A judge ruled Wednesday that Harvey Weinstein will face one less witness at his Los Angeles trial in October.
Prosecutors were previously granted the right to subpoena five witnesses of “previous bad behavior” to testify against the disgraced producer in support of five other women whose claims formed the basis of the charges in the case.
But one of the witnesses – known in court only as “my lady”. – It has since been decided that she does not want to testify. On Wednesday, prosecutors asked the court for permission to replace her with another witness. But Judge Lisa Rench denied the request, saying the woman’s testimony was too similar to that of other witnesses.
Weinstein, 70, is facing 11 counts of rape and sexual assault related to five alleged victims. He has served 23 years in prison after being convicted of rape and sexual assault in New York in February 2020.
One of the four supporting witnesses was Italian model and actress Ambra Battilana Gutierrez, who first reported Weinstein to the NYPD in 2015. She claims Weinstein touched her and tried to get his hands up her skirt.
The Manhattan district attorney’s office chose not to indict Weinstein over the incident, leading to widespread criticism after the Weinstein scandal finally broke out two years later. The Los Angeles trial will be her first opportunity to testify about the incident.
Prosecutors also want to call him “Lauren S.” — mentioning Lauren Sivan — who claims Weinstein masturbated in front of her in a New York restaurant. But Lench ruled Wednesday that her testimony would be closely related to the allegations of the other three plaintiffs and therefore redundant.
The judge denied Weinstein’s attorneys’ request for a pretrial evidentiary hearing with testimony from each of the “previous bad behavior” witnesses — none of whom testified before a grand jury. The judge also rejected the defense’s request for witnesses to communicate with law enforcement, saying the prosecution was not legally obligated to turn over the material.