Pictures of Harvey Weinstein’s naked body shown in court after accuser claims he has ‘deformed’ genitals

Jurors in Harvey Weinstein’s New York rape trial were shown naked photographs of the former Hollywood producer on Tuesday over his lawyers' objections.
Photos are passed around to the jury during film producer Harvey Weinstein's sexual assault trial at New York Criminal Court.(REUTERS)
Photos are passed around to the jury during film producer Harvey Weinstein's sexual assault trial at New York Criminal Court.(REUTERS)
Updated on Feb 05, 2020 05:59 PM IST
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Reuters | By HT Correspondent

Jurors in Harvey Weinstein's New York rape trial were shown naked photographs of the former Hollywood producer on Tuesday over his lawyers' objections.

A sketch artist hired by Reuters saw a couple of the naked photos when they were passed to the jury and produced a drawing for the news agency. In the courtroom, prosecutors did not say why the photographs were introduced or how many were presented.

A photographer employed by the Manhattan District Attorney's office testified that he took the pictures in June 2018. Weinstein did not respond to reporters' questions about what he thought of jurors viewing naked photos of him. Donna Rotunno, a lawyer for Weinstein, said in an email that the photos had been introduced for "no other reason than to shame Mr. Weinstein."

Jessica Mann, a woman Weinstein is accused of raping, testified last week about the appearance of Weinstein's naked body. She said that when she first saw Weinstein, he had no testicles and appeared "deformed" or "intersex." The term refers to individuals with sex characteristics "that do not fit typical binary notions of male or female bodies," according to the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Weinstein, 67, has pleaded not guilty to charges of assaulting Mann and another woman, Mimi Haleyi. He faces up to life in prison if convicted of the most serious charge, predatory sexual assault.

Witness Jessica Mann leaves Manhattan Criminal Court after testifying in the trial of Harvey Weinstein in New York. (REUTERS)
Witness Jessica Mann leaves Manhattan Criminal Court after testifying in the trial of Harvey Weinstein in New York. (REUTERS)

On Tuesday, Weinstein's defense objected to the photographs being introduced but did not say why. They did not address Mann's testimony about Weinstein's physical appearance.

Reuters could not determine if prosecutors introduced the photos in an effort to corroborate Mann's testimony. A representative for the Manhattan District Attorney's office declined to comment.

The trial is a watershed moment for the #MeToo movement, in which women have gone public with allegations against powerful men in business and politics.

Since 2017, more than 80 women have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct. Weinstein, whose films included The English Patient and Shakespeare in Love, has denied the allegations and has said any sexual encounters were consensual.

Weinstein is charged with raping Mann in March 2013. Mann testified that the alleged rape happened in the course of an "extremely degrading" relationship with Weinstein that lasted for years. Weinstein's lawyer, Rotunno, pressed her over three days of cross examination about that relationship.

"I know the history of my relationship with him," Mann said on Tuesday. "I know it was complicated and difficult. That doesn’t change the fact that he raped me."

Rotunno asked that the answer be stricken, but Justice James Burke denied the request. Mann's testimony on Monday had been cut short after she began weeping uncontrollably as she read aloud an email she wrote in 2014 describing Weinstein as a "pseudo father."

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Monday, October 18, 2021