An actress has claimed Harvey Weinstein masturbated on her face while his assistant waited outside a hotel room.
The woman, referred to in court as Ashley M., trembled and sobbed as she testified how the disgraced Hollywood movie mogul picked her out of the cast of dancers filming “Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights” in Puerto Rico in 2003 and demanded that she give him a “naked massage”.
Ashley M., who was a trained ballerina, said she was 22 years old when she worked on the Dirty Dancing sequel, which was produced by Weinstein’s former company Miramax.
She said Weinstein approached her as she was about to film a ballroom scene with other dancers when he took her outside for a private conversation, the New York Post reported.
“He said it would just be a naked massage … and not to worry about it,” Ashley M. said in tears. “He said, ‘Look at Gwyneth Paltrow and what it did for her career.‘”
Ashley M. said she rebuffed his advances and was relieved when a break was called for dinner because she thought she would be able to avoid further contact with Weinstein.
She testified on Tuesday at Los Angeles Superior Court that when she told a producer and a choreographer what had happened, they did nothing.
When she returned from dinner, a stern Weinstein was waiting for her, along with his assistant, Bonnie Hung.
She said Weinstein became “very aggressive” and told her to get into the limo with Hung.
“I gave her (Hung) a look like, ‘Can you help me’ with my eyes,” Ashley M. said. “She looked me in the eyes and said, ‘Don’t worry. I will be with you the entire time. He just wants to talk about projects.‘”
Ashley M. said although she felt scared, she got in the limo with Weinstein because she was reassured that Hung would be with her. After the short 10 to 15-minute ride, the limo stopped at a hotel.
“I was worried but yet I felt comforted that Bonnie was there … but I was wondering what was going on,” she said.
The trio went inside the hotel with Weinstein leading them to a door. That’s when Ashley M. said she realised she was not going to a meeting room but a private room.
“Harvey opened (the door) and he went in, then I went in,” she said, sobbing. “And Bonnie shut the door behind us.”
Weinstein immediately became aggressive and shoved her onto the bed, she recounted.
He took off her top and bra and he also got undressed, Ashley M. testified.
“He said, ‘It’s not like we’re having sex … it’s naked cuddling,‘” Ashley M. said. “I was like really scared. I didn’t know what to do. I said stop. I just remember in my head saying, ‘What do I do?’ I knew he was just really big and Bonnie most likely was out there. I didn’t know what to do.”
Ashley M., who was at the time about 52kg, said Weinstein’s girth overpowered her as he straddled her at one point and groped her breasts.
She said she couldn’t see Weinstein’s genitalia but saw him making a motion as he was masturbating.
“He said, ‘It’s Ok, it’s not like we’re having sex,‘” Ashley M. said. “He ejaculated on me … on my breasts and some got on my face.”
Hysterical, Ashley M. said she cleaned herself up and got dressed.
She said she remembers feeling “thankful” that she wasn’t raped.
When she opened the hotel door, Hung was standing right outside holding a clipboard.
Ashley M. said Hung avoided her gaze, and the three went back into the limo, which took them back to the “Havana Nights” set.
Ashley M. said she immediately called her mom and then fiance, but she was too ashamed to tell them the details.
When asked by Deputy District Attorney Marlene Martinez if she told anyone on set about the alleged assault, Ashley M. said no.
“I felt like, at the time, everyone was afraid for their careers,” she said. “No one helped me at the dinner. Why would they help me now?”
Although Weinstein is not facing charges regarding Ashley M., the law allows the prosecution to question “prior bad acts” witnesses in sexual assault cases to show a defendant’s pattern of behaviour, which could show their intent.
Weinstein has pleaded not guilty to 11 counts of rape and sexual assault involving four women, including California’s First Partner, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, Gov. Gavin Newsom’s wife. All of them will testify as Jane Doe during the trial.
The prosecution also plans to call three other “prior bad acts” witnesses to the stand.
Weinstein, 70, is serving a 23-year prison sentence following a conviction in New York. Weinstein was granted permission to take the appeal of his 2020 sex crime conviction to the New York State Court of Appeals.
Ashley M. will continue her testimony on Friday.
This article originally appeared in the New York Post and was reproduced with permission