US actress Annabella Sciorra has testified in Harvey Weinstein's trial that the film producer pinioned and raped her at her home 25 years ago.
According to her emotional testimony, Ms Sciorra had dinner with Mr Weinstein in the winter of 1993-94. The Hollywood mogul then offered to drive the actress back to her Manhattan apartment.
Soon after Mr Weinstein dropped her off, the actress heard a knock at her door. The producer shoved his way into her apartment, she said, and took her to a bedroom where he forced her on to a bed and sexually assaulted her.
Mr Weinstein ignored her attempts to fight him off, Ms Sciorra testified on Thursday, fighting back tears.
"He got on top of me and he raped me," she said. "He had intercourse with me and I was trying to fight him, but I couldn't fight anymore because he had my hands locked."
She said he then forcibly performed oral sex on her, telling her: "This is for you."
"It was just so disgusting that my body started to shake in a way that was very unusual," she said. "It was like a seizure or something."
Ms Sciorra said she confronted Mr Weinstein at a dinner weeks later. His response was "menacing", she said. The producer allegedly leaned into her and said: "This remains between you and I."
"It was threatening and I was afraid," the actress testified.
A female former producer at Fox News, and another woman who appeared frequently as an on-air commentator on the network, have filed a civil lawsuit Monday accusing former longtime anchor Ed Henry of rape, sexual misconduct and harassment.
Prominent Fox News commentators Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson and Howard Kurtz are also named as defendants in the suit, and are accused of sexual misconduct. The suit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
Fox News issued a statement on behalf of Hannity, Carlson and Kurtz, calling the claims in the suit "false, patently frivolous and utterly devoid of any merit."
The accusers are Jennifer Eckhart (the former producer) who is accusing Henry of outright rape, and Cathy Areu who was an on-air guest for various Fox talking heads.
I'm always a bit leery/suspicious of allegations of actual rape that were never reported to police (given that it's a crime) but are used as grounds for some civil lawsuit later. One path leads to some sort of actual legal justice; the other path leads to money. It's almost like the "rape" is a grotesque exaggeration tacked on there in order to increase the odds of judgment on the two lesser charges (i.e., door-in-the-face technique).
I know that sounds cynical, but given that some recent high profile cases with similar charges (e.g., Biden) or narratives that were falsely exaggerated to sound similar (e.g., Louis CK) turned out to either be highly questionable if not outright false, it unfortunately casts shade on subsequent high profile allegations. Especially when they involve loads of money.
Not saying it didn't happen, because the gross "boys club" atmosphere that seems to permeate Fox News seems like it's likely a cesspool, but these types of "serious crime that's never actually reported but instead used for multimillion $ civil lawsuit much later" situations cause me to raise an eyebrow.
There are a ton of reasons why a victim wouldn't want to report an assault to the police, but to go to a civil case does raise eyebrows.
I get that, but this alleged rape allegedly occured less than 3 years ago, shortly before "#MeToo" happened. Seems weird that she chose to not come forward during the time that these types of stories had the most power, and the movement was at its height, but instead came forward 2 years later.
I'm not saying her claims aren't true, just that this situation seems a bit suspicious.
One thing to keep in mind is that a statute of limitations for criminal prosecution may have passed. That might leave the victim with only one option: a civil lawsuit.
The rape allegedly happened a little over 2 years ago. The "forced blowjob" supposedly happened 5 years ago. She admits to have been in an extended extra-marital sexual relationship with that guy behind his wife's back.
In New York, the statute of limitations for 2nd degree rape is 20 years, 3rd degree is 15 years, and there is no statute of limitations for 1st degree rape.
So, two years after she's allegedly handcuffed to a bed post and raped, while we're still in the afterglow and power of the #MeToo era and after Fox had settled multiple harassment lawsuits....she files a multimillion dollar lawsuit, rather than filing criminal charges (and then maybe a civil suit later)? I'm sure the fact that Gretchen Carlson got $20 million from Fox for less serious allegations played no role whatsoever in this.
Rape is a much more serious allegation than sexual harassment. Rape victims are at a substantially higher risk of PTSD, yet she was still cool to continue going to work? If he committed such a heinous crime, why not throw him in jail? Why continue to work there and be in a sexual relationship with him? Why wait until AFTER he's been fired for allegations from other women to make these huge claims?
2018 would've been the perfect time to file that claim and press charges. All of the MeToo momentum would've been with her. Unless it's an accusation that can't be supported? Are juries more sympathetic in civil trials with weak evidence? I'm not a lawyer so I have no idea but you probably do. This all just seems a bit odd to me. Something about it all just doesn't smell right.
Last Edit: Jul 21, 2020 17:22:55 GMT -5 by Optimus
Here's the thing about FoxNews (for me, anyway): I know for a fact that Bill O'Reilly is a douchenozzle, when it comes to the treatment of women. Seriously, I know it because of direct information going back to the 80's. So I tend to think--perhaps unfairly--that anyone who worked closely with him, learned from him, etc. must know this (and, if they are a woman, had to deal with this) and must therefore tacitly accept the behavior/attitude and probably do the same sorts of things. So the whole crowd there is suspect.
Really, as much as I think Hannity is largely full of it, I'd just as soon not see him get burned down, because he's at least entertaining on the radio. And I guess, of the three, he's the one being accused of the least awful stuff. Still...