A forsenic examiner has revealed that Harvey Weinstein accuser Mimi Haleyi crossed out a line in her personal calendar about calling Weinstein’s assistant for a plane ticket.
The media mogul’s defense called on Jeffrey Luber, a documents expert to work out what was written under a number of entries that Haleyi crossed out.
It covered the period of the summer 2006, the same period in which Haleyi claims Weinstein attacked her.
The calendar – which was used as evidence in court – showed an entry for August 31 in which Haleyi wrote then scribbled out: ‘Call Dan and see if I can go’.
Dan refers to Dan Guando, Weinstein’s assistant, and the trip was a flight from New York to London she took on September 2, which was paid for by The Weinstein Co, his film production company.
Weinstein has been charged with raping a woman in a Manhattan hotel room in March 2013 and forcibly performing oral sex on a different woman in 2006.
The 67-year-old however, has maintained any sexual encounters were consensual.
Luber said Haleyi also scribbled out an entry on May 23, before the alleged sex attacks, which read: ‘Call Harvey (something) Emily’.
Another line on May 29 had something scribbled out under an email address for Charles Meech, a executive at Weinstein Co.
Luber said that the analysis did not reveal when the entries had been crossed out.
Under cross examination he said that a number of other entries in the diary had been crossed out too.
Earlier that day, the world’s top false memory expert testified at Harvey Weinstein’s rape trial that people can have entirely false memories implanted into their minds.
Dr Elizabeth Loftus, a cognitive psychologist at the University of California, said that people could develop ‘rich false memories’ that bear no relation to reality.
She said the false memories could be a result of therapy which several of Weinstein’s victims say they have been through.
Weinstein’s attorneys called her to the stand because they are looking to raise doubts about the accusers’ recollections of encounters that.
Loftus has testified at or consulted on around 1,000 court cases including on behalf of OJ Simpson, Michael Jackson and mass murderer Ted Bundy.
She told the court that if people are given ‘new information’ about their memories then it can ‘contaminate’ their recollection, in a process known as misinformation’.
She cited an example from her studies where they convinced test subjects that a thief was wearing a brown jacket but in reality it was a green one.
Another group were convinced that as a child they had got lost in a shopping mall before being rescued.
‘You can plant entire events into the minds of ordinary otherwise healthy people,’ Loftus said.
‘False memories, once created can be experienced with a great deal of emotion, a great deal of confidence and a great deal of detail, even though they’re false’.
She added that ‘the emotion is no guarantee of an authentic memory’.
Loftus said therapy could be another way that people develop new memories because patients may feel under ‘pressure’ from their therapists to produce new information and want to appear ‘cooperative’.
Defense attorney Diana Fabi Samson asked what the effect would be after 27 years, an apparent reference to actress Annabella Sciorra, who claims that Weinstein raped her in late 1993 or early 1994.
The allegation can’t be charged as a crime because the statute of limitations has passed, but prosecutors hope it will show Weinstein is a serial sexual predator.
‘That’s an extraordinarily long period of time where there can be substantial fading of memory,’ Loftus said.
Samson asked what factors could cause memories to degrade over time.
Loftus said that hearing another witness could change one’s memories, as could law enforcement asking ‘leading questions’ during interviews or in court.
She added during her testimony that Valium could be one of the prescription drugs which could affect the acquisition of memory.
Sciorra claims that she became addicted to Valium shortly before Weinstein allegedly raped her after he sent her a ‘care package’ containing the drug.
This is not the only witness the defense plans to call to the stand to discredit Weinstein’s accusers.
Warren Leight, who wrote and directed The Night We Never Met – a 1993 romantic comedy starring Sciorra.
But that isn’t Leight’s only connection to the case.
The showrunner and executive producer of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, wrote an episode based on the Weinstein saga that aired in September 2019.
In the episode, titled I’m Going to Make You a Star, the head of a big media studio is arrested after he’s accused of raping young actresses and forcing one to watch him masturbate at an audition.
In a line evoking what accusers have said of Weinstein, the mogul character tells a victim: ‘You want this part, don’t you?’
‘I thought, go big,’ Leight told PEOPLE magazine after the episode aired in September.
Sciorra, the first of six accusers to take the witness stand, was friends with Leight and testified that she brought his script of The Night We Never Met to Weinstein’s attention.
She even staged a reading with her theater company so the once-revered Hollywood mogul could hear it acted out.
Sciorra said Weinstein agreed to make the film, but only if she starred in it – something she resisted because she already had back-to-back movie shoots booked and didn’t want a third.
To help her cope with the grueling schedule, Sciorra said Weinstein sent her a ‘care package’ that included a bottle of Valium.
By the time The Night We Never Met started filming, she says she was hooked on the drug and started drinking alcohol around the same time.
On cross-examination, defense lawyer Donna Rotunno questioned if Sciorra was on Valium or drunk the night she alleges Weinstein raped her.
The actress denied both, saying she had weaned herself off the drug by then and didn’t have much to drink that night.
‘I realized I was addicted to the Valium and I was taking it during the day a lot, at nighttime,’ Sciorra testified. ‘I also knew it wasn’t good for me.’
The Night We Never Met finished filming in December 1992, according to the Internet Movie Database.
Sciorra alleges Weinstein raped her in late 1993 or early 1994 after giving her a ride home from a dinner with people in the film industry.
Rotunno foreshadowed Leight’s appearance on the witness stand as she grilled Sciorra about her use of Valium and her behavior on the set of ‘The Night We Never Met’.
At one point, the lawyer asked if Leight ever spoke to her ‘about the fact you were intoxicated.’
Sciorra said no, but later said, ‘He might have, I don’t recall.’
Prosecutors rested their case against Weinstein on Thursday after more than two weeks of testimony from about two dozen witnesses.
The first defense witness, an industry executive who remains a Weinstein ally, seemed blindsided on Thursday when a prosecutor confronted him with text messages that appeared to justify Weinstein’s behavior and bash his accusers.
Paul Feldsher, a former agent who once knew Sciorra, scolded Weinstein in November 2018 for ‘behaving like a cad.’
But in another message shown to the jury, he stuck up for Weinstein, telling him: ‘I think the dog pile of actresses who are suddenly brave and recalling repressed memories is hideous.’
The defense had hoped Feldsher would discredit Sciorra by recounting a conversation he had with her in the early 1990s in which she supposedly told him she had ‘done this crazy thing with Harvey’ but didn’t say she had been assaulted.
‘My understanding was that she fooled around with him,’ Feldsher testified.