Jennifer Siebel Newsom, wife of California Gov. Gavin Newsom, takes the stand in Harvey Weinstein trial

By Nouran Salahieh, CNNUpdated: Mon, 14 Nov 2022 21:33:01 GMTSource: CNNJennifer Siebel Newsom, a filmmaker and the wife of California Gov. Gavin Newsom, took the stand in Harvey Weinstein's sexu

By Nouran Salahieh, CNN

Updated: Mon, 14 Nov 2022 21:33:01 GMT

Source: CNN

Jennifer Siebel Newsom, a filmmaker and the wife of California Gov. Gavin Newsom, took the stand in Harvey Weinstein's sexual assault trial in Los Angeles on Monday.

Weinstein has pleaded not guilty to multiple sexual assault charges, including four counts of rape, four counts of forcible oral copulation, sexual penetration by force and sexual battery by restraint in incidents dating from 2004 to 2013.

Siebel Newsom said she was "a little nervous," and grew emotional shortly after taking the stand.

Asked by prosecutor Marlene Martinez whether she could see Weinstein in court Monday, Siebel Newsom began to cry and said "yes" into the microphone in a shaky voice.

"He's wearing a suit, and a blue tie and he's staring at me," she said.

She told the court she met the media mogul when she was 31 years old in 2005 while at a bar with other industry friends during the Toronto Film Festival. "There was this big person coming towards me and it felt like everybody sort of backed away," she recalled, saying, "It felt like the Red Sea was parting."

He then introduced himself to her and asked her to meet with him later to continue their talk because he had a meeting, she testified.

"I felt like I had to go meet with him ... maybe he'll give me good advice.. I thought that there was a genuine interest in talking to me about my work," she said, adding she and a friend met with Weinstein at a different hotel bar.

Weinstein "was really focused on telling me I was special," Siebel Newsom told the court, adding Weinstein told her he wished he could stay and talk some more, but had to catch a flight to New York.

Weinstein is charged with forcible oral copulation and forcible rape of Jane Doe 4 between September 1, 2004 and September 30, 2005, according to court documents.

Jane Doe 4 has been identified as Siebel Newsom.

In opening statements, prosecutor Paul Thompson said the assault occurred when Siebel Newsom was a "powerless actor trying to make her way in Hollywood." Weinstein invited her to "discuss her career" at the Peninsula Hotel, and in a hotel room, he assaulted and raped her, the prosecutor said.

Siebel Newsom is a Stanford University graduate who has written, directed and produced several documentaries, including "Miss Representation," "The Mask You Live In" and "The Great American Lie." During her time as California's first partner, Siebel Newsom has advocated for working mothers and launched initiatives focused on closing the gender pay gap, among other efforts.

Defense attorney Mark Werksman countered that Siebel Newsom had consensual sex with Weinstein because she wanted his help getting roles and producing films.