Of the dozens and dozens of high-profile women who’ve spoken publicly about what Harvey Weinstein allegedly did to them, it’s Mimi Haleyi’s story that could send him to prison.
New York: Of the dozens and dozens of high-profile women who've spoken publicly about what Harvey Weinstein allegedly did to them, it's Mimi Haleyi's story that could send him to prison.
And today she testified in front of the 12 jurors who will decide his fate.
Her ordeal and that of one other women are at the heart of his criminal trial in a New York court.
Two of the five charges he's facing relate specifically to allegations from Ms Haleyi - first-degree criminal sexual act and predatory sexual assault.
Ms Haleyi met Weinstein at a movie premiere in London. After expressing interest in working for him, Weinstein gave her a job as a production assistant on the set of "Project Runway".
In 2006, he arranged for a car to pick her up and bring her to his Soho apartment in New York. She was under the impression the meeting would be about her career and possible job opportunities. But when she arrived, she told the jury he forced her onto a bed.
"He held me down on the bed. And he forced himself on me orally. I was on my period. I had a tampon in there. I was mortified," Ms Haleyi told the court.
Ms Haleyi said she'd considered trying to escape, but decided to endure the alleged sexual assault.
"I said, 'No!' I said, 'No, no!' I didn't know what was actually happening. This is me being raped," she told the court.
A short time later, there was allegedly a second incident at a hotel where Weinstein pressured his alleged victim into unwanted sex.
Ms Haleyi started to sob recalling the encounter in the courtroom.
"I just laid there. He had intercourse with me...I was laying there motionless. I felt numb." During the ordeal, the jury heard he called her a 'whore' and a 'bitch'," she told the court.
Gloria Allred is a famous lawyer in the US known for her work crusading against sexual harassment.
Ms Allred is representing Ms Haleyi and spoke to 9News about her experience with Weinstein.
"Pretty horrific. Why did she stay? She needed a job!" Ms Allred said.
And therein lies the pattern of predatory behaviour Weinstein has allegedly displayed time and time again.
He uses his power in Hollywood and makes false promises in order to lure ambitious, attractive young women who soon become his victims.
The defence is working hard to convince jurors these incidents were consensual by highlighting communication between alleged victims and Weinstein after the offences took place.
"They're trying to suggest a rape myth that it couldn't have happened if she still wanted to work with the Weinstein company," Ms Allred told 9News.
The question is, will the seven men and five women who make up the jury in this landmark trial buy their argument?
Or will they decide there was nothing consensual about these encounters at all?
The trial may continue through to March before a verdict is reached.
Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/world/harvey-weinstein-accuser-accuser-describes-alleged-rape-world-news/d5bc2510-44a3-48c9-8fec-eb9f069daf24