‘Sopranos’ actress may testify in Harvey Weinstein trial, source says
An actress whom Manhattan prosecutors have described as key witness in the Harvey Weinstein sex-crimes trial may have the chance to testify, a source told CNN Thursday.
The possibility of “Sopranos” actress Annabella Sciorra testifying is one of several potential outcomes that could emerge from a last-minute court hearing scheduled for Monday.
The disgraced movie mogul will appear before the judge overseeing his trial on Monday to be arraigned on an indictment, the Manhattan District Attorney’s office said in a statement.
The indictment, which was returned by a grand jury, has not been publicly disclosed. It’s not clear if additional charges will be brought against Weinstein or what it includes.
But prosecutors have been jockeying for months to get the actress’ account into the trial to support charges of predatory sexual assault against Weinstein.
Weinstein is scheduled to stand trial in September on two counts of predatory sexual assault, one count of criminal sexual act in the first degree, one count of first-degree rape and one count of third-degree rape.
He has pleaded not guilty to all charges and maintains that the encounters with his accusers were consensual.
The charges stem from accounts from two women, but Sciorra is not one of them.
Sciorra has publicly accused Weinstein of sexually assaulting her inside her Gramercy Park apartment in 1993.
Manhattan prosecutors included Sciorra in an amended bill of particulars outlining their case in February to support charges of predatory sexual assault. The defense sought to preclude her from testifying, saying it effectively charged him with a new crime that was never presented to the grand jury.
Justice James Burke sided with the defense in an August 8 ruling, saying Sciorra could not testify because she was not presented to a grand jury earlier this year.
In response to the ruling, Manhattan prosecutors convened another grand jury this month resulting in the latest indictment, which will be unsealed Monday.
Weinstein’s lawyers blasted the district attorney’s office for seeking an “unprecedented fourth arraignment” in the case.
“This action by the prosecutor bespeaks the desperation that has engulfed their case,” attorneys Donna Rotunno and Arthur Aidala said in a statement.
“We have reached the point where one must be concerned that these desperate measures indicate more of a focus on obtaining a conviction at all costs than on seeking justice.”