Harvey Weinstein hired a Mossad-linked security agency to spy on his accusers and offered a $300,000 ‘success fee’ if they prevented damaging articles on his alleged assaults from being published, his rape trial heard today.
The embattled 67-year-old producer smiled as he left court on Thursday where four supporting witnesses testified.
The prosecution said Weinstein hired Black Cube, an intelligence and corporate espionage agency operated by agents who used to work for Mossad, the national intelligence agency of Israel, to spy on his accusers and journalists.
Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzi said Weinstein’s lawyer David Boies signed two contracts, one on July 11, 2017 and another on August 10 that year with the agency.
The movie mogul allegedly sent an email to the director of Black Cube with a list of people to target saying the ‘red flags are the ones of interest’. Rape accuser Sopranos actress Annabella Sciorra was on that list.
Four ancillary witnesses were called on Thursday to corroborate Tarale Wulff and Dawn Dunning’s testimony shared yesterday, where they both accused the movie mogul of assaulting them in the 2000s, and other claims made against the producer.
Harvey Weinstein smiled as he left court on Thursday where four supporting witnesses testified at his rape trial in New York
Weinstein grinned as he left court with attorney Arthur Aidala. On Thursday the jury heard about how Weinstein hired a Mossad-linked security agency to allegedly spy on his accusers and offered a $300,000 ‘success fee’ if they prevented damaging articles from being published about him
Weinstein seemed to be in good spirits leaving the courthouse Thursday after four witnesses shared their testimonies
Lawyer Dev Sen (above leaving court) confirmed Thursday that Boies Schiller Flexner, a powerhouse New York law company that used to represent Weinstein, signed a contract with Black Cube in 2017 at the producer’s behest
Weinstein signed two contracts with security and espionage agency Black Cube, the jury heard Thursday, that allegedly spied on his accusers for him. Black Cube was promised a ‘success fee’ of $300,000 to ‘prevent articles (about Weinstein) being published’, it was claimed today
The witnesses that took the stand Thursday were Weinstein accuser Dawn Dunning’s ex-fiance Lincoln Davies, Boies Schiller lawyer Dev Sen, Cipriani manager Maurizio Ferrigno and film casting director Monika Mikkelsen.
Wulff and Dunning are so-called ‘Molineux’ witnesses who testified about the producer’s ‘prior bad acts’ on Wednesday. But, Weinstein isn’t facing charges in those cases due to the statue of limitations and other legal issues.
Prosecutors are using their testimony to bolster their case against the embattled producer.
The charges Weinstein faces come from the assault allegations of Mimi Haleyi, who accused him of forcibly performing oral sex on her in 2006 and who testified Monday, and Jessica Mann, who will testify Friday and claims Weinstein raped her in a New York hotel 2013.
He has pleaded not guilty to all charges and claims all encounters were consensual.
Black Cube brought up at Weinstein trial
On Thursday Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzi introduced how Weinstein hired Black Cube, an intelligence and corporate espionage agency operated by agents who used to work for Mossad.
Dev Sen, a corporate law partner at Boies Schiller Flexner, a powerhouse New York law company that used to represent Weinstein, confirmed that they signed the contract with Black Cube on July 11, 2017.
Sen said that the contract was signed at the ‘instruction of Mr Weinstein.’
Witness Dev Sen pictures testifying in court Thursday as a serious Weinstein looks on
The jury was shown that email sent by Weinstein in August 2017 to the director of Black Cube showing that target list of dozens of people including Annabella Sciorra, whose name was in red. Sciorra pictured leaving Manhattan court last week after she testified how Weinstein allegedly raped her one night in 1993 or 1994
Illuzi asked: ‘Was that contract entered into on July 11, 2017 by Boies Schiller but on behalf of Harvey Weinstein?’
Sen said: ‘Yes.’
Weinstein allegedly hired Black Cube to stop damaging articles from being published about him. The articles in question eventually appeared in the New Yorker, in an expose written by Ronan Farrow (above), and the New York Times. In Farrow’s book Catch and Kill he reports being stalked by Black Cube agents
Illuzi said that Weinstein sent an email to the director of Black Cube with a list of people to target saying the ‘red flags are the ones of interest’.
The jury was shown that email sent by Weinstein in August 2017 to the director of Black Cube showing that list of dozens of people including Annabella Sciorra, whose name was in red.
During the testimony of Annabella Sciorra last week, the court heard that Weinstein had tried to hire a different private investigation company and sent them the same list.
It contained dozens of people and Sciorra’s name was in red, meaning she was a priority.
Illuzi told the court that the contract between Weinstein and Black Cube stated they would use an investigative journalist to find out who might be talking about him.
Black Cube was promised a ‘success fee’ of $300,000 to ‘prevent articles (about Weinstein) being published’.
The articles in question eventually appeared in the New Yorker, in an expose written by Ronan Farrow, and the New York Times, in a piece written by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, in October 2017 and led to Weinstein’s downfall.
In Farrow’s book Catch and Kill he reports being stalked by Black Cube agents.
Dawn Dunning’s fiance testifies how she came home crying after Weinstein ‘offered her movies roles in exchange for a threesome’
Accuser Dawn Dunning testified on Wednesday that Weinstein put his hand up her skirt during a business meeting at his New York hotel suite in 2004 and he offered her movie roles in exchange for a threesome, claiming, ‘This is how the industry works!’
Dunning’s fiance at the time, Lincoln Davies, was the first to take the witness stand on Thursday and corroborated her account, saying she came home ‘appalled’ after Weinstein propositioned her.
Davies said that Dunning came home ‘pretty shocked, upset and angry’ and burst into tears after Weinstein propositioned her for a threesome at the Intercontinental Hotel in Manhattan in 2004.
On Thursday Lincoln Davies, the ex-fiance of witness Dawn Dunning who testified that Weinstein offered her movie roles in exchange for a threesome on Wednesday, spoke before the jury. Davies (pictured leaving court) said Dunning came home ‘appalled’ after Weinstein propositioned her
Former aspiring actress Dawn Dunning, 40, took the witness stand Wednesday and broke down as she recounted how Weinstein invited her to a hotel for a business meeting and allegedly opened the door wearing an ‘open bathrobe’ and asked for a threesome
Davies said that Dunning did not tell him about the initial up the skirt assault, but did tell him about Weinstein’s alleged threesome proposition. Pictured leaving court Thursday
In that meeting the producer wore a bathrobe with nothing underneath and suggested this was how he made Charlize Theron, Salma Hayek and Uma Thurman stars.
Assistant District Attorney Meghan Hast asked Davies if he recalled a night when Dunning returned from a meeting with Weinstein where he had met her at the hotel room door in a bathrobe.
On Thursday the ex-fiance of Dawn Dunning (pictured left with actor James Belushi in 2011) supported her claims that Weinstein propositioned her for sex
Davies, a restaurateur who lives in Los Angeles, said he did.
Describing her demeanor, he said: ‘She was pretty shocked, upset, angry. Overall she was appalled I would say. It was an arc of emotions with anger..we spoke about it for half an hour. She ended up crying.’
Dunning has testified that she did not tell Davies or anyone else about the previous incident at a hotel in SoHo when Weinstein allegedly invited her for a business meeting then put his hand up her skirt.
The first time she came forward was last summer when she told the Manhattan District Attorney.
Under cross examination by Damon Cheronis, Davies said that before the meeting at the Intercontinental, Dunning was ‘looking forward’ to seeing Weinstein.
Cheronis asked: ‘She was excited because it was her dream to become an actress?’
Davies said: ‘That’s fair to say’
Cheronis asked: ‘Miss Dunning never told you that a few weeks before that meeting that Mr Weinstein had put his hand up her skirt?’
Davies said: ‘She didn’t tell me that’
Cheronis said: ‘She never told you she was sexually assaulted by Harvey Weinstein before she went (to that meeting)’
Davies said: ‘Correct’
Dawn Dunning pictured right sobbing as she was questioned by Assistant District Attorney Meghan Hast as Weinstein looked on at Wednesday’s trial. She accused him of offering to sign her for three movies if she conceded to having a threesome with him and his assistant
Lincoln Davies pictured testifying in court on Thursday
Dunning first met Weinstein when she was 24 years old at a Manhattan nightclub called PM in 2004. She told him she was an aspiring actress and gave him her number.
In the spring of 2004 he allegedly put his hand up her skirt and inserted a finger into her vagina in that meeting during a business meeting at a SoHo hotel.
Then a few weeks later Weinstein allegedly propositioned her for sex asking for a threesome with his assistant at the Intercontinental hotel in New York wearing a bathrobe with nothing underneath.
‘There was a coffee table and I noticed three stacks of paper… He cut to the chase and said here’s three contracts for three films. I will sign them today if you have a threesome with me and my assistant,’ Dunning told the jury Wednesday.
When she asked questions thinking he was kidding, he became enraged and roared, ‘You’ll never make it in this business! This is how the industry works! This is how these three actresses got to where they are.’
When asked to name those actresses Dunning said: ‘It was Charlize Theron, Salma Hayek and I believe Uma Thurman.’
Weinstein lawyers demolish Tarale Wulff supporting witness
After Davies took the stand, Cipriani manager Maurizio Ferrigno was called to support Tarale Wulff’s allegation. He claimed he saw Weinstein and Wulff heading up a stairway.
But, he conceded under cross-examination that prosecutors helped jog his memory of the moment.
On Wednesday, Wulff testified that Weinstein masturbated in front of her while she was working as a cocktail waitress at the upscale New York club Cipriani and raped her at his New York City apartment in 2005 after calling her in for an audition.
On Thursday Weinstein’s lawyers demolished Tarale Wulff’s supporting witness Maurizio Ferrigno (above), who worked as the manager of Cipriani’s and admitted he couldn’t exactly remember seeing Weinstein walk off with Wulff
Maurizio Ferrigno was forced to admit he couldn’t say if he actually saw Weinstein with Tarale Wulff at Cipriani, where Weinstein often went, or if he only remembered when prosecutors told him.
Ferrigno was the manager of the upstairs lounge of the bar in the mid 2000s when Wulff claims the incident happened.
She has testified that Weinstein led her by the hand, up some stairs and to an unused terrace where he masturbated in front of her.
Under questioning by Assistant District Attorney Meghan Hast Ferrigno initially claimed that he saw Wulff on some stairs in the back area with Weinstein.
But under intense cross examination from Weinstein’s lawyer Damon Cheronis, Ferrigno couldn’t remember what year it took place, or even what season of the year.
Cheronis said that Ferrigno only began to remember the incident after prosecutors told him about it.
Cheronis said: ‘Are you testifying because you actually remember that or because (prosecutors) told you what Miss Wulff said?’
Ferrigno struggled to answer.
Cheronis asked: ‘Are you testifying because you actually remember seeing Mr. Weinstein going upstairs or are you testifying because Miss Wulff made that claim?’
Ferrigno said: ‘I can’t say yes or no.’
Tarale Wulff (center in yellow turtleneck) took the witness stand at Weinstein’s trial Wednesday. She claims he allegedly masturbated in front of her at the Cipriani’s club in New York and on a second occasion allegedly raped her at his apartment
‘That’s when my red flag finally went up. I told him I can’t. He said don’t worry, I’ve had a vasectomy. I just froze,’ Wulff testified Wednesday as Weinstein watched on
Judge James Burke asked if Cheronis wanted to ask the question again but Cheronis swatted his hand through the air and said: ‘I think he answered it just fine.’
Wulff was an aspiring actress working as a cocktail waitress at the members-only lounge of New York’s upscale club Cipriani’s when she met Weinstein in 2005 and he offered her career help.
Later that night, Weinstein approached her while she was by the bar and he ‘led me by my arm’ through a door to a back area and up some stairs and masturbated in front of her.
On a second occasion she said Weinstein’s assistant called her and asked her to come in for an audition but she was instead whisked off to Weinstein’s New York apartment and allegedly raped.
‘I told him I can’t. He said don’t worry, I’ve had a vasectomy. I just froze,’ she testified Wednesday.
Casting director testifies on Weinstein’s empty promises
Casting director Monika Mikkelsen was called the stand as well on Thursday.
She was in charge of casting for the Weinstein-produced movie Pulse, which was released in 2006.
Wulff hoped to audition for a role in that movie in the summer of 2005 when Weinstein allegedly raped her.
Mikkelsen said she cast the movie in late 2004 and the start of 2005, well before that alleged rape took place, meaning Weinstein’s invitation to include Wulff in the film was an empty promise.
Casting director Monika Mikkelsen testified Thursday. She was in charge of casting the Weinstein-produced film Pulse, which Wulff hoped to audition for. She said another actress had been offered the role Wulff was invited to read for
Mikkelsen said that another actress had already been made an offer a year earlier for the same role Wulff was invited to read for.
Prosecutors said Weinstein dangled a part for Dunning in Pulse, even though his brother Bob Weinstein was actually in charge of production, meaning his offer didn’t actually carry much weight.
On Friday, the second complaining witness in the case, Jessica Mann, will testify.
A third and final Molineux witness is slated to testify on Monday, which will complete the bulk of the prosecution case which begun last week.
Weinstein faces a total of felony counts: Two counts of predatory sexual assault, one count of first-degree criminal sexual assault, one count of first-degree rape and one count of third-degree rape.
Weinstein was seen raising a fist as he entered the courthouse on Thursday the jury will hear from as many as five witnesses including Dawn Dunning’s ex-fiance, a Cipriani employee, and a casting director
What’s happened in the trial so far
So far two accusers, Mimi Haleyi and Soprano’s actress Annabella Sciorra, have testified against Weinstein.
On Monday Haleyi, whose allegations are at the heart of the Weinstein case, broke down in tears as she recounted how the film honcho, who got her a job as a production assistant on the show Project Runway, allegedly forcibly performed oral sex on her while she was on her period at his New York City apartment in July 2006. She also claimed he raped her at a TriBeCa hotel two weeks afterwards.
‘I did reject him, but he insisted. Every time I tried to get off the bed, he would push me back and hold me down,’ Haleyi, 42, said choking on tears.
‘I was crying no, no. I told him I’m on my period. It was as if he didn’t believe me. I said something like where is it then? He literally pulled my tampon out,’ she added.
Haleyi (in cream trench coat) worked for Project Runway, a reality show Weinstein produced. Pictured in court on Monday
She underwent an intense cross-examination where Weinstein’s attorney Damon Cheronis claimed she had a consensual relationship with Weinstein and zeroed in on her continued contact with the producer even after the alleged assaults, showing e-mails and notes in her diary.
On Tuesday Haleyi’s roommate in 2006, Elizabeth Entin, testified to corroborate her claims. Entin said on one occasion Weinstein barged into their home to demand Haleyi go to Paris with him but got scared by her pet Chihuahua Peanut.
On Wednesday Tarale Wulff and Dawn Dunning, both so-called ‘Molineux’ witnesses, testified to demonstrate Weinstein’s ‘prior bad acts’ and pattern of pattern behavior. Weinstein’s charges do not stem from their accounts.
Tarale Wulff testified that Weinstein masturbated in front of her while she was working as a cocktail waitress at the upscale New York club Cipriani and raped her at his New York City apartment in 2005 after calling her in for an audition saying ‘Don’t worry, I’ve had a vasectomy’.
Dawn Dunning, who also met the movie mogul when trying to become an actress, said that Weinstein put his hand up her skirt during a business meeting at his hotel suite in 2004 and he offered her movie roles in exchange for a threesome, claiming, ‘This is how the industry works!’
Last week Annabella Sciorra testified that Weinstein forced his way into her Manhattan apartment one winter night in 1993 or 1994 and violently raped her.
In total six women are expected to testify against the producer, while more than 90 women have accused the Miramax founder of sexual misconduct, harassment, rape, and unwanted touching.
She broke down in tears as she recounted the alleged rape saying: ‘I was crying no, no. I told him I’m on my period. It was as if he didn’t believe me. I said something like where is it then? He literally pulled my tampon out’
Annabella Sciorra cried as she took the stand in Harvey Weinstein’s New York trial last week to tell how he allegedly raped her in 1993 or 1994. She appeared in The Sopranos as Tony Soprano’s mistress (right)
Who are Weinstein’s accusers who have or will testify?
Actress Annabella Sciorra testified last week against Weinstein, claiming he raped her in her New York City apartment in 1993.
Former production assistant Mimi Haleyi testified Monday and claimed Weinstein forcibly performed oral sex on her inside his apartment in 2006.
A third accuser, Jessica Mann, is slated to testify this week on how the movie mogul allegedly raped her in a Midtown Manhattan hotel in 2013.
Costume designer Dawn Dunning testified Wednesday that Weinstein sexually harassed her and tried to pressure her into having a three-way with him and his assistant when she was 24 at a Manhattan hotel in 2004.
Aspiring actress Tarale Wulff testified Wednesday that Weinstein masturbated in front of her as she was working as a cocktail waitress at Cipriani Upstairs in Manhattan and he later assaulted her in his bedroom in 2005.
A sixth woman, Lauren Young, claims he groped her in a hotel, masturbated and ejaculated onto a bathroom floor in February 2012 at a dinner event during Oscar season when she was 22.
In addition to these six accusers the judge is allowing four other women to testify to establish a pattern of behavior, even though most of their allegations are too old to prosecute as crimes according to state law.
The trial started on January 6 and could last until early March.
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