certainly evidence provided for all these felonies,’ she said.
‘The defendant’s motion is denied. I think there is enough evidence to send all these counts to the jury, and I will do so.’
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