Harvey Weinstein met Dawn Dunning, an aspiring actress and a waitress from Ohio, at an upscale lounge in New York City’s meatpacking district.
The Hollywood producer took interest in her as an actress, she said on Wednesday after taking the witness stand at Mr. Weinstein’s rape trial. They met several times to discuss her career, she said.
But then, Mr. Weinstein invited Ms. Dunning to a hotel in TriBeCa to meet people in the film industry. During a conversation in a bedroom, she said, he suddenly slipped his hand up her skirt and touched her genitals.
He quickly apologized, she recalled, but at a second meeting at a hotel Mr. Weinstein answered the door in a bathrobe and suggested that Ms. Dunning agree to a threesome with him and another woman to advance her career. If she did not, Ms. Dunning said, he told her she would “never make it in this business. This is how the industry works.”
“He was like a big guy towering over me and I was really scared,” she recalled. She never reported the incident to police.
Ms. Dunning was the third accuser to testify against Mr. Weinstein at his trial in the State Supreme Court in Manhattan. Choking back tears, she said her encounters with the producer occurred in 2004.
In all, six women are testifying against Mr. Weinstein at the trial, which is widely seen as a defining moment in the #MeToo movement. Mr. Weinstein was an influential producer who reshaped the independent movie industry with Oscar winners like “Shakespeare in Love” and Pulp Fiction.” But since 2017, more than 90 women have accused Mr. Weinstein of sexual misconduct. He has been charged with sex crimes in Los Angeles and New York.
Mr. Weinstein has not been criminally charged in connection with his encounter with Ms. Dunning, but Justice James A. Burke has ruled prosecutors can use her testimony to demonstrate what they say is Mr. Weinstein’s pattern of sexually assaulting women.
A second woman, Tarale Wulff, a model and former aspiring actress, has accused Mr. Weinstein of raping her in 2005. She was expected to testify in the afternoon. Like Ms. Dunning, Ms. Wulff’s allegations are too old to support a criminal charge under state law, but prosecutors hope her testimony will demonstrate a pattern.
Mr. Weinstein, 67, is accused of a total of five felony counts, including rape and predatory sexual assault. The charges stem from allegations that he forcibly performed oral sex on Miriam Haley in 2006 and raped another woman, Jessica Mann, in 2013. Ms. Haley told a jury on Monday that Mr. Weinstein forced oral sex on her in his Manhattan loft. Ms. Mann is expected to to also share her account this week.
Last week, the actress Annabella Sciorra, best known for her role in “The Sopranos,” told the jury that Mr. Weinstein pushed his way into her own apartment in New York and raped her in the winter months of either 1993 or 1994.
Ms. Sciorra’s account is mentioned in the indictment to support a charge of predatory sexual assault, which requires prosecutors to prove that Mr. Weinstein committed a serious sex crime against at least two women. The state’s statute of limitation bars her allegation from being charged on its own as a crime. The predatory sexual assault charge is the most serious charge against Mr. Weinstein, exposing him to a possible sentence of life in prison.
Mr. Weinstein has denied the allegations. His lawyers have said that the encounters were consensual and transactional. The women, they said, wanted to advance their own careers.
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