A dancer in the Harvey Weinstein-produced film Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights took the stand on Thursday during the movie mogul’s second criminal trial in Los Angeles.
The woman, referred to in court as “Ashley M.,” was shaking as she testified how the Hollywood producer approached her while filming in Puerto Rico in 2003 and demanded that she give him a “naked massage.”
She told the court that, at the time, she was a 22-year-old professional dancer, serving as a dance double in the movie Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights produced by Weinstein’s former production company, Miramax. Weinstein allegedly visited the set prior to the woman filming a ballroom scene and took her aside to assault her.
“He said it would just be a naked massage…and not to worry about it,” Ashley M. said in tears. “He said, ‘Look at Gwyneth Paltrow and what it did for her career.'”
She said she was disturbed by the proposal and went to the film’s choreographer and producer for advice.
“Did either of them give you any sort of help?” Deputy District Attorney Marlene Martinez asked her.
“No,” Ashley M. replied.
“How did you feel then?” Martinez questioned.
“Freaked out,” she answered.
Harvey Weinstein forced Dirty Dancing performer on bed
Ashley M. said she rejected Weinstein’s advances and was relieved when producers called for a break. She also testified on Tuesday at Los Angeles Superior Court that when she told a producer and a choreographer what had happened, they did nothing.
When she returned from dinner, Weinstein was waiting for her, along with his assistant, Bonnie Hung. He became “very aggressive” and told her to get into the limo with Hung.
“I gave [Hung] a look like, ‘Can you help me’ with my eyes,” Ashley M. said. “She looked me in the eyes and said, ‘Don’t worry. I will be with you the entire time. He just wants to talk about projects.'”
She later agreed to meet Weinstein in his hotel room to discuss potential future projects, as long as Hung was with them.
“I was worried but yet I felt comforted that Bonnie was there…but I was wondering what was going on,” she said.
Once inside his room, the woman told the court that Hung allegedly “shut the door behind us. I was like, ‘Oh no, what do I do?'”
According to the dancer, Weinstein pinned her onto the bed, took her top off, and masturbated on her despite her objections.
The woman, who, at the time, was about 115 pounds (52 kg), said Weinstein’s size overpowered her as he straddled her at one point and groped her breasts. She admitted even though she couldn’t see Weinstein’s genitalia she did see him masturbate.
“He said, ‘It’s OK, it’s not like we’re having sex,'” Ashley M. said. “He ejaculated on me…on my breasts and some got on my face.”
Dancer thankful she wasn’t raped
Ashley M. said she cleaned herself up and got dressed. She said she remembers feeling thankful that she wasn’t raped.
When she opened the hotel door, Hung was standing right outside holding a clipboard.
The dancer claimed that Hung avoided looking at her, and the three drove back to the Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights set.
Following the sexual assault, Ashley M. said she called her mom and fiancé, but she was too ashamed to tell them what happened. The woman also admitted that she did not tell anyone on set about the assault.
“I felt like, at the time, everyone was afraid for their careers,” she said. “No one helped me at the dinner. Why would they help me now?”
Harvey Weinstein Los Angeles trial
Harvey Weinstein is on trial yet again for sex crimes—this time in Los Angeles.
The Dirty Dancing performer is the second person in the trial to testify against Weinstein but also one of four victims who is not directly involved in the charges brought against him.
Five years ago, Harvey Weinstein’s sexual abuse spurred women to speak publicly about their own experiences with sexual violence. This incident inspired the #MeToo movement. The movement led to a series of allegations across multiple industries that brought the swift ouster of many men in positions of power both in the United States and around the world.
Now, nine women are set to testify in a trial similar to the one that led to Weinstein’s landmark conviction two years ago. He was found guilty in New York in 2020 of first-degree criminal sexual act and third-degree rape and was sentenced to twenty-three years in prison. He appealed the sentence.
In the opening arguments on Monday, the victims highlighted Weinstein’s familiar pattern. He would target young women and set appointments to discuss their careers across a number of Los Angeles hotels. When the women showed up, he would force himself on them in his private room.
“They feared that he could crush their careers if they reported what he had done to them,” Deputy District Attorney Paul Thompson said on behalf of the witnesses.
The seventy-year-old movie producer has pleaded not guilty to eleven charges based on allegations of sexual assault at Los Angeles hotels between 2004 to 2013.
Prosecutors say Weinstein faces up to 135 years in prison.
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