NEW YORK - A former production assistant who first publicly accused Harvey Weinstein of assault in 2017 gave a tearful account of the alleged 2006 episode on the witness stand Monday - and was confronted about her years-long relationship with him that followed.
Mimi Haleyi, 42, said Weinstein forced her into his bedroom after she accepted what she thought was a friendly social invitation to meet at his condominium in New York's SoHo neighborhood on July 10, 2006.
"I remember seeing children's artwork on the walls," she said of the decor in the room where she says she was pushed down on a bed by Weinstein.
Haleyi, who said she rejected prior advances by the powerful movie producer, testified that the visit quickly became a nightmare.
"He held me down on the bed and he forced himself on me orally," she told a jury, blotting her eyes with tissues as she tried to compose herself. "I was on my period. I had a tampon in there. I was mortified."
Weinstein, she said, ignored her repeated protests, as he overpowered her - he weighed about 300 pounds and she was 5-foot-5 and about 115 pounds, according to her testimony.
"I kept trying to tell him no, don't do that. I said I'm on my period. I have a tampon in there," she said. "And it was as if he didn't believe me and he said something like, 'Well, where is it then?' And he eventually pulled my tampon out."
But Haleyi was forced to defend her version of events during rigorous cross-examination in which she was quizzed about why she willingly went to a Tribeca Grand Hotel room with Weinstein on July 26, 2006, and had sex with him, two weeks after she says he violently attacked her at his Manhattan home.
She said she "didn't resist" but did not want to have sex with Weinstein that day.
She struggled to explain why she decided to meet him in the Lower Manhattan hotel room while the pain of her recent assault would have been raw.
"I had no reason not to," she testified, adding that it "would have been odd to decline" after accepting his offer for a free trip to Los Angeles with an invitation to a movie premiere for "Clerks 2." She said she blew off the film event and spent two weeks on the West Coast with a friend.
A day after the second encounter, there was a note in her planner to "call [Weinstein's assistant] about tix." On Aug. 2, she flew to London, another trip she said was paid for by Weinstein.
She offered that the flight was probably booked "on [Weinstein's reward] miles," though she did not say how she could have known that and was not sure about it.
In the late July 2006 encounter, she now says Weinstein called her a "b----" and "whore" - insults she concedes she did not tell the district attorney's office about when she was interviewed in June 2018, a short time after Weinstein's May 2018 arrest. She guessed that the offensive names were a misguided attempt by Weinstein to turn her on.
Defense lawyer Damon Cheronis suggested Haleyi was trying to exploit a relationship with Weinstein to help her career. She sent him her friends' scripts and pitched him her own production called "Trash TV," while checking in with him periodically about whether he had any production gigs for her.
When she sent Weinstein's assistant a memo on her "Trash TV" concept, she stressed that it was her own idea and asked him to forward it to Weinstein.
"Because if it came from you, you thought he would be more likely to read it?" Cheronis asked.
"Probably, yes," Haleyi said.
Earlier in the day, she was in tears as she recounted her allegation of Weinstein pinning her down on the bed by her wrists during the encounter on July 10, 2006, which is part of the criminal case against Weinstein in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan.
Haleyi first met Weinstein at a movie premiere in London in 2004.
"She was in a good spot in her life," prosecutor Meghan Hast said in her opening statement last week. At the time, she was working for British theater and movie producer Michael White.
Haleyi bumped into Weinstein at the Cannes Film Festival in 2006, and with White taking ill, her career was at a standstill, Hast told jurors last week.
She sought a meeting with Weinstein and went to his hotel suite, where they began talking casually before he tried to get her to give him a massage, while also offering her one. She said she rejected both and suggested he call the front desk to book a masseuse.
Haleyi felt "extremely humiliated and just felt very stupid that I had been so excited to go and see him and that he treated me that way."
Shortly after that encounter, Haleyi was back in New York, where Weinstein had helped her secure a temporary $125-per-day cash gig on the set of "Project Runway." She agreed to meet him for a drink at the Mercer Hotel, and the professional relationship she hoped for seemed back on track.
"It was very pleasant. I was very happy with how it went," Haleyi said in court Monday. "We had quite a lengthy conversation about all kinds of things. Nothing was inappropriate. He was very respectful. He was even charming."
But things took a turn again, she said, when he forced his way into the entrance of her East Village apartment. He harassed her to accept an invitation to travel with him to Paris on a private jet.
After repeated requests, she said she shut him down with a comment that surprised and offended him.
"You know you have a terrible reputation with women, I have heard," Haleyi said she told Weinstein. This conversation took place weeks before the alleged assault in July 2006.
Weinstein is charged with a criminal sex act for allegedly forcing oral sex on Haleyi. He also faces rape charges related to aspiring actress Jessica Mann, who says Weinstein assaulted her at a Doubletree Hotel in Manhattan in 2013.
But Weinstein faces the most potential time behind bars for counts of predatory sexual assault, which relate to a pattern of sexual assault - "two or more." Actress Annabella Sciorra testified last week that she was raped by Weinstein in late 1993 or early 1994.
Haleyi held an October 2017 news conference where she wept while telling her story alongside prominent attorney Gloria Allred. She omitted the consensual contact she had with Weinstein the same month as the alleged assault, and did not discuss her years of friendly interactions with him, which has been preserved in emails that are evidence in the trial.
"It wasn't relevant to the message that I was there to share," she told Cheronis on Monday.
This article was written by Shayna Jacobs, a reporter for The Washington Post.