Daryl Hannah will not be called to give evidence against disgraced movie producer Harvey Weinstein, a judge in Los Angeles ruled Wednesday.
The actress was on a list of 16 potential witnesses the prosecution wanted to call in Weinstein’s sex assault case due to be heard later this year.
But after hearing fierce protests from the former Hollywood big shot’s attorney, Judge Lisa Lench reduced the number of additional ‘victims’ she will allow to six. She identified four of them – identified as Natassia, Kelly S, Miss I and Miriam H – and told the prosecution it could choose two more.
But Hannah, who claimed Weinstein had banged on her hotel door, forcing her to leave through a window, and McGowan will not be among those called, Variety reported.
Calling 16 more women – none of whom has proven their cases in court – is a ‘cynical ploy to overwhelm the court,’ said Weinstein’s lawyer, Mark Werksman who accused prosecutors of trying to portray the 69 year-old as an ‘all-purpose, all weather, 24-7 rapist.’
He called the large number of extra alleged victims – whose stories of assault by Weinstein span a 45 years period and places ranging from New York to Canada to France – ‘mind-numbing, preposterous and ridiculously prejudicial.’
Prosecutors in Harvey Weinstein’s case asked a judge to allow 16 more alleged victims to testify today. He’s pictured at a 2019 court hearing
One of the alleged victims who the prosecution wanted to call as a witness to support the sexual assault allegations is movie star Daryl Hannah, but she will not be testifying
Defense lawyer Mark Werksman described Daryl Hannah as ‘America’s sweetheart, the mermaid from Splash!’
‘Nobody is going to remember who did what to whom, when, where and why,’ added Werksman. ‘It’s totally irrelevant, totally unnecessary.’
He described the prosecution’s bid to bring the ‘unproven’ testimony of so many more alleged victims into the trial as a ‘kamikaze’ tactic. ‘Sure, it could get a conviction, but it would also be certain to get a reversal on appeal.’
Weinstein – in a wheelchair and wearing brown prison overalls, plus blue mask and clutching a book with a red cover – was pushed by sheriff’s deputies into LA’s downtown criminal court today with his hands in shackles.
Judge Lisa Lench (pictured) reduced the number of additional ‘victims’ she will allow to six
At one point in the hearing he started whispering intently with Werksman who then told the court that his client had reminded him that he ‘absolutely denies each and every allegation’ of the 16 women prosecutors wanted to call as witnesses.
The LA charges against him include rape, sexual battery, forced oral copulation and forced sexual penetration involving five un-named women between 2004 and 2013
Weinstein, 70, already entered not guilty pleas on all 11 charges when he appeared in court in LA last July after being extradited from New York where he’s serving a 23-year prison sentence for rape and sexual assault of two women.
If he’s convicted of the LA charges, the man whose actions helped spark the #MeToo movement is looking at a maximum total sentence of 140 years in prison.
Most of the alleged crimes happened at LA area hotels where New York-based Weinstein – who insists that any sexual activity was consensual – was staying during visits to Hollywood.
As for the other 16 women, all have been identified by prosecutors by first names only, though one, named ‘Daryl’ was clearly identified by Werksman on Wednesday as Daryl Hannah, blonde-haired star of the 1984 movie Splash!
Describing her as ‘America’s sweetheart, the mermaid from Splash!’ Werksman said that Daryl’s testimony only amounted to an ‘unproven’ account of Weinstein banging on her hotel door at the Cannes Film Festival in France and scaring her into thinking that ‘he was going to come in and ravish her’ so she ‘crept out of a window to escape.’
The Weinstein stories of the other 15 women included one who claimed he ‘dragged her kicking and screaming, caveman-style’ into a hot-tub and performed oral sex on her, the attorney said.
Another claimed to have been raped, then returned to Weinstein’s hotel room to find him in bed with another woman and when he invited her to join in a threesome, she refused, added Werksman
Rose McGowan has been one of Harvey Weinstein’s most prominent accusers, but she will not be called to give evidence in his upcoming trial, a judge ruled. They are pictured together in 2007
McGowan alleges Weinstein assaulted her in 1997 at the Sundance Film Festival in 1997, but the judge ruled no evidence before 2000 should be presented at his upcoming case
The disgraced movie producer is accused of 11 sexual assaults against five women
Other stories ranged from women saying they were forced to watch as he masturbated, to being forced to perform oral sex on him, to attempted rape, he said.
Deputy district attorney Paul Thompson argued that the evidence of the 16 other women was important because it showed Weinstein’s ‘MO’ (modus operandi) and their experiences provided a ‘high level of similarity’ with the charges Weinstein is facing in LA.
But Werksman countered, saying that the prosecution’s aim with this long list of ‘vile uncharged acts’ was to ‘make the jury hate Mr. Weinstein’.
Allowing these extra women on the witness stand would be ‘irrelevant, inflammatory and unnecessary,’ he added. ‘We have a large abundance of witness already in the 11 charges in Los Angeles.
Weinstein’s lawyer Mark Werksman said that calling 16 more women – none of whom has proven their cases in court – is a ‘cynical ploy to overwhelm the court’
‘(Prosecutors) are wasting our time. It’s a big feint – and your honor should not stand for it.’
Judge Lench told him, ‘I am not going to allow all of them (the 16 additional alleged victims). The number of them is going to confuse the jury.’
She ruled that all of the pre-2000 alleged victims except for one, should be excluded, leaving six she will allow to testify. Rose McGowan’s allegation against him dates from 1997 when she claimed he assaulted her at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah.
The judge set a June 10 date for another hearing where arrangements will be finalized for Weinstein’s trial, expected to start in mid to late September.
Last December attorney Werksman tried to get all the LA charges thrown out, filing a motion arguing that the grand jury which indicted his client had been ‘manipulated’ by prosecutors who had presented ‘weak, lame, false and misleading’ evidence supported by ‘pseudo -scientific’ testimony from expert witnesses.
But Judge Lench denied the motion telling the court that she felt prosecutors ‘did not manipulate the grand jury’ and saying that she ‘did not find irregularities’ in the evidence prosecutors presented to the grand jury.
And she ruled that ‘there is sufficient evidence to support the charges.’
At the December hearing, Werksman, claimed there were inconsistencies in the grand jury testimony of the victims – Jane Does 1 through 5 – and all of them continued to communicate with Weinstein after the alleged sex assaults.
Jane Doe 1 described a sexual act that was ‘physically impossible,’ said Werksman.
Jane Doe 2 went back to see Weinstein the day after she claimed he sexually assaulted her, he added.
Jane Doe 3 is a masseuse ‘who agreed to let him masturbate in front of her’ in exchange for him helping her Hollywood career ambitions, Werksman told the court.
Jane Doe 4 ‘faked an orgasm,’ said Werksman, so how was Weinstein to know ‘that she was not consenting to a sexual act.
‘She testified that she acquiesced to sex because she felt she had to because of the possible affect on her career if she didn’t.’
Jane Doe 5, he added, ”agreed to get get undressed and get in a shower with a man she claimed had previously raped her and let him rub shower gel on her naked body.’
Werksman slammed a 1,000-page medical report prosecutors presented to the grand jury, calling it ‘incomprehensible gobbledygook.’
And he attacked the two medical experts the prosecution called as witnesses, saying the grand jury was ‘bludgeoned’ by their ‘preposterous’ testimony.
Prosecutor Paul Thompson denied Werksman’s claims, saying, ‘We did not say anything incorrect to the grand jury,’ and accusing his opposing counsel of ‘misrepresenting’ the evidence that was put before the grand jury.
‘The grand jury was instructed on the law…..on what constituted consent. And the grand jury indicted.’
Jane Doe 3 ‘told him to stop,’ Thompson said. ‘Jane Doe 4 was trembling, shaking and crying….when he was assaulting her.
‘Jane Doe 5 thought he had the power to destroy her career. So she got in the shower with him. That is not voluntary. That is why the grand jury indicted.’
Werksman (pictured in court with Weinstein) slammed a 1,000-page medical report prosecutors presented to the grand jury, calling it ‘incomprehensible gobbledygook’
At an earlier hearing, Werksman, was granted a request for a medical evaluation of the former film mogul who is reportedly suffering from spinal stenosis and is blind in one eye.
Weinstein – who is being held at the Twin Towers jail in downtown Los Angeles – used his medical ailments as a reason to hold up his extradition to LA for many months.
And outside that July 21 hearing, women’s rights lawyer Gloria Allred, who represents one of Weinstein’s New York victims and two of his alleged victims in LA, scorned the delaying tactics in an interview with DailyMail.com.
‘I am happy that this day has come and I’m looking for a fair trial here in Los Angeles,’ she said.
‘Mr. Weinstein and his defense have been delaying his extradition to Los Angeles for a long time,’ she said. ‘But he finally ran out of excuses.
‘It’s absurd that he claimed he needed to stay in New York because he needed medical care. We have excellent medical care here in LA.
‘I think that it’s important for him to face trial here in LA because some of his victims here have not had their day in court.
‘Justice may have been delayed in Los Angeles, but it’s not going to be denied,’ she added.