A supporting witness testified Thursday that Harvey Weinstein masturbated on her in his hotel room in 2003.
Former actress Ashley Mathew, a witness to “past bad deeds” whose allegations were not among the 11 charges of sexual assault facing Weinstein, was visibly disturbed while taking the stand. Matao’s hand trembled as she took the oath and started to cry before she could utter a word. Matao wiped her tears with a tissue and took deep, labored breaths as she waited for Deputy Attorney General Marilyn Martinez to begin her interrogation.
When I asked Martinez how she was feeling, Matao said, “I’m really upset.”
Judge Lisa B. Lynch encouraged Mattao to take a rest and was escorted out of the courtroom.
When she returned, Matao testified that Weinstein masturbated and dropped off at his hotel in 2003 in Puerto Rico, where she was portraying a small role in Miramax’s “Dirty Dancing” sequel, “Havana Nights.”
Matthau did not appear to want to look directly at Weinstein when asked to describe the defendant, and misidentified the color of his jacket as blue before correcting himself.
Matau, who used to be a dancer at the American Ballet Theatre, was 22 at the time of the alleged accident. She said Weinstein came over to her place and asked her out to talk. Matau testified, after commenting that she was beautiful, and said he wanted her to “massage naked”. When she said, “No, I’m engaged,” he asked for the name of her fiancé – director Charlie Matau, son of actor Walter Mathew – and claimed to know him.
Matau said he then suggested it would be a “naked massage” between friends.
“He said he did it with Gwyneth Paltrow, ‘Look what she’s done in her career,'” Matau recalls.
Matau said she later called her mother and fiancé, who advised her to seek help. Neither the choreographer nor the producer Mathew was captivated by any help.
When she returned after a meal break, she said Weinstein was waiting in front of the group with his assistant, Bonnie Hong.
“At that point, I felt better knowing I wasn’t alone,” she said, remembering Hong telling her not to worry. “I will be with you all the time. He just wants to talk about future projects,” Matao remembered saying.
According to Mathew, the three got into a limousine and drove to the Weinstein Hotel, where Hong abandoned them when they went up to his room.
Matao started crying on the podium again and remembered that Weinstein had become aggressive when he “pushed” her on the bed and undressed her.
“It’s not like we’re having sex, it’s just a naked cuddle,” Matao said, when she became hysterical and started crying.
Matao said he then stomped on her, stroked her breasts, and masturbated.
“I had no idea what to do. I was scared,” she said.
Mathew testified that I went down to her breasts and face.
“I was really grateful that I wasn’t raped. I remember thinking and I remember I was wiping, getting dressed very quickly and leaving very quickly.”
Matao will be questioned by the defense on Friday, and at least Jane Doe and another unaccused victim will take the podium next week.
Several other witnesses testified earlier in the day, including Alfred “Freddie” Barroth, a Weinstein limousine driver for 18/19 years in Los Angeles; A guest at Mr. C’s Hotel – where Jane Doe #1 was allegedly raped – is woken up in the middle of the night by an argument in another room; The current and former Managing Directors of Mr. C; and Mr. Sy, a former Director of Safety and Security.
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