The trial of disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein continued to escalate on Monday as a former assistant on the reality show “Project Runway” broke down while testifying about the sexual assault she allegedly suffered at his hands.
Mimi Haleyi told the New York City court that she tried to fight Weinstein off, saying that she kept saying “no, no, no” as he assaulted her, according to USA Today.
“I did reject him, but he insisted,” Haley testified. “Every time I tried to get off the bed, he would push me back and hold me down.”
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Haleyi, who is one of two women whose allegations make up the current case against Weinstein in New York, said that she had gone to the movie producer’s Soho apartment back in 2006 in a car he sent for her. She thought that she was going to meet with him about working on one of his movies, but instead, she said that Weinstein pushed her on a bed at his home and forcibly engaged in sexual acts despite her repeated protests.
Haleyi went on to say that she recalled thinking “I’m being raped” during the attack. She also remembered asking herself, “If I scream rape, will someone hear me?” before she finally simply “checked out.”
“I couldn’t get away from him at all. … I checked out and decided to endure it,” she told the court. “That was the safest thing I could do.”
Earlier today, the court heard the testimony of Elizabeth Entin, who was Haleyi’s roommate at the time of the alleged attack. Entin testified that Haley told her about the assault as soon as it happened.
“And she came in, and he started rubbing her shoulders, kissing her, and she said no, no, and he wouldn’t stop, and she said, ‘I’m on my period,’ and he said, ‘I don’t care,’ at which point, he threw her down … and started (assaulting) her as she was saying no,” Entin told the court.
Entin remembered telling her roommate, “Miriam, that sounds like rape. … Why don’t you call a lawyer?”
“She still just seemed very distraught and was shaking and didn’t really want to pursue it or talk about it,” she explained. “She wasn’t very present.”
Weinstein is currently facing five charges in New York related to his alleged crimes against Haleyi and one other woman. He has plead not guilty to all charges, denying that any of his sexual encounters with the women were nonconsensual.
Prior to being hit with numerous sexual assault charges, Weinstein was one of the most powerful men in Hollywood. He was also a major donor to the Democratic Party who had close ties to lawmakers like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.