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Harvey Weinstein accuser to jury: "He is my rapist"

Dramatic start to Harvey Weinstein trial
Dramatic start to Harvey Weinstein trial 06:03

A key accuser at Harvey Weinstein's rape trial returned Tuesday to the witness stand, a day after she became so upset while being questioned by the movie mogul's lawyers that the judge suspended her cross examination. Subdued and somber in her third day testifying about her complex relationship with the once-powerful movie mogul, Jessica Mann stared at jurors and told them: "I want the jury to know that he is my rapist."

Mann is expected to be on the stand much of the day as Weinstein's lawyers continue a painstaking review of her emails and other communications. They say that evidence paints the 34-year-old former aspiring actress as a manipulative liar who gritted her way through sexual encounters with Weinstein because she enjoyed the perks of knowing him.

Weinstein portrayed as a "sexual predator" as... 01:47

During her testimony on Friday, Mann described a "degrading" relationship and sometimes forced sexual encounters with Weinstein when she was an aspiring actress in her 20s. Mann told jurors that Weinstein trapped her in a New York hotel room in March 2013 and angrily ordered her to undress as he loomed over her, and then raped her.
 
A second attack came eight months later at a Los Angeles hotel, where she worked as a hairdresser, after she told Weinstein that she was dating an actor, she said.
 
"You owe me one more time!" she said he screamed at her. She said she begged him not to take off her clothes, but he said, "I don't have time for games," and ripped off her pants before pushing her legs apart and raping her.

Mann broke down crying Monday while reading an email passage about being abused earlier in her life. It was part of a lengthy confessional email she sent to her then-boyfriend in May 2014 about her relationship with Weinstein.

The judge adjourned court about an hour earlier than usual Monday once it became clear the woman couldn't continue.

Resuming questioning on Tuesday, Weinstein lawyer Donna Rotunno revisited Mann's email to her boyfriend, as well as emails she sent to Weinstein after she alleges the film producer raped her at a New York City hotel in March 2013.

Among the emails Rotunno highlighted was one the woman sent Weinstein in 2014 about meeting up for a drink in Los Angeles.

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A courtroom sketch pictures Harvey Weinstein, left, looking on as his attorney Donna Rotunno, center, questions accuser Jessica Mann Christine Cornell

Testifying Tuesday, she said she couldn't remember if she ended up meeting him, saying she often made up excuses, so she didn't have to follow through with their plans.

In 2015, after accepting Weinstein's invitation to an Oscar party, she posted online: "Oscar time. About to get crazy." Asked by Rotunno if she wrote that because she was excited about it, the woman responded: "Yes. The parties were fun."

At one point, Rotunno asked Mann why she asked Weinstein to help with getting a membership to an exclusive Manhattan club if he was "your rapist." That's when Mann turned to jurors and said: "I want the jury to know that he is my rapist."

Rotunno also pressed Mann about how she reached out to Weinstein for help when she had an issue with her car registration. 

"You traded on that relationship you had with Mr. Weinstein," Rotunno said later. "You used it. When you thought you could benefit from it.'
 
"It is true, knowing him, it can open doors," Mann replied.

Rotunno also pointed to a 2017 email Mann wrote Weinstein to let her know she had returned to the U.S. from Germany. Weinstein responded that he was leaving for London the next day but wanted to see her that night.

Mann responded, "I love you I always do but I hate feeling like a booty call."
 
The next day, Weistein chastised her, "From now on, please text me… I know you were joking in your last note but some people don't think it's a joke so please use that number instead of my company email."
 
Mann responded it was her "standup comedian side" joking with him.

Rotunno finished her cross-examination later Tuesday afternoon. Mann was excused and stepped down from the stand.

Weinstein, 67, is charged in New York with the 2013 rape and also sexually assaulting Mimi Haleyi, a former "Project Runway" production assistant, in 2006. A conviction could put him behind bars for the rest of his life.

He has insisted that any sexual encounters were consensual.

Earlier in the day, jurors heard from another supporting witness: an actress who testified that she felt pressured into having a awkward three-way sexual encounter with Weinstein and Mann.

Emanuela Postacchini testified that in February 2013, Weinstein had her meet him and Mann at a Los Angeles-area hotel, where he tried to persuade the women to have sex with him.

Postacchini said during the encounter, Mann went into the bathroom and was "crying in the fetal position on the ground."

On cross-examination, Weinstein lawyer Damon Cheronis repeatedly asked if Weinstein forced either woman to do anything and each time she responded that while she personally didn't feel forced to do anything, "the situation was forced."

-- Reporting by The Associated Press, Cassandra Gauthier and Shawn Matthews

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