A Los Angeles model and actress testified Wednesday that Harvey Weinstein sexually assaulted her in 2013 after luring her to his Beverly Hills hotel room by promising to review a script she’d written.
Her voice breaking at times, 30-year-old Lauren Marie Young told jurors in Manhattan Supreme Court that Weinstein trapped her in a bathroom at the Montage Hotel, stripped naked, and groped her breasts before masturbating onto the floor just days before the Oscars.
“My hands were down to my sides because the dress was pulled down to my elbows—so my breasts were out,” Young said, dressed in a gray coat and yellow turtleneck. “At that point, he went from grabbing my right breast to touching my vagina.”
As he was masturbating—and ignoring her protests—Weinstein allegedly said, “How am I going to know if you can act?” and “This is what all actresses do to make it.”
Young is the sixth, and final, woman to testify against the toppled mogul during his sex-crimes trial as prosecutors seek to prove Weinstein exhibited a pattern of predatory behavior for over three decades.
Weinstein, 67, faces five charges, including predatory sexual assault and first-degree rape, for allegedly sexually assaulting Miriam Haleyi in 2006 and raping Jessica Mann in 2013. He has repeatedly denied all claims of nonconsensual sex.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office also included Young’s claims in sex-crime charges filed against Weinstein in that city last month—along with allegations the toppled titan raped a different woman the night before in February 2013.
As Young took the stand Monday, the Pulp Fiction producer, clad in a black suit and striped tie, stared across the courtroom and occasionally shook his head.
Young, who grew up in Pennsylvania, said she first met Weinstein at an Oscars dinner in Los Angeles in February 2012. She’d moved to L.A. from New York City because “that’s where more acting is done,” and she wanted to branch out from modeling, she said.
Young, then 22, said she was initially overwhelmed when she arrived at the 20-person dinner “for Harvey Weinstein” held at Mr. C’s in Beverly Hills because she “didn’t know anyone.” Soon, she said she began to “hit it off” with former Miss Mexico and actress Claudia Salinas, and the pair began talking about a dark comedy she was writing based on her life.
“I’d told her that I had been working on a script that I wrote based on parts of my life,” Young said. “She said it was a good idea, and Claudia gave me her email and her number.”
A year later, Young said Salinas called her about setting up a meeting with Weinstein about her script. Excited about the career opportunity, Young said she immediately agreed to meet Salinas and Weinstein on Feb. 19, 2013, at the bar at the Montage Hotel.
“I was excited, ready and I put on my best dress and I didn’t, you know, I was excited to network and pitch my idea,” Young said.
When she arrived “in the evening, around 7 or 8 p.m.,” she met Salinas in the lobby and the pair went to have drinks as they “waited for Harvey to come to the table,” she said. About 10 minutes into the conversation, Weinstein “sat down and he was on his phone.”
The table was discussing her script when Weinstein suddenly said, “What about America’s Next Top Model?”
“I said, ‘No, I don’t want to be on reality TV, I would rather wait,’” Young testified.
Suddenly, she said Weinstein claimed he had to prepare a speech for an event later with Quentin Tarantino and asked Young if she would come up to his room to finish their conversation. Salinas, she said, joined them.
“He said, ‘Let’s finish this conversation and follow me upstairs. I have to get ready to present an award or accept an award for Quentin Tarantino,’” Young said. “So I followed.”
Once the trio was upstairs, Weinstein began moving around the hotel room, prompting her to follow him around as they spoke, she said. Weinstein then walked into the bathroom and continued to talk about America’s Next Top Model and “options of being a host,” Young testified.
When she went into the bathroom, she said Weinstein immediately took off his clothes and turned on the shower. She saw Salinas leave the bathroom and close the door behind her when she looked in the bathroom mirror, she said.
“I stood there in shock and out of fear I started laughing, shaking my head and I went toward the door to open it and he was already naked,” Young said. “It was the quickest I have ever seen anybody undress. Then he stepped in front of me.”
With Weinstein standing in front of her, and the shower door opened just behind him, Young said there were several barriers blocking her from the front door to escape.
“I felt so trapped and I was in shock and I started backing away from him,” Young said, her voice breaking. “The girl that invited me closed the door, she left me there, that’s when I realized, ‘This was set up, she put me in here.’”
“I just couldn’t believe what was happening to me, and I was really worried and scared that they were going to hurt me or something,” she added.
As she started to protest and laugh nervously, she said Weinstein told her, “We’re just going to have a talk here. We’re just talking.” To try to get away from Weinstein’s naked body, she said she turned around toward the sink—at which point Weinstein “came up behind me and started to zip down my dress.”
The producer pulled down her lace white dress and then “turned me around,” she said.
“He was masturbating and grasping my boob,” Young testified.
“I said, ‘No, No, No,’ the whole time,” she added. “I told him I have a boyfriend, that I wasn’t interested.”
Young said that while she couldn’t move her arms because they were “trapped” by the sleeves of her dress, she was able to block Weinstein as he tried to touch her vagina. Soon after, Weinstein “ejaculated onto a towel... dried off” and finally removed his hands from her breasts, she said.
“He left the bathroom first and I stayed standing there in shock,” she said. “I pulled up my dress, I zipped it, and I walked out of the bathroom, and Claudia Salinas was standing right there. I shot her an evil look and I left as quickly as I could.”
Corroborating Mann’s claims that Weinstein had “extreme scarring” on his body, Young said that the toppled titan had “a disgusting looking penis.”
When asked to describe Weinstein’s penis, she said, “It looked like it had been cut, it was not a normal-looking scar from circumcision.”
“Something didn’t look normal, I remember noticing that,” she said, before adding that Weinstein’s testicles were not intact as Weinstein shook his head across the courtroom.
When she got home, Young said she immediately told two of her friends about the incident but never reported it because she was too embarrassed and terrified by Weinstein’s influence.
“I was traumatized, terrified, paranoid,” Young said, adding she was intimidated because “he has power and I was scared.”
Despite her disgust, Young said she met with Weinstein’s assistant the next day for a pre-scheduled meeting, during which she was offered a job for Top Model—which she was told would be “set up” so she would win. Young said she declined.
“I wanted to confront the issue. I thought maybe Harvey would be there, and I was going to tell him off,” Young said, explaining why she went to the meeting. While Weinstein did not attend the hour-long meeting, she said Salinas sat outside, and Young told her, “Don’t fucking look at me. Don’t talk to me.”
Young said she also declined an invitation to an Oscars Party, and she cut off all contact with the producer and his team immediately after meeting with Weinstein’s assistant. She said she never spoke to Weinstein again.
“I didn’t want the job,” she said. “I didn’t want anything to do with any of them.”
During cross-examination, defense lawyer Damon Cheronis grilled Young about the timeline of the assault, stating she told prosecutors it happened on three different dates over the span of one year.
“Isn’t it true that the first time you said this occurred in February 2013 is when you learned they had Harvey Weinstein’s records (at the hotel)?” Cheronis asked.
Young admitted she had previously given erroneous dates, stating she was “confused” and finally tracked down the correct date after gaining access to her Gmail account.
Cheronis also said Young incorrectly told L.A. investigators that she was locked in the bathroom with Weinstein after Salinas had “pushed her" inside. The lawyer noted it was impossible she was locked in the bathroom since the doors at the hotel do not lock from the outside.
“I heard a sound and I thought it locked,” Young said, but acknowledged she was “not sure” whether she told prosecutors in October 2018 that the bathroom door was locked.
James Birmingham, the executive vice president of operations at the Montage Hotel, confirmed on Tuesday during cross-examination that the hotel’s bathroom lock is located on the inside, adhering to California fire code.
Young’s allegations follow three days of graphic testimony from former actress Jessica Mann, who alleges Weinstein assaulted her multiple times after the two met at a party in 2013—including raping her in a Manhattan hotel room.
While Mann maintained she had an “extremely degrading” relationship with Weinstein, the movie mogul’s legal team argued she was manipulating him for career gain. Defense attorney Donna Rotunno showed jurors dozens of friendly emails Mann sent to the disgraced producer for years after the alleged assaults.
“I do know the emails. I’m not ashamed of them—that’s why I’m still here,” Mann said. “I know it’s complicated and difficult, but it doesn’t change the fact that he raped me.”
In addition to the tearful testimonies from Haleyi and Mann, jurors hear from Sopranos actress Annabella Sciorra, who said Weinstein violently raped her in her apartment in 1993 or 1994. Once aspiring actresses Dawn Dunning and Tarale Wulff also testified last week that Weinstein sexually assaulted them in 2004 and 2005, respectively.
On Tuesday, jurors were shown a series of nude photographs of Weinstein taken by the district attorney’s office a few weeks after his 2018 arrest to provide context for Mann and Young’s testimony.