Harvey Weinstein’s LA rape trial hears he used the pseudonym ‘Max Poster’ to check into hotel
Harvey Weinstein apparently used the pseudonym ‘Max Poster’ to check into the Montage Hotel the night he is accused of masturbating on an aspiring actress, and a model says cops gave her a wire to wear around the disgraced producer.
Lauren Young had testified at the convicted sex offender’s Los Angeles rape trial on Monday that she had met Weinstein about a script she wrote in 2013, when, she claimed, actress Claudia Salinas locked her and the former film producer in the bathroom of his suite at the Montage Hotel.
On Tuesday, Andy Flor, the hotel’s custodian of records, seemed to confirm at least part of her story, saying Weinstein frequently used aliases at the hotel, including Max Poster and Harvey Heller.
Flor also confirmed that he stayed at the hotel under one of those aliases in February 2013, in Room 520, at the time that Young claims Weinstein cornered and masturbated on her.
Also on Tuesday, model Ambra Battilana Gutierrez testified she wore a wire around Weinstein to try and record him admitting to groping her. Cops were nearby while she hung out with the producer at the hotel, with one officer even pretending to be a TMZ reporter as to not blow his cover.
Weinstein, 70, was previously convicted in New York of rape and sexual assault, and was sentenced to 23 years in prison.
He is now facing another 11 counts of sexual battery by restraint, with another of his alleged victims testifying on Tuesday how the former Miramax head grabbed her breast as she posed for a photo shoot.
If convicted, Weinstein could face life in a California prison.
Former movie producer Harvey Weinstein faces life in prison in California on 11 counts of sexual battery by restraint
He apparently used aliases Max Poster and Harvey Heller to check into the Mirage Hotel in Beverly Hills, where he allegedly sexually assaulted Lauren Young in February 2013
In court on Monday, Young described in brutal detail how she was an aspiring actress and screenwriter in February 2013 who had scored a rare meeting with Weinstein through Claudia Salinas, who was his personal assistant at the time.
She said the former movie mogul was distracted and uninterested in anything she had to say, and suggested she might be a reality television host on a show like America’s Next Top Model, which his company helped produce.
At one point, Young said, Weinstein said he had to get ready to go present an award to Quentin Tarantino at the Los Angeles Italia Film Festival and suggested she accompany him to his room to continue the discussion.
So Young said she followed Weinstein into his suite at the Montage and into his bathroom.
Young added that she thought there would be another door on the other side, and he was leading her somewhere else — but was shocked to see actress Claudia Salinas close the door behind them, and that she was ‘trapped.’
That is when, she said, ‘Harvey Weinstein started the shower and immediately took off his clothes.’
‘I was disgusted,’ she continued. ‘I had never seen a big guy like that naked.
‘I actually laughed nervously and thought ‘no, no, no,” she added as she began to cry.
Lauren Young told jurors at Weinstein’s trial how she was aspiring actress who had hoped to meet the former film producer about a script she wrote in 2013, when actress Claudia Salinas locked her and Weinstein in the bathroom of the Montage Hotel and he masturbated on her
During cross-examination of Young, Weinstein’s attorney Alan Jackson poked holes in her story about being ‘locked’ in the bathroom and gave visual drama with a dress she had worn
Meanwhile, Young said, Weinstein simply continued their conversation.
‘He was just staring at me talking,’ Young recalled.
‘I had never seen someone that big naked, so I just couldn’t fathom what was even happening to me right now,’ she said.
‘He was just talking about the business and other actresses. And saying this is what they do, this is how I know you can act.’
‘I kept saying ‘no no no,’ she recounted. ‘He just ignored what I said.’
‘Everything happened so fast.’
Young was not one of the accusers whose stories would lead to Weinstein’s conviction of rape and sexual assault, and his eventual 23-year prison sentence. She is pictured here in 2020
Young said Weinstein’s assistant at the time, Claudia Salinas, invited her to meet with the movie mogul to discuss her script. She is pictured walking into court on Monday
At that point, Young said, Weinstein got into the shower while Young tried to make her escape.
But, she said, Weinstein got out of the shower and blocked her from the door before she could get away.
‘He said, ‘We’re just gonna talk,’ I said ‘no, no no no.’
Still, Weinstein continued to harass her, and soon started ‘touching’ her.
Young said she backed up toward the sink and turned away from the movie mogul, but he unzipped the back of her dress and pulled it down to around her hips.
‘He was grabbing my breasts and jerking off, like squinting at me, not looking at me,’ she said. ‘Holding me there and talking to me.’
‘He was just masturbating and groping me.’
She said she kept saying ‘no’ throughout, but he continued for several minutes, and also tried to touch her vagina — though she blocked him with her hands from penetrating her.
‘I was really grossed out by his body and the look he was giving me,’ Young said. ‘I was wondering: ‘How do I get out of here safe, what am I going to do? What are they gonna do to me?’
‘I was very numb feeling,’ she continued. ‘I felt like I was outside of my body watching what was happening, I couldn’t move I was frozen. I was so scared.’
‘I was scared of Harvey Weinstein … that he would hurt me, or send someone to hurt me, or ruin my career, or make my life hell.’
After groping her for several minutes, Young said, ‘he went back to groping my right breast even harder’ before ejaculating on the towel he was using and leaving the bathroom.
‘I was in so much shock, I was wondering how I was going to leave, and if they were going to let me leave,’ she said. ‘I just wanted to get out of there as soon as possible.’
‘I pulled up my dress and I exited the bathroom.’
‘I saw Claudia Salinas right there. I shot her an evil look. She didn’t say anything. She looked at me. She had this evil look. Like a smirk. Like she roped me in on something.’
She said she also saw Weinstein changing clothes before she walked out of the suite to a car.
‘I sat in my car and cried and was in complete shock. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know if I should call the cops.
‘I wondered ‘What do I do? This guy is so powerful.’ I didn’t know what to do. I called my friends, got a hold of them, messaged them.’
Ultimately, Young said, she decided not to tell police about what she had experienced.
‘I was scared at that point that he might have an in with the cops or was corrupt like that,’ she said. ‘I knew he had a lot of power I was really scared.’
But Weinstein’s famed defense attorney, Alan Jackson, tried to rip apart her testimony, by showing the jury photos of the bathroom door on a hinge.
He claimed that her ‘dramatic description’ of the door sliding closed past Salinas’ face was ‘completely false.’
‘Do you want to change your statement about being trapped and locked in that bathroom?’ Jackson asked. ‘You’re describing a full-blown kidnapping, right?’
Jackson pointed out that Young had told the detective she was ‘positive’ door was locked because she was ‘tugging’ on it.
‘And the problem is, the door doesn’t lock from the outside, and it’s not a sliding door, right?’ he pushed.
She responded: ‘I felt trapped.’
‘I’m not asking what you felt, I’m asking what you said,’ he fired back.
‘I felt locked in there — I was describing how I felt,’ Young responded.
Jackson shot back: ‘You felt that you were locked in there, but you were not locked in there. You felt that you were being sexually assaulted, but you were not.’
‘I was definitely sexually assaulted by Harvey Weinstein,’ Young said.
Ambra B., a European model, detailed in court on Tuesday how Weinstein groped her during a photo shoot
Meanwhile, another woman who has accused Weinstein of sexual assault told how she wore a wire to get him to admit what he had done.
Model Ambra Battilana Gutierrez told the jury how she first met Weinstein at a party on March 26, 2015 after she went to see the New York Spring Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall.
The next day, she said, she had a model casting at the Tribeca Film Center, with her agent telling her it was with the man she met the night before.
So, Gutierrez said, she went to the modeling call where Weinstein made her pose for bikini and lingerie photos — and asked whether her breasts were real.
‘It was weird, because nobody ever asked,’ she said. ‘Even if it’s not, you don’t ask.’
But Weinstein apparently wouldn’t back down, allegedly asking her, ‘Are you sure?’ before grabbing her breast.
‘At first I just stood still, I was just shocked,’ the Italian model recounted. ‘The moment that he started trying to ask me for a kiss is when I reacted and pushed back.’
‘He was putting his hand on my leg and was repeating ‘Just give me a kiss,” she said. ‘I said, ‘Sorry, I don’t do these things with people I don’t know.”
At that point, Gutierrez said, Weinstein apologized and moved away from her.
‘I was wanting to just get out of there, but I was not wanting to say to anyone what happened,’ she recounted. ‘If he did that in his office with people outside, I just wasn’t feeling safe.’
Gutierrez said she did not have many people she could talk to in the city about what had happened, so she decided to call her agent, Robbie Hoffman, who had just been leaving for dinner with his fiancée when she arrived that night.
‘I told them this person touched me, and touched my breasts,’ she said. ‘I told him that in his office Mr. Weinstein touched my breasts and tried to kiss me and everything that happened.
‘I said I wanted to go to the police … He was really against it.’
‘He said, ‘Are you sure? You know this person, who he is, what he can do to you?’
But, Gutierrez said she made up her mind, and made a report with the New York Police Department, who sent her to the special victims unit.
That is when, she said, she received an email from Weinstein, saying he was waiting for her at a show he was going to get her tickets to.
The police advised her to have Weinstein call her, she said, and handed her a paper telling her what to ask him.
In a recording of the conversation, which was submitted into evidence, Weinstein appears to apologize for groping her.
‘You’re beautiful, and you’re such a smart woman,’ he tells Gutierrez. ‘I also felt about about, I don’t want to be aggressive with you.’
Then when Gutierrez expresses misgivings about her breasts and his question on whether they’re real, he replies: ‘Honey, honey, they feel beautiful, OK?’
Gutierrez said she agreed to wear a wire when meeting with Weinstein in an effort to get him to admit to his crimes
Gutierrez later agreed to see Finding Neverland at Weinstein’s behest on March 28, and meet him at the Tribeca Grand restaurant and hotel afterwards.
Unbeknownst to Weinstein, Gutierrez was wearing a wire to capture what the sex pest told her and recorded the conversation on her iPhone as a backup.
She said he spoke a lot about how she should learn to act and get started in the industry, even though she said she was not an actress.
At one point, she said, Weinstein told her he needed to go get ready for something in the hotel upstairs and she reluctantly agreed to follow him.
Eventually, Gutierrez tells Weinstein she had to go back downstairs to get her jacket, which she had left on purpose, and Weinstein followed her.
One of the undercover cops then pretended to be a journalist, from TMZ, asking them questions about what was happening, trying to keep them from going into hotel room.
‘I was playing like I didn’t know what was happening,’ Gutierrez told the jury.
Eventually, they went back into the hotel through a service entrance and took an elevator up to the penthouse.
As the elevator reached the eighth floor, Gutierrez said: ‘I panicked.
‘I knew that nobody knew I was there. I don’t think anybody had really followed me, my phone wasn’t really working.
‘I thought he would do the same as what he did the day before, or maybe more,’ she said, noting that she kept telling Weinstein ‘I wanted to go.
‘He said “OK just leave, but don’t contact me anymore” or something like that,’ she recalled.
In the recording from that night, which was played in court on Tuesday, Weinstein says they’ll maybe do a ‘massage, something nice.’
Then when Gutierrez says she doesn’t want to, Weinstein replies: ‘We’ll see, we’ll see.’
He goes on to say he will take a shower and ‘maybe we’ll just talk a little bit.’
Reluctantly, Gutierrez said, she agreed to go with him.
When they got to the hallway upstairs, Gutierrez said she started to panic, with a video of her interaction with Weinstein showing him pressuring her to get into his room at the hotel.
‘What do we have to do here?’ she asks the film producer.
‘Nothing,’ he replies. ‘I’m going to take a shower, you sit there and have a drink.’
She asks if she could instead stay at the bar, to which Weinstein says: ‘No. You must come here now.’
When she again refuses, Weinstein seems to get desperate saying: ‘I’m not doing anything with you, I promise. Now you’re embarrassing me.’
But Gutierrez continues to refuse saying ‘yesterday was kind of aggressive for me’ and ‘I need to know a person to be touched.’
Still, Weinstein insists he ‘won’t do a thing.
‘Just sit with me. Don’t embarrass me in the hotel,’ he is recorded as saying. ‘I’m here all the time. Sit with me, I promise.’
‘I won’t do anything and you’ll never see me again after this. OK? That’s it,’ Weinstein says desperately, later telling her: ‘Don’t ruin your friendship with me for five minutes.’
Finally, Gutierrez said she was able to convince Weinstein to go back to the bar, where she ducked out and hid for the rest of the night in the bathroom.
But during cross examination, Jackson pushed Gutierrez on the alleged sexual assault.
‘The underlying incident that all this is about is that Mr. Weinstein touched your breast one time. For one second,’ he said.
‘I don’t know if it was one second, it felt a lot longer. It felt like an eternity,’ she replied.
He also asks her why she previously said Weinstein touched her on the leg and not on the breast, which Gutierrez said she did not recall.