Harvey Weinstein’s abnormal testicles are the main focus of the final arguments at the trial
Harvey Weinstein’s genitals were frequently addressed in open court throughout his trial. But in the final hours of the case, the former movie mogul’s anomalous testicles emerged as key evidence upon which the jury would have to deliberate when determining whether he was guilty of rape and sexual assault.
During the trial, prosecutors revealed to the jury that Weinstein underwent surgery in 1999 for Fournier’s gangrene, which required doctors to remove part of his scrotum. The lead prosecutor, Paul Thompson, Deputy District Attorney, told the jury at the start of the trial: “This surgery left him with noticeable scarring… Because of the infection, his testicles had already been taken from his scrotum and placed in his inner thighs.”
Many of the women who accused Weinstein of rape and sexually assaulting his genitals testified during the drawn-out trial. In October, the jury was shown photos of Weinstein’s private parts, scanned through an envelope of photos in a private room in the courtroom. Members of the public and the media were not allowed to enter to view the images.
Now, as deliberations begin, the verdict on three counts, all related to Jane Doe No. 1, will depend largely on Weinstein’s genitals. (Weinstein faces seven charges in total.)
Jane Doe #1, European actress and model, has accused Weinstein of rape and sexual assault. She claims the incident occurred in 2013 at the Mr. C Beverly Hills Hotel, where she was staying when she attended the LA Italia Film Festival as a VIP guest.
The defense said the rape and sexual assault never occurred, claiming that she was not in a hotel room with Weinstein on the night of the alleged incident.
On Friday, the biggest focus of the prosecution’s final rebuttal was Jane Doe No. 1, whose claims bear most of the charges — and a key element of the prosecutor’s argument was that Jane Doe No. 1 would not have been able to describe Weinstein’s genitals had she not been sexually assaulted.
During her testimony, Jane Doe No. 1 spoke at length about Weinstein’s testicles. On the stand, she tearfully told the jury that Weinstein had asked her to “suck his balls” or forced her to perform oral sex on him. Paraphrasing the graphic details, she said, “He forced me to do what he was told… I was crying, choking.” But during cross-examination, one of Weinstein’s attorneys, Alan Jackson, asked Jane Doe No. 1 what “Weinstein’s balls in your mouth” were like, if he didn’t have testicles. “The reason you changed your story is because you realized at some point that Mr. Weinstein did not have testicles in his scrotum,” Jackson told Jane Doe No. 1 during her three-day deposition. She disagreed and said she never changed her story, and always told investigators Weinstein had abnormal testicles. “I remember he didn’t have one,” she said. “It was like an empty skin.”
On Friday, Thompson addressed the jury. “You’ve seen those pictures… I’m sure if we asked you, it would be hard to describe… It’s hard to describe if you’re not a medical professional.”
Thompson argued that while Jane Doe No. 1’s description may not have been entirely accurate, the only way to get any information about Weinstein’s testicles was if she had been sexually assaulted.
“Jane Doe No. 1 is able to describe Mr. Weinstein’s anatomy,” Thompson said. “She could do it because he assaulted her. There is no other explanation for that.”
Jane Doe #1 isn’t the only woman who described Weinstein’s genitals during the trial.
Jane Doe #2, who testified Weinstein groped and masturbated in front of her in 2013, said, “His penis was disgusting. It looked like it had been cut up and sewn back together, as if something wasn’t right about it.”
Jane Doe No. 4 Jennifer Sibel Newsom said, “I just remember being shocked by the whole thing.” The California state’s senior partner, who is married to Gov. Gavin Newsom, accused Weinstein of raping her in 2005 when she was an aspiring actress and filmmaker. She described Weinstein’s body as “lots of bruises and marks, yellow-greens, lots of stretch marks on his stomach, and absolutely unfit physically.” She said his penis looked like “some kind of fish,” and described “something misshapen in the testicles… lots of skin, lots of skin in there.”
Regarding Jane Doe #1, Weinstein’s attorneys say she was never in the hotel room because a fire alarm went off in the hotel around the time the alleged assault occurred, but Jane Doe #1 never heard the alarm sound. Prosecutors refuted that she may not have heard the fire alarm in her room, or that the alarm had gone off before she returned to the hotel that night, after attending the film festival where she briefly met Weinstein. During closing arguments for the defense, Weinstein’s attorney, Jackson, alleged that Jane Doe No. 1 was in fact in the hotel room of the festival’s organizer, Pascal Vedomini, with whom Jackson claimed she was having a sexual relationship.
In response to the accusation, Thompson put forward emails between Weinstein and Vicedomine as evidence for the jury. In one email, Vicedomini wrote to Weinstein, “You are my hero and best friend in the industry… I will always lie to please you.”
In addition, the attorney general brought more emails and documents between Weinstein and several employees and friends, in an effort to highlight Weinstein’s close relationships and the power he wielded in social circles and professional spaces. One email between Weinstein and Giuseppe Cipriani, the owner of Mr. C’s Hotel, showed Weinstein writing, “You guys have been great to me,” referring to the staff at the hotel where Jane Doe #1 claims she was raped. In another case, Thompson noted, Weinstein’s former driver who testified at the trial admitted on the stand that Weinstein was paying his attorney’s fees.
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