Mimi Haley tells jury in Harvey Weinstein trial she felt 'like an idiot' after being raped by the producer

Harriet Alexander
Mimi Haley, former production assistant, testified against Harvey Weinstein in New York - REUTERS

A British production assistant has told the jury in Harvey Weinstein’s trial that she was raped twice by the film producer, feeling “like an idiot” after the abuse.

Mimi Haley, 42, was overcome by emotion while recounting her story on Monday, having to pause multiple times and catch her breath.

“He pushed me down. He held my arms,” she said, through tears. “I said no, no. And then I started realising what was actually happening. And I thought: I’m being raped.”

Weinstein, 67, is on trial for five counts of rape and sexual assault, based on accusations made by Miss Haley and a second woman, Jessica Mann.

Annabella Sciorra, the Sopranos actress who testified on Thursday, gave evidence as a supporting witness, but her accusations fall outside of the statute of limitations.

Miss Haley had been introduced to Weinstein at the London premiere of The Aviator, while she was working for The Rocky Horror Picture Show creator Michael White.

Two years later, in May 2006, she ran into Weinstein while with White at the Cannes film festival, and told Weinstein she planned to move to New York.

Harvey Weinstein has recently started walking with a frame Credit: David Dee Delgado/Getty Images

He invited him to his Cannes hotel room, to see if he could think who could help her. Once she arrived at his room, he asked her for a massage – which she declined.

Once in the US, and despite being on a tourist visa, Weinstein helped her get a job for several weeks as a production assistant on fashion reality show Project Runway.

The pair remained in touch, and Weinstein invited her to Paris, flying with him on a private jet to attend fashion week. She said no, and so he turned up at her home, begging her to accompany him.

“I said something like: ‘You know you have a terrible reputation with women.’ It was a half joke, but he got offended and stepped back. He said 'what do you mean? What have you heard?' Then he backed off.”

In July 2006 Weinstein invited her to his apartment, in the Soho district of Manhattan where he allegedly “lunged” at her, trying to kiss her.

“I got up and tried to walk away from him but he pulled me towards him,” she said, choking back tears. “I was just saying no, no. I said I was on my period – that wasn’t why I didn’t want to have sex with him, but I was on my period.

“I knew I couldn’t get away. I thought if I escape this and scream rape, will someone help me? If I get away, will I be able to get to the elevator without him catching me?" 

Weinstein forcibly performed oral sex on her, she claimed. 

Annabella Sciorra testified against Weinstein  Credit: REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

“I kept trying to tell him no, don’t go there, I’m on my period and I have a tampon in... And he literally pulled my tampon out."

Weinstein has denied all accusations of non-consensual sex.

A few weeks later, Miss Haley accepted an invitation to see him again.

Meghan Hast, the assistant district attorney, asked her why she would want to meet him again.

“I remember thinking I would try and get some sort of… trying to regain some sort of power or something,” she said.

“Almost instantly he took on… and pulled me towards the bed. At that point I just passed out. I went numb. And thought, here we go again, type thing.

“I just thought, I’m an idiot. I made it so clear. And he had managed to convince me again, just to do something like that again. I felt like an idiot for having believed what he was saying – even though I don’t remember that conversation.

“He had intercourse. He said things like, something like, 'You’re a whore and a bitch.' I was there like a dead fish. I was lying there emotionless, saying, 'I’m not a bitch, I’m not a whore.' I felt numb. I felt like an idiot.”

Witness Mimi Haley is questioned by Assistant District Attorney Meghan Hast in front of Judge James Burke as film producer Harvey Weinstein listens Credit: REUTERS/Jane Rosenberg 

Shortly afterwards she moved back to London, where she currently lives.

She told the jury that she was too frightened to go to the police.

“I thought about my options and I decided that going to the police was not an option for me,” she said. “Having been on Project Runway, without a visa, that was very much a part of the story and I didn’t want any consequences from that.

“And obviously Harvey Weinstein has much more power and resources. I didn’t think I would stand a chance.”

Damon Cheronis, one of Weinstein’s defence lawyers, grilled Miss Haley on her repeated contact with Weinstein – accepting a free flight to Los Angeles the day after the first attack, and remaining in email contact with him, sending him scripts and pitches.

One email, in 2008, she signed: “Lots of love, Miriam”.