Oscar-nominated actress and former “The View” co-host Rosie Perez told the jury in Harvey Weinstein’s criminal trial that Annabella Sciorra, who testified that the former mogul raped her in the early ’90s, had confided in her about the incident.
On the stand, Perez said that around 1993, she called Sciorra one night to ask if she wanted to go out to a nightclub to have fun. “She responded in a very muted voice, and she was whispering,” Perez said. “And I said, ‘What’s wrong with you?’ And she said, ‘I think something bad happened. … I think I was raped.'”
Perez added, “The way she said it was so strange because she was still whispering. Her voice started shaking. … She started crying.”
During that call, Perez said she asked Sciorra who had assaulted her, but Sciorra repeatedly responded, “I can’t, I can’t,” and ultimately hung up on Perez. “I kept trying to call her back all night long, and I was so upset, and she wouldn’t pick up the phone,” Perez said. “I was in shock, I was in a panic. I remember that I kept phoning her repeatedly, crying, begging her to pick up the phone.”
When Sciorra finally returned her calls about a week later, Perez said the actress was still upset about the incident but did not want to talk about it again. It wouldn’t be until a couple of months later that Perez said she was able to deduce that Weinstein was the person who allegedly raped Sciorra.
After hearing from a friend that Weinstein was “stalking” Sciorra in London, Perez said she called Sciorra again to ask if Weinstein was the one who raped her. “She confirmed it. I told her, ‘It was Harvey that raped you the night I called you and it was so weird,'” Perez said. “And she said, ‘How did you know?'”
It was then that Sciorra opened up about the incident but made Perez swear not to ever tell anybody, Perez testified.
“She told me that he showed up at her door and she was confused why he was there, standing there, and that he pushed his way through the door, and she was crying and she tried to fight back,” Perez said. “And then she said that she ended up in the bedroom with her hands pinned over her head and that he raped her, and then he pulled out and–“
Perez hesitated, before being told by the prosecution to continue: “He came on her leg and on her nightgown.”
Though Perez said she pleaded with Sciorra to go to the police, Sciorra told her she couldn’t because Weinstein was going to “destroy” her career.
Earlier on Friday, the defense objected to the prosecution’s request for Perez to testify because Sciorra, in her own testimony on Thursday, initially said she didn’t tell anyone that Weinstein had raped her. But when pressed about that detail during the defense’s cross-examination, Sciorra acknowledged that she had forgotten she told Perez about the encounter.
“I don’t remember a lot of the year after I was raped because I was in extreme trauma,” Sciorra said on Thursday.
Perez is best known for co-hosting “The View” and for her roles in movies like 1989’s “Do the Right Thing” and 1992’s “White Man Can’t Jump.” She received an Oscar nomination for her supporting role in the 1993 drama “Fearless.”
Sciorra was the second prosecution witness who testified in the criminal trial of Weinstein, who faces five felony counts, including predatory sexual assault and rape. Weinstein has pleaded not guilty and denied accusations of nonconsensual sex.