'Sopranos' actress Sciorra tells Weinstein trial: 'He raped me'

Film producer denies all allegations on non-consensual sex

Actress Annabella Sciorra, left, leaves Manhattan Criminal Court after appearing at Harvey Weinstein's rape and sexual assault trial, Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
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The Sopranos actress Annabella Sciorra fought back tears as she told a court on Thursday that being raped by Harvey Weinstein left her feeling like she was having "a seizure" and caused her to harm herself.

Ms Sciorra, 59, described Mr Weinstein barging into her New York apartment late at night in the early 1990s and attacking her while she was wearing a nightgown.

"It was just so disgusting that my body started to shake in a way that was very unusual," she said. "I didn't really even know what was happening."

Ms Sciorra faced the jury as she held her hands above her head and clasped her wrists to show how Mr Weinstein, then three times her weight, held her down on her bed and sexually assaulted her.

"He got on top of me and he raped me," she said, under questioning by lead prosecutor Joan Illuzzi-Orbon.

Ms Sciorra was the first of Mr Weinstein's accusers to testify in proceedings symbolic to the #MeToo movement.

Mr Weinstein, 67, avoided eye contact as she told the New York State Court that the former film producer sexually assaulted her again.

"I didn't have very much fight left inside me at this point. My body just shut down," Ms Sciorra said.

Mr Weinstein has pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting former production assistant Mimi Haleyi and raping actress Jessica Mann. He denies all allegations of non-consensual sex.

Ms Sciorra, best known for her role as Gloria Trillo in American mob drama The Sopranos, gave evidence to support the prosecution's case that Mr Weinstein was a career sexual predator.

Her allegation is too old to be included on the charge sheet but the charge of predatory sexual assault, which can carry life imprisonment, requires prosecutors to prove he sexually assaulted at least two people.

Ms Sciorra said the attack occurred in the plush Manhattan neighbourhood of Gramercy Park in the winter of 1993-94, after Mr Weinstein dropped her off at home from a business dinner at a restaurant.

It left her traumatised and withdrawn, and she started drinking heavily and cutting herself afterwards, she testified.

"I would have blood on my fingers and my hands," Ms Sciorra said.

She said she did not go public with the allegations until The New Yorker magazine published her account in October 2017, because she was "afraid for her life".

Ms Sciorra said trial she did not contact police because she was confused that the incident had been perpetrated by someone she knew.

"I would say I felt at the time that rape was something that happened in a back alleyway in a dark place by somebody you didn't know," she said.

Ms Sciorra said she later confronted Mr Weinstein about the incident and he became angry and threatening.

She tried to avoid him out of fear but he would track her down, including to a hotel room at the 1997 Cannes Film Festival, she testified.

"When I opened the door, the defendant was in his underwear with a bottle of baby oil in one hand and a videotape in the other," Ms Sciorra said.

During cross-examination, lead defence lawyer Donna Rotunno challenged her on the "vague" timeline of the alleged attack.

Ms Rotunno also questioned Ms Sciorra as to why she did not tell friends or her building's doorman about it afterwards.

"At the time, I didn't understand that was rape," Ms Sciorra said.

Ms Rotunno also accused her of providing inconsistent information about the exact location of the apartment.

The lawyer played a clip from a 1997 interview in which Ms Sciorra told host David Letterman she admitted to sometimes lying to journalists to protect her private life.

"You're a professional actress, correct?" Ms Rotunno asked. "As part of that job Ms Sciorra, you pretend to be someone you're not. Is that fair to say?"

She replied: "No."

More than 80 women, including actress Angelina Jolie, have accused Mr Weinstein of sexual misconduct but the trial, scheduled to run into March, relates to just two.

On Friday, prosecutors are expected to call forensic psychiatrist Barbara Ziv, who testified in comedian Bill Cosby's sexual assault trial.