California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s wife, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, emailed Harvey Weinstein asking for help handling a sex scandal involving her husband — two years after she says the film producer raped her.
A judge gave permission on Monday for the email to be presented by the defense in Weinstein’s Los Angeles sex crimes trial, but said it was forbidden from discussing the email’s topic.
Siebel Newsom — known in the trial as Jane Doe 4 — emailed Weinstein in 2007 asking for advice on how to navigate the “bad press” that began when her then-boyfriend Gavin Newsom admitted to having an affair with his campaign manager’s wife.
Weinstein’s attorney, Mark Werksman, argued for the inclusion of the email’s details.
“Of all things you’d think a woman that is raped by Harvey Weinstein wouldn’t do, it’s [ask him] how to deal with a sex scandal,” Werksman said.
The defense will be prohibited from questioning Siebel Newsom about the affair, but will be able to ask her about the advice she sought from Weinstein.
The defense plans on using the email as proof the pair were close, which they argue wouldn’t be the case if Weinstein had assaulted her.
“The fact that she comes to Mr. Weinstein for advice indicates the friendship and companionship of Jane Doe 4 and Mr. Weinstein. The defense will be that they had an affair, that they had consensual sex,” Werksman said.
He added: “She comes to him to basically navigate a sex scandal.”
The prosecution argued that Siebel Newsom’s personal life had no relevance to the case.
Deputy District Attorney Marlene Martinez said it was clear Weinstein was the “masterful media manipulator.”
“We don’t think Jane Doe 4’s response to her boyfriend has anything to do with this trial,” Martinez said.
Five of Weinstein’s accusers, including California’s first lady, are expected to take the stand in LA during the trial, which could take months.
On Monday the judge also decided a tweet from Siebel Newsom would not be allowed as evidence.
The defense had hoped to include the tweet, which was about former President Barack Obama’s daughter Malia getting an internship at The Weinstein Company, as evidence.
Siebel Newsom wrote, “I don’t know why this is being celebrated” in regards to the internship. “She will probably just be assaulted.”
“It is snarky, but it is snarky because she had been raped, and she wanted to let the public know?” asked Martinez.
During the ongoing jury selection, potential jurors were asked if they would be able to impartially evaluate the governor’s wife when she took the stand.
Weinstein is facing four counts of rape and seven counts of sexual assault from five women in LA. The disgraced movie mogul is hoping to appeal a 23-year conviction for rape and assault in New York.