Harvey Weinstein Trial: Rosie Perez Testifies About Annabella Sciorra Rape Account

Actress Rosie Perez testified for nearly an hour Friday afternoon in the Harvey Weinstein rape trial in New York, corroborating friend Annabella Sciorra’s previous testimony that Sciorra had told her of the rape back in 1993.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys raised numerous objections and continued to clash about the larger narrative Perez was trying to establish — that Sciorra had been raped by Weinstein in the actress’ apartment more than 25 years ago.

The trial in New York Supreme Court is in its third week. Weinstein faces five felony counts of sexual assault. He has insisted all sexual encounters have been consensual. If convicted, he faces life in prison.

Under questioning from Assistant D.A. Joan Illuzzi, Perez recalled telephoning Sciorra to “go to a nightclub and hang out” one night. “She responded in a weird voice,” Perez continued, speaking in a lo, tremulous whisper. “She said, ‘I think something bad happened …. I think I was raped.”

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Sciorra herself provided her own recollections about the incident in testimony in 1993. Earlier on Friday, lawyers from both sides argued over whether Perez should be allowed to testify, but Judge James Burke ruled she would be allowed to appear as a witness.

Perez faced intense cross-examination from defense attorney Damon Cheronis, who sought to establish that Perez demonstrated questionable behavior in not responding more forcefully to her friend’s report in the moment. Plus, over the years, Cherones worked to establish, Perez had fudged the timeline of when she heard about Sciorra’s allegations and how she recounted them to Ronan Farrow, who included the account in his early Weinstein reporting.

Cherones asked Perez why she hadn’t gone to Sciorra’s apartment as soon as she heard her friend crying and saying she had been raped. “I was being respectful,” she said.

“Being respectful of a friend who may have been assaulted that night?!” Cherones scoffed.

Illuzzi-Orbon objected, but Judge James Burke overruled the objection, allowing Perez to answer.

“I was in a panic,” she explained. “When you have a girlfriend who tells you something like that, you don’t know what to do. She was my very good friend. I was in shock. I was in a panic. I remember I kept calling her, crying, but she wouldn’t pick up.”

As Perez testified, Weinstein chewed gum and looked directly at her. A sunbeam came through the window and illuminated his face.


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