Harvey Weinstein’s lawyer opened the door for more prosecution witnesses with their risky strategy and questioning of Annabella Sciorra and Miriam Haley, née Haleyi.
Elizabeth Entin was called to give evidence on Tuesday 28 January following Miriam Haley’s testimony.
Questioning Miriam on Monday, Weinstein’s lawyer, Damon Cheronis, suggested the encounters were consensual and that Miriam invented the allegations in late 2017.
Prosecutors won the right to call Miriam Haley’s roommate, Elizabeth Entin, as a witness Tuesday to confirm that Haley told her about the alleged attack back in 2006.
“When a witness’s testimony is challenged as a recent fabrication, the witness may be rehabilitated by a prior consistent statement,” Assistant District Attorney Meghan Hast told New York State Supreme Court Justice James Burke just before court was called to order. “Certainly during cross-examination of Miriam Haley, the defence left the impression that Miriam had made this up, just to go public with it.”
Judge Burke allowed Elizabeth Entin to testify to what Haley told her in 2006, citing the “Recent Fabrication Doctrine” that permits testimony to challenge such assertions of fabrication.
It’s also for this reason that Rosie Perez was called to give evidence. Rosie Perez was the first person Annabella disclosed to. Importantly, Rosie’s evidence lent more weight to Annabella Sciorra’s testimony, corroborating the first report and that she was raped by Harvey Weinstein.
Elizabeth described to the court a series of increasingly unsettling incidents involving Weinstein and Haley.
“She seemed very nervous…She said she’d gone to the apartment of Harvey Weinstein, she assumed it was, you know, work-related, she came in, he had started rubbing her and kissing her, she said, ‘No, no,’ and he wouldn’t stop.”
Elizabeth went on to describe the assault to which Haley testified Monday.
Prosecutor Meghan Hast asked Elizabeth how she reacted.
“I said, ‘Miriam, that sounds like rape,’” Entin said. She said Miriam Haley wouldn’t call the police.
My Two Cents: Harvey Weinstein’s lawyer is attempting to convince the court that the sexual encounters are consensual, and also that the sexual allegations are made up. Well which one is it? Consensual or fabricated? Perhaps they are hedging their bets – throwing enough spaghetti at the wall in the hope that some will stick.
Either way it paved the way for the prosecution to call more witnesses – who just so happened to corroborate both the victim’s accounts.
Remember that I previously talked about how important the first disclosure is in cases of abuse? The first disclosure is the person whom the victim first told about what happened. And now, these first disclosures are coming home to roost. Not part of the defence team plan, I would imagine.
The case continues.