LOS ANGELES (KABC) — Jennifer Siebel Newsom, wife of California Gov. Gavin Newsom, will testify in disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein’s trial on sex-crime charges in Los Angeles.
The 70-year-old former film producer has already been convicted of rape and other sex crimes in New York. Now he will go on trial on similar charges in LA, years after allegations that helped spark the #MeToo movement in Hollywood.
Jury selection is expected to begin on Monday in rape and other sex-related cases involving five women who have said Weinstein assaulted them at luxury hotels between 2004 and 2013.
All five of Weinstein’s accusers are expected to testify, as well as several other women whose accusations are not part of the charges. However, they are expected to describe Weinstein’s past behavior.
ABC News confirmed that one of those women is California’s first partner.
“Like many women, my client was sexually assaulted by Harvey Weinstein at an alleged business meeting that turned out to be a trap,” Siebel Newsom’s attorney, Beth Fegan, said in a statement. “She intends to testify at his trial to seek some measure of justice for survivors and as part of her life’s work to improve the lives of women. Please respect her choice not to discuss this matter outside the courtroom.”
To stand trial, Weinstein was extradited from New York, where he has already served two years of a 23-year prison sentence for sex crimes. That case is being appealed.
The #MeToo movement took off about five years ago after dozens of women accused Weinstein of sexual harassment and assault.
The many charges over a period of time will help make the prosecution’s case stronger, according to a legal analyst.
“It will be one of the strongest arguments for the prosecution,” said lawyer and analyst Lou Shapiro. “It’s called pattern evidence. It’s not just one person who comes across this, it’s multiple people who don’t know each other. What are the chances that different people from different locations, different time periods all have similar stories? It’s not just a coincidence.”
If convicted of the Los Angeles charges, Weinstein risks spending the rest of his life in prison.
Jury selection could take two weeks, and the trial itself is estimated to take about two months. No cameras will be allowed in the courtroom.
Before his downfall, Weinstein was seen as one of the most influential and successful film producers in Hollywood, with his company releasing Oscar winners and highly regarded classics such as “Shakespeare in Love” and “Pulp Fiction.”
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