The latest Harvey Weinstein sexual assault trial is shaping up to be a wild one (Mel Gibson will take the stand), and Weinstein’s defense will use emails about Gavin Newsom’s 2005 affair as evidence in the trial.
If you have not been following the latest developments with movie mogul and now-convicted rapist Harvey Weinstein, it’s important to do a little catch-up, because this case is now about to hit very close to home for those of us who remember Gavin Newsom’s first term as mayor of San Francisco. After almost single-handedly igniting the #MeToo movement, Weinstein was found guilty of sex crimes and rape in February 2020 after a Manhattan trial, and sentenced to 23 years in prison. You might have figured that was the end of all that.
It is not. There is now a separate trial underway in Los Angeles for 11 counts of sexual assault lodged by five different women, a trial that was put on hold until the Manhattan trial (and its appeals) were were all worked out. That trial started jury selection last week, and last Monday, the LA Times broke the news that one of the five Jane Does in the trial is Jen Siebel Newsom.
Harvey Weinstein's defense can use California governor's wife's email at trial, a judge ruled Monday. https://t.co/MgP6dSekYA— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) October 18, 2022
Siebel Newsom says Weinstein raped her in 2005 at the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills (she wrote a HuffPost essay about the incident last October). Weinstein's attorneys, naturally, will want to turn this into a sort of Amber Heard 2.0 against Siebel Newsom and the four other accusers, with Fox News declaring “Weinstein's team will argue the relationship was consensual.“
And to that end, the Associated Press reports that Weinstein’s attorneys want to use her 2007 emails to Weinstein as evidence, which the judge on Monday decided to allow. The emails are regarding then-mayor Gavin Newsom’s bombshell revelation of an affair with his campaign manager’s wife, and then girlfriend Jennifer Siebel allegedly sought Weinstein’s advice on how to weather this scandal by the side of Mayor Newsom, with whom she was now romantically involved. (The affair with Ruby Rippey-Tourk, the wife of Newsom aide Alex Tourk, occurred while then 37-year-old Newsom was going through a divorce with Kimberly Guilfoyle. The judge has ruled that attorneys can't discuss the underlying reason for Siebel Newsom's emails in front of the jury, calling it "too tangential in relation to this trial.")
“Of all things you’d think a woman that is raped by Harvey Weinstein wouldn’t do, it’s ask him how to deal with a sex scandal,” Weinstein’s attorney Mark Werksman argued in court.
LA County deputy district attorney Marlene Martinez shot back that “I’m not sure how Mr. Werksman knows” how a rape victim would behave in that situation, per the AP.
Judge Says Mel Gibson Can Testify for Prosecution in Harvey Weinstein’s Trial About Conversation He Had with Accuser During Massagehttps://t.co/TftKrLDI5E— Law & Crime (@lawcrimenews) October 17, 2022
This trial is certain to be messy, even beyond the victim-shaming aspect that is clearly looming here. None other than Mel Gibson will be called to the stand, as one of the victims apparently described her assault to Gibson.
BOMBSHELL REPORT: Wife of CA Governor Gavin Newsom emailed Harvey Weinstein ASKING FOR HELP DEALING WITH HUSBAND'S CHEATING SCANDAL two years AFTER movie magnate 'raped and sexually assaulted her.'— Chuck Callesto (@ChuckCallesto) October 18, 2022
This will likely be a traumatizing episode for Siebel Newsom, and mud will be thrown at her. But it is unlikely to affect Newsom’s reelection bid next month, wherein he faces state Senator Brian “Who?” Dahle (they’ll debate on KQED Sunday). But as you see in the tweet above, in a thread which of course turns into MyPillow promo, Newsom’s national ambitions could be affected by an airing of dirty laundry about his womanizing past.
Related: Jennifer Newsom to Testify Against Harvey Weinstein In L.A. [SFist]
Image: California Gov. Gavin Newsom (L) and First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom (R) look on as U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris speaks during a No on the Recall campaign event at IBEW-NECA Joint Apprenticeship Training Center on September 08, 2021 in San Leandro, California. With six days to go until the California recall election, Gov. Gavin Newsom was joined by U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris as he continues to campaign throughout the state. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)