'Sopranos' actress Annabella Sciorra: Harvey Weinstein 'got on top of me and he raped me'

Juliet Papa
January 23, 2020 - 4:09 pm

Actress Annabella Sciorra, right, arrives as a witness in Harvey Weinstein's rape trial, in New York, Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

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1010 WINS reporter Juliet Papa is covering the Harvey Weinstein trial, reporting from the Manhattan courtoom.

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) — “Sopranos” actress Annabella Sciorra confronted Harvey Weinstein from the witness stand Thursday, testifying in graphic detail that the former movie studio boss overpowered and raped her in her own apartment. 

In a quivering voice, the Brooklyn native -- who first met Weinstein after being introduced to him at a party in Los Angeles by her agent -- told the jury that Weinstein barged into her apartment in the mid-1990s.

"He pushes his way in -- he starts unbuttoning  his shirt -- and  casing the apartment," she testified. " I realize he wanted to have sex and I told him I wasn't interested and I asked him to leave."

Sciorra testified that she tried to get back into the bathroom, but she said that Weinstein grabbed her and pushed her into the bedroom and onto her bed. He pinned her arms over her head.

"He got on top of me and he raped me," Sciorra testtified. "I tried to fight but I couldn't anymore he had my hands locked."

She continued to testify that Weinstein ejaculated on her leg and nightgown and allegedly said, "I have perfect timing."  

According to Sciorra, Weinstein performed oral sex on her and said "this is for you."

"I didn't have much fight left, my body was shaking like I  was having some kind of seizure," she testified. She said she woke up later on the floor of her bedroom. Weinstein had left.

She said that a month later, she ran into him and confronted him about what happened, and he replied: “That’s what all the nice Catholic girls say."

Then, she told the jury, Weinstein leaned toward her and added menacingly: “This remains between you and I.”

“I thought he was going to hit me right there,” Sciorra testified.

The 59-year-old actress became the first of Weinstein's accusers to testify at his trial, where the movie mogul whose downfall gave rise to the #MeToo movement is charged with forcibly performing oral sex on former production assistant Mimi Haleyi in his New York apartment in 2006 and raping an aspiring actress in a hotel room here in 2013.

Weinstein is not charged with attacking Sciorra, whose accusations date too far back to be prosecuted. Instead, she testified as one of four additional accusers prosecutors intend to put on the stand to show that the powerful Hollywood producer had a pattern of preying on women. Weinstein, 67, could get life in prison if convicted.

The executive behind such Oscar-winning movies as “Pulp Fiction” and “Shakespeare in Love" has insisted any sexual encounters were consensual.

Recounting an accusation she said she kept largely secret for decades, Sciorra testified that after raping her, Weinstein went on to try to perform oral sex on her, saying, “This is for you," as her body “shut down."

“It was just so disgusting,” she said. She said she started to shake: “I didn’t even know what was happening. It was like a seizure or something.”

At other points in the 1990s, she said, Weinstein sent her packages with Valium and a box of chocolate penises and turned up early one morning at her Cannes Film Festival hotel room in his underwear with the body oil and the videotape. She said he eventually left after she started frantically pushing buttons on the room phone to summon help.

(AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

The jury of seven men and five women listened keenly and took notes on her testimony. Weinstein was mostly expressionless, sometimes appearing to purse his lips as he chewed mints.

The defense tried to seed doubts about Sciorra's allegations, and she gave a slightly different version under their questioning, testifying that when the producer initially pushed her onto her bed, “he was kind of, in a friendly way, trying to cajole me” into having sex. She refused and soon found herself trying to get him off of her, she said.

Weinstein lawyer Donna Rotunno noted that Sciorra never went to police or a doctor about the alleged rape.

“At the time, I didn’t understand that that was rape,” Sciorra said.

Rotunno also suggested that Sciorra’s judgment and recollection were clouded by drinking. The actress said she remembered having only a glass of wine with dinner and had kicked a Valium habit that developed after Weinstein sent her pills.

In opening statements on Wednesday, another Weinstein lawyer, Damon Cheronis, argued the encounter was consensual, not rape, saying Sciorra once told a friend that she “did a crazy thing and had sex with Harvey Weinstein."

Sciorra drew acclaim for her part in Spike Lee’s 1991 movie “Jungle Fever” and her role as a pregnant woman molested by her doctor in 1992's “The Hand That Rocks the Cradle” the next year. She later appeared on “The Sopranos."

She said she met Weinstein at an industry event in Los Angeles in 1990 or 1991. By 1993, she had starred in one of his company's movies — the romantic comedy “The Night We Never Met.”

She said the rape happened in late 1993 or early 1994, after Weinstein dropped her off from a movie-business dinner and then appeared, unbidden, at her door a few minutes later.

She would later act in another Weinstein-produced picture, 1997's “Cop Land,” though she said she didn't realize when auditioning that his studio was involved.

Sciorra said that after the alleged rape, she started to cut herself and didn't want to leave the house.

“I thought he was an OK guy. I felt confused. I felt like I wished I never opened the door,” she said. She said she told no one at first, not even her brothers.

“I wanted to pretend it never happened. ... I wanted to get back to my life,” she told the jury. She did not come forward publicly until 2017.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.