Charlize Theron, Salma Hayek named possible Weinstein witnesses

A judge says actresses Charlize Theron (left) and Salma Hayek (right) might be called as witnesses or mentioned in testimony during disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein's rape trial.
A judge says actresses Charlize Theron (left) and Salma Hayek (right) might be called as witnesses or mentioned in testimony during disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein's rape trial. PHOTOS: REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

NEW YORK • Actresses Salma Hayek, Rosie Perez and Charlize Theron were among the people whom a judge said might be called as witnesses or mentioned in testimony during the rape trial of movie producer Harvey Weinstein.

The actresses' names appeared on lists of 90 possible witnesses provided to the judge as jury selection started in state Supreme Court in Manhattan on Tuesday.

The lists provided a rough cast of characters for the trial and also included several of Weinstein's business partners and employees, among them his brother Robert.

It remained unclear how many of the people on the lists would be called as witnesses at trial or would simply be named in testimony.

Six women are expected to testify about their allegations that Weinstein sexually assaulted them, but only two have been identified by the prosecution.

The trial of Weinstein, 67, is one of the most-anticipated proceedings in recent years.

Allegations against him helped ignite the global #MeToo movement, a reckoning over sexual assault and harassment by powerful and influential men in the workplace.

Prosecutors charge that Weinstein raped one woman, who has not been identified in court documents, at a Midtown Manhattan hotel in March 2013 and forced oral sex on a second woman, Ms Mimi Haleyi, a production assistant, at his apartment in Manhattan in 2006.

He also faces a charge of predatory sexual assault for allegedly having committed a serious sex crime against more than one person.

Weinstein maintains that his sexual encounters with the women were consensual.

The names of potential witnesses included some of Weinstein's accusers, such as Ms Haleyi, who will testify, but others had no known connection to the allegations at the heart of the case.

Theron, for instance, recently said Weinstein had spread rumours about them having sex, but has not accused him of other wrongdoing.

Hayek wrote an essay in 2018 that accused him of sexual harassment without providing details. She called Weinstein "my monster".

The lists also included Annabella Sciorra, an actress known for her work in the television series The Sopranos (1999 to 2007), and her friend Perez.

The prosecution has said it plans to call Sciorra to testify about her allegation that Weinstein sexually assaulted her in 1993 in her apartment.

Sciorra later told Perez about the alleged incident, making her a possible witness, according to The New Yorker.

Weinstein's brother Robert, who has acknowledged he was aware of allegations of sexual misconduct against the producer for years, was also named.

NYTIMES

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 09, 2020, with the headline 'Charlize Theron, Salma Hayek named possible Weinstein witnesses'. Print Edition | Subscribe