Mel Gibson Can Testify - The Judge In Harvey Weinstein's Los Angeles Trial Rules
On Friday, the judge in the trial of the famous movie mogul for rape and sexual assault said that Mel Gibson can testifyabout what he heard from one of Harvey Weinstein's victims. Many witnesses, including the 66-year-old actor and director, had their names made public before Los Angeles superior court.
When the judge and lawyers returned to jury selection, they discussed motions about admissible evidence and potential witnesses. The names of the witnesses have been withheld at this time.
Gibson's masseuse and friend, who will be identified only as "Jane Doe No. 3," has been granted the right to have Gibson speak on her behalf by Judge Lisa B. Lench. One of the eleven claims of rape and sexual assault against Weinstein, who is 70, is that he did something sexual while he was being held down.
According to the prosecution, Weinstein masturbated in a hotel restroom after receiving a massage from the woman in May 2010. Weinstein has denied any inappropriate sexual behavior and entered a not-guilty plea. Gibson's lawyers tried to stop him from testifying by saying that the information he got from the woman during the massage did not count as a "new complaint" under the law.
Judge: Mel Gibson can testify at Harvey Weinstein trial
Prosecutors claimed Gibson discovered the lady had been sexually abused when he accidentally mentioned Weinstein. Gibson didn't recall the exchange's chronology, but the prosecution will employ Allison Weiner, who spoke to Gibson and the lady in 2015.
Judge Lench said Gibson's evidence would rely on how the accuser recounts their encounter when she takes the stand, and she may rule against it. Weinstein's attorney Mark Werksman then argued that if Gibson testifies, the defense should be able to cross-examine him regarding his 2006 arrest and 2010 racist words to a girlfriend.
Gibson's racism was irrelevant to the trial, but Lench allowed inquiry about his personal prejudice and animus against Weinstein. Werksman said Gibson was biased towards Jews because Weinstein is Jewish and because Weinstein wrote a book criticizing Gibson's 2004 film "The Passion of the Christ."
Werksman argued any proof of Gibson's bigotry or antisemitism would prejudice his client, who questioned him. The lawyer wrongly indicated the movie won the best picture Oscar, but Weinstein, whose films formerly dominated the Oscars, shook his head at the defense table.
"Sorry, my client would know better than me," Werksman replied. It won awards. The defense also said Gibson sought to whitewash his image by concentrating on Weinstein's crimes and promoting #MeToo.
The prosecution contended that Gibson had made no such allegations about himself and that he told his masseuse he was considering a business venture with Weinstein, exhibiting no prejudice.
Gibson's earlier statements were "despicable," but Deputy District Attorney Marlene Martinez said they were irrelevant for the specific reason he would be summoned to testify. Gibson's testimony increases the possibility of two of Hollywood's most prominent men, who have fallen, confronting each other in court.
According to prosecution arguments, Gibson never made any such statements about himself. When he mentioned Weinstein to the masseuse, he was really trying to negotiate a deal with the producer.
Gibson had previously addressed the Weinstein issue in 2017, telling The Guardianthat he saw the allegations made against Weinstein as "a forerunner to change". However, when EW reached out to Gibson's camp for comment, they refused to do so.
Due to his conviction for rape and sexual assault in 2020, Weinstein is presently serving a 23-year sentence in New York. By August, he was allowed to file an appeal of his conviction. The trial in Los Angeles is anticipated to take eight weeks.