A fashion influencer accused by one of Harvey Weinstein’s alleged victims of “roping” her into a hotel bathroom with the disgraced producer for an unwanted sexual encounter took the stand Wednesday, denying many key elements of the Jane Doe’s testimony in a heated, sometimes hostile and exasperated exchange with prosecutors.
Claudia Salinas was a key figure in the Monday testimony of Jane Doe 2, a fellow model-actress who says Salinas arranged a meeting between she and Weinstein in 2013, then walked them into a bathroom at the Montage and closed the door behind them. Jane Doe 2 said when she left the bathroom after being assaulted, Salinas was outside waiting, and gave her an “evil look.”
Salinas corroborated meeting Jane Doe 2 and making fast friends in 2012. She agreed that they connected on social media, exchanged numbers and at one point, Salinas asked her for a drinks meeting with Weinstein.
“I always bring someone with me, because I don’t like to go alone,” she said.
Jane Doe 2 had said she was asked to bring her script for a meeting ostensibly about working with Weinstein. Salinas denied that, testifying at one point that “there was no script” and that “there must have been something that she was on the top of my head to invite her.”
“Did you bring Jane Doe 2 to the meeting to offer her up to Weinstein sexually?” defense attorney Mark Werksman asked.
“Absolutely not,” she replied.
“Were you in the business of procuring women for Mr. Weinstein to have sex with?”
“Did you act as a pimp for Mr. Weinstein?”
Salinas laughed slightly and said: “No.”
“Did you tell her you could get Mr. Weinstein to look at a script for her?”
“There was no script.”
She was asked if she rode up an elevator with Jane Doe 2 and Weinstein. “No.” Whether she saw Jane Doe 2 go into a bathroom with Weinstein. “No.” Whether she’d closed a bathroom door between Weinstein and Jane Doe 2. “Absolutely not.” Whether she ever stood outside a bathroom while a rape was happening inside. “Absolutely not.”
But when prosecutor Paul Thompson was doing the questioning, things turned testy. He asked Salinas whether her memory was “fuzzy.”
Salinas: “I remember some things, it was pretty uneventful.”
Thompson: “As you sit here today it is your absolute sworn testimony that Jane Doe 2 did not discuss a screenplay with you?”
“Absolutely,” she replied.
Thompson: “You said when you parted company you left on good terms. … What happened on 2/19 to change that so that you never saw each other again?”
“Does she even live in LA?” Salinas replied.
“Answer my question please!”
“We fell out of touch, it happens!”
Salinas denied that she relied on Weinstein for financial support, employment, or anything – and said she had never been alone in a hotel suite with him.
“I would remember,” she said, “so I don’t remember ever being alone in a hotel suite with him.”
Thompson then asked: “How many times did you arrange a meeting between Weinstein and a woman in her early to mid 20s?”
“I never arranged any meetings,” she replied.
Salinas looked rattled after she left the stand, according to pool reports.
Wednesday also saw the conclusion of testimony of Ambra B., the Italian model-actress who in 2015 reported to police, the same day, a meeting in which she says Weinstein tried to kiss her and groped her breast when they were alone for the first time. She told the same story at Weinstein’s New York trial in 2020, and audio captured from her attempt with detectives to get Harvey to admit to the assault was leaked to the press after the New York Times’ bombshell report.
Though nothing came of the failed sting – the recording equipment failed, and Weinstein never said anything incriminating, her report would be instrumental in Weinstein’s eventual arrest.
Weinstein faces 11 charges of sexual assault from allegations spanning from 2004-2013. The trial is expected to last into December after a two-week jury selection process seated a panel last Thursday of nine men and three women. Weinstein could face up to 140 years in prison if convicted.
He is already serving 23 years in a New York prison for criminal first-degree sexual assault and third-degree rape, a conviction he has been granted the right to appeal. Weinstein has maintained his innocence since the New York Times first published accusations against him five years ago.