Mel Gibson could possibly take the stand in Harvey Weinstein’s sex crimes trial here in Los Angeles.

In a motions hearing today at the Criminal Courts building in downtown Los Angeles, lawyers for the incarcerated producer and the L.A. Country District Attorney’s office argued over whether or not the Oscar-winning Gibson would be allowed to testify as a corroborating witness for Jane Doe No. 3 in the upcoming trial.

In May 18, 2021, Gibson said in an interview that when he was getting a massage from Jane Doe #3, he noticed that when he mentioned “Harvey,” the woman began to cry. The initial response and more gave Gibson the idea that Weinstein had sexually assaulted or groped her. The alleged assault by Weinstein occurred at a hotel in LA County in 2010, according to court documents.

Even though Judge Lisa Lench will allow Gibson to take the stand in the high-profile trial, that does not mean that he necessarily will. In cases like this, it is common that there are more witnesses on the list than are actually called, not matter how much star power they have. Though Gibson’s potential presence on the stand was discussed in open court today, the witness list in the Weinstein trial remains officially sealed.

Weinstein lawyer Mark Werksman unsuccessfully argued Friday that GIbson did not like Weinstein and should not be allowed to give testimony.

“Shortly after (Gibson’s film The Passion of the Christ) came out, Mr. Weinstein’s publishing company, Miramax Books, put out a book called Perspectives on Passion of the Christ debunking the movie’s anti-semitic overtones and false depiction of the Jews.”  

“This created a feud between Mr. Gibson and a Weinstein. Mr. Weinstein is jewish … Mr. Gibson knew that,” Werksman said, as the first week of jury selection wrapped up. The defense lawyer continued, “Any evidence of Mr. Gibson’s racism or anti-semitism would give rise to a bias against my client, who challenged him.” 

The judge said Weinstein’s lawyers could bring up the Passion of the Christ and Weinstein’s book on its anti-Semitism argument, but not quotes from Gibson’s 2006 arrest in which he made anti-Semitic remarks.

With California First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom now identified among the alleged victims and expected to testify, Weinstein faces grand jury indictments of four counts of rape, four counts of forcible oral copulation, one count of sexual penetration by use of force, plus one count of sexual battery by restraint and sexual battery in incidents involving five women in L.A. County from 2004 to 2013. Sentenced to 23-years in prison by a Manhattan jury in March 2020 for multiple sex crimes, and moved to the West Coast in the summer of 2021., 70-year old Weinstein is looking at 140 years behind bars if found guilty in L.A.

Once a jury is seated in the trial at the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center, opening statements are expected to begin on October 23.


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