A dancer who was a body double in the 2004 Harvey Weinstein-produced film Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights took the stand Thursday in Weinstein’s Los Angeles sexual assault trial. A so-called “prior bad acts” witness, Ashley M. gave a harrowing account of a hotel encounter with Weinstein during the Miramax film’s 2003 production in Puerto Rico that ended with Weinstein allegedly masturbating on her.
It marked the fourth day of testimony in the trial in which Weinstein faces a maximum sentence of more than 100 years in prison if convicted on grand jury charges for four counts of rape, four counts of forcible oral copulation, one count of sexual penetration by use of force, plus one count of sexual battery by restraint and sexual battery.
Ashley M, who is not a charged victim in the case, testified that she was 22 and met Weinstein on the set of the film. After getting her alone for a private conversation he said something about a “naked massage,” according to pool reports about her testimony. After she told Weinstein she was engaged, she said he said he had done things like the naked massage with Gwyneth Paltrow and it would be good for her career.
She says she was trying to figure out a way out of the situation. “I’m supposed to be on set, which I was… so I thought I would just be able to go on set. He replied saying I’m the one in charge here they all answer to me,” she says.
She described him as “aggressive” and it made her “scared.”
Weinstein told her he would be waiting for her to take her to the hotel. Ashley M testified she called her fiance and mother and said she was “afraid” that there was only entrance to the set and he’d be waiting there.
Weinstein was in front of the entrance to the set when she got back, along with his assistant at the time Bonnie Hung. “At that point I felt better just knowing that I wasn’t alone,” Ashely M testified about seeing another woman.
Ashley described Weinstein as “very aggressive and like ordering me to walk to Bonnie and get in the car,” which she described as a limo.
Said Ashley: “I gave her a look like, can you help me, with my eyes, and she looked me in the eyes and said, ‘Don’t worry I’ll be with you the entire time he just wants to talk about future projects.’”
“This girl is looking me right in the eye and I’m not alone and I felt more at ease,” Ashley M. says.
At the hotel, the three went up to a room.
“I went in and he went in and… And then Bonnie shut the door behind us,” she said.
“Oh no. What do I do?” Ashley M. says it went through her mind.
“Harvey started to get aggressive and he eventually like shoved me on the bed,” she testified. “He was just saying a bunch of stuff and he shoved me and he ended up taking off my top and my clothes, my bra.”
“It’s not like we’re having sex, it’s just naked cuddling,” she said Weinstein said.
“I had no idea what to do, I was scared,” she testified, according to pool reports.
She said she told him to stop but “I just remember in my head thinking what do I do?” Should I make a run for it, but I knew that he was just really big and I knew Bonnie was most likely out there so I didn’t know what to do.”
Describe herself as “hysterical” said she was crying as this was going on.
She testified that Weinstein began to straddle her, then started masturbating after taking his own clothes off. “He just said it’s OK, it’s not like we’re having sex. And then he ejaculated on me, on my breasts and some on my face.
“I was just really thankful that I wasn’t raped. I remember thinking and I remember wiping off just getting dressed really fast and leaving really fast.”
Later, she testified she called her mother and told her “what happened but not graphic details.” She also called her fiance, saying, “Harvey masturbated and I was upset.” She said she didn’t tell her fiancé he actually finished.
Ashley M. never reported the assault, saying, “I felt that at that time everyone was afraid of their career and stuff. Nobody helped me at the dinner so why would they help me now.”
Court resumes Friday.