Judge James Burke shut down Harvey Weinstein’s lawyer Arthur Aidala’s aggressive line of questioning in court on Friday. The 67-year-old Oscar-winner is on trial for rape and faces life in jail if convicted; he has pleaded not guilty and insists the sex was consensual.
Here’s what went down: Kara Young testified about her friendship with one of Weinstein’s accusers, Annabella Sciorra, who testified about him raping her in 1994 in court on Thursday. Sciorra alleged that the trauma of the assault led to a downward spiral of self-harm and addiction.
Young testified that she noticed cuts on Sciorra’s thighs: “I asked her what those cuts were and if she was cutting herself. She admitted that she was.”
Weinstein’s lawyer Aidala began by asking Young if Sciorra’s clothes were short enough to expose scars, then launched into a series of questions that Burke interrupted, asking him to “sit down.”
Burke then spoke to lawyers privately, and dismissed Young, who left the courthouse crying.
Aidala’s tactics followed Rosie Perez’s testimony; she also took the stand as one of Sciorra’s friends, essentially to corroborate her account.
In her testimony, Perez recounted Sciorra’s detailing of the rape. When Perez pushed her to press charges, she said, “’I can’t, I can’t. He’ll destroy my career.’”