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Actress Annabella Sciorra unambiguously tells court that Weinstein raped her

Witness Annabella Sciorra departs after testifying in the case of film producer Harvey Weinstein during his sexual assault trial at  a New York Criminal Court in the Manhattan borough of New York City on January 23, 2020.
Witness Annabella Sciorra departs after testifying in the case of film producer Harvey Weinstein during his sexual assault trial at a New York Criminal Court in the Manhattan borough of New York City on January 23, 2020. © Lucas Jackson, Reuters

"The Sopranos" actress Annabella Sciorra fought back tears as she told a court Thursday that being raped by Harvey Weinstein left her feeling like she was having "a seizure" and caused her to self-harm.

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In emotional testimony at Weinstein's trial, Sciorra described him barging into her New York apartment late at night in the early 1990s and attacking her while she was wearing a nightgown.

"It was just so disgusting that my body started to shake in a way that was very unusual. I didn't really even know what was happening," the 59-year-old said.

Sciorra faced the jury as she held her hands above her head and clasped her wrists to demonstrate how Weinstein, then three times her weight, held her down on her bed and sexually assaulted her.

"He got on top of me and he raped me," she said, under questioning by lead prosecutor Joan Illuzzi-Orbon. 

"He put his penis inside of my vagina and he raped me," repeated Sciorra, the first of Weinstein's accusers to take the stand in proceedings seen as key to the #MeToo movement.

Weinstein, 67, avoided eye contact and gestured towards one of his lawyers as Sciorra told the New York state court that the former film producer then performed oral sex on her.

"I didn't have very much fight left inside me at this point. My body just shut down," said Sciorra, wearing a navy blue dress with long sleeves.

Weinstein has pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting former production assistant Mimi Haleyi and raping actress Jessica Mann. He denies all allegations of non-consensual sex.

Sciorra, best known for her role as Gloria Trillo in American mob drama "The Sopranos," gave evidence to support the prosecution's case that Weinstein was a career sexual predator.

Her allegation is too old to be included on the charge sheet but the charge of predatory sexual assault, which carries possible life imprisonment, requires prosecutors to prove he sexually assaulted at least two people.

(AFP)

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