LOS ANGELES (AP) – Mel Gibson can testify about what he learnt from one of Harvey Weinstein’s accusers, a judge ruled on Friday in the rape and sexual assault trial of the former movie mogul.
The 66-year-old actor and director was one of many witnesses and by far the best known, whose identities were revealed in Los Angeles Superior Court. The judge and attorneys had taken a break from jury selection for motions on what evidence will be allowed at the trial, and who can testify. The witness list for the trial is sealed.
Weinstein is accused of committing sexual battery by restraint against the woman, one of 11 rape and sexual assault counts in the trial against the 70-year-old masseuse known as Jane Doe #3 at the trial.
Judge Lench said Gibson’s testimony will depend on how the accuser describes the exchange with him when she takes the stand, and she may choose to rule against it at that time.
Gibson’s testimony raises the prospect of two of Hollywood’s once most powerful men, who have undergone public downfalls, facing each other in court.
An email seeking comment from a representative for Gibson was not immediately returned.
Weinstein is already serving a 23-year sentence for a 2020 conviction for rape and sexual assault in New York. The state’s highest court has agreed to hear his appeal in that case.
He was subsequently brought to Los Angeles for a trial that began on Monday, five years after women’s stories about him gave massive momentum to the #MeToo movement.
Friday’s arguments came a day after the premiere of the film ‘She Said’ which tells the story of the work of the two New York Times reporters whose stories brought Weinstein down.
The trial is expected to last eight weeks. The judge and attorneys will return to the jury selection process tomorrow morning, and opening statements are expected to begin on October 24.