Jennifer Siebel Newsom, an award-winning filmmaker and wife of California Gov. Gavin Newsom, is set to testify in the sexual assault trial of disgraced movie producer Harvey Weinstein in Los Angeles, her attorneys told CNN Monday.
“Like many other women, my client was sexually assaulted by Harvey Weinstein at a purported business meeting that turned out to be a trap,” said Beth Fegan, one of Newsom’s attorneys.
“She intends to testify at his trial to seek some measure of justice for survivors and as part of her life’s work to improve the lives of women,” Fegan said.
Weinstein, 70, is set to go on trial again, more than two years after he was convicted of first-degree criminal sexual act and third-degree rape charges in New York and sentenced to 23 years in prison.
After he was found guilty in New York, the once-powerful movie mogul was moved to Los Angeles, where he’s been serving his prison sentence.
In Los Angeles, Weinstein faces multiple sexual assault charges that he has pleaded not guilty to last year, including four counts of rape, four counts of forcible oral copulation, sexual penetration by force and sexual battery by restraint in incidents dating from 2004 to 2013.
Jury selection for Weinstein’s trial began Monday in Los Angeles County Superior Court. Newsom will likely testify “on or around November 8” but this could change as the schedule is fluid, attorney Mark Firmani said.
As the trial in Los Angeles is set to get underway, Weinstein has maintained his innocence and denied all allegations against him. New York’s highest court in August agreed to hear his appeal challenging his 2020 conviction on sex crime charges.
The allegations against Weinstein helped fuel the global #MeToo movement, encouraging women around the globe to speak out against sexual abuse.
Just a day after The New York Times published its bombshell report on Weinstein in October 2017, Newsom wrote an opinion editorial for the Huffington Post where she shared that she had an experience very similar to the allegations reported by the Times.
“I was naive, new to the industry, and didn’t know how to deal with his aggressive advances ― work invitations with a friend late-night at The Toronto Film Festival, and later an invitation to meet with him about a role in The Peninsula Hotel, where staff were present and then all of a sudden disappeared like clockwork, leaving me alone with this extremely powerful and intimidating Hollywood legend,” Newsom wrote.
Weinstein spokesman Juda Engelmayer declined to comment on Newsom’s allegation.
Siebel Newsom is a Stanford University graduate who has written, directed and produced several documentaries, including “Miss Representation,” “The Mask You Live In” and “The Great American Lie.” During her time as California’s First Partner, Siebel Newsom has advocated for working mothers and launched initiatives focused on closing the pay gap, among other efforts, and has been involved in several social activism campaigns.