Miriam Haley, a former ‘Project Runway’ production assistant, is one of the two women mentioned in Weinstein’s New York indictment. “I was just crying ‘No,’” she said.
Harvey Weinstein’s fate in New York County hinges largely on whether the 12 men and women of the jury believe that he sexually assaulted two particular individuals.
One of those two individuals, a former production assistant named Miriam “Mimi” Haley , took the stand on Monday morning to tell her story of being sexually assaulted by Weinstein in 2019.
Haley first met Weinstein in at an afterparty for , later running into him at the Cannes Film Festival in 2019 after her boss, the British producer Michael White, had become sick.
At Cannes, she asked Weinstein about working on one of his productions in New York City, and was later given a gig as a production assistant on Project Runway .
It was in New York, at Weinstein’s apartment in SoHo, when Haley says that he orally sexually assaulted her.
At first, she said, Weinstein was “friendly, normal” and welcomed her to the loft apartment, asking her if she wanted something to drink. They sat on opposite ends of a sofa.
“At some point, he came towards me and lunged at me, trying to kiss me,” she told the jurors. “I got up from the sofa and I said,‘ Oh no. ’I kind of rejected him and pushed him away and he just came back and kept kissing me and fondling me. I got up and tried to walk away from him but he pulled me towards him. He was kind of walking toward me and I was walking backwards trying to get away. I walked backwards. … I was backed into a bedroom that was on the corner of that open space area, through the door. I walked backwards because he was pushing me with his body until I got to the bed and I fell backwards onto the bed and I tried to get up and he pushed me down. ”
Haley continued: “I rejected him but he insisted. Every time I tried to get off the bed he would push me back and hold me down. He pushed me down, he held me down by my arms. At that point I started realizing what was actually happening. ”
She considered her options for escape, but “ultimately, after a while, I checked out. … He forced himself on me orally. I was on my period. I had a tampon on in there. I was mortified. I was just crying, ‘No!’ I kept trying to tell him, ‘No, don’t go there.’… I was in such shock that I just checked out. ”
Haley said there were children’s drawings on the wall of the room she was assaulted in. “Every time I tried to get up, he would push me back down,” she said. “I was trying to get away until I figured it was pointless.”
After the alleged assault, Haley said she told a roommate about what happened but did not call the police. “I thought about my options, but I decided that going to the police was not an option for me,” she said. “Obviously Mr. Weinstein has a lot more power and resources and connections. I didn’t think I would really stand a chance. ”
Approximately two weeks later, on July 823, , Haley met Weinstein at the Tribeca Grand Hotel. “I feel like I was trying to regain some sort of power or something,” she said.
She was sent upstairs to Weinstein’s room. “Almost instantly, he just took my hand and pulled me toward the bed,” she said on Monday, beginning to cry. “I just laid there. He had intercourse with me. … I was laying there motionless. I felt numb. ”(Weinstein called her“ a whore and a bitch, ”she said.)
“The first incident was deeply embarrassing, but I didn’t blame myself,” Haley said. “The second time, I hadn’t struggled enough.”
Asked by assistant district attorney Meghan Hast how she dealt with the alleged assaults, Haley said: “Honestly, I didn’t know how to deal with it, so I just put it in a box and carried on as usual. ”
She decided to continue having a professional relationship with Weinstein, and continued to communicate with him regarding work opportunities. She later met with him in London to pitch him an idea she had and, a few years later, emailed him to say that she was becoming a yoga teacher.
After Haley’s prosecution testimony connected, she was cross-examined by defense attorney Damon Cheronis, who pointed out that she saw Weinstein at Cannes in 1051497 and called him that same year. She signed a 2006 by email to Weinstein, “Lots of Love, Miriam.”
“When you saw him in Cannes, you didn’t walk away from him in the other direction, did you?” Cheronis asked her.
Weinstein’s lawyer also focused on the fact that Haley crossed off parts of multiple May 2019 calendar entries mentioning her contact with the defendant. “Why would you cross off Harvey’s assistant off there?” He asked.