California governor's wife Jennifer Siebel Newsom accuses Harvey Weinstein of rape

Ms Siebel Newsom gives evidence during trial of disgraced former producer

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Jennifer Siebel Newsom, wife of California Governor Gavin Newsom, said during the trial of Harvey Weinstein that the disgraced former filmmaker raped her in 2005 while she was trying to start her career as a producer and actress.

Ms Siebel Newsom told the Los Angeles Superior Court that she was 31 when she met Weinstein at the Toronto Film Festival in 2005.

California's first lady said that Weinstein invited her to meet him at a hotel a few weeks after the film festival. Going in believing it was a business meeting, she said that she was to meet Weinstein in his suite.

Ms Siebel Newsom gave evidence that Weinstein was not interested in conducting a business meeting, but instead went to the bathroom, called her over and then sexually assaulted her.

“I was scared. This was not why I came here,” she said, often breaking into tears. “I just remembered physically trying to back away.”

She said Weinstein got her on to a bed, though she cannot recall if he carried or dragged her there. He then raped her, she said.

“He was just so big and so determined,” she said. “This was hell.”

Weinstein is serving a 23-year prison sentence for sex crimes in New York.

He is currently on trial facing 11 charges of rape and sexual assault. He has pleaded not guilty.

Jennifer Siebel Newsom sits next to her husband, California Governor Gavin Newsom. AP

Ms Siebel Newsom is one of four women whose allegations are the basis of the charges in Los Angeles.

Weinstein is appealing his 23-year sentence and could face up to 140 years in prison if convicted on all the charges in California.

Reuters contributed to this report

Updated: November 16, 2022, 8:06 AM