“She was talking in this very strange whisper or voice as if she was hiding from someone,” said Perez solemnly.
“I told her, ‘Hey, Annabella, want to hang out?’ And she responded in a very weird voice like she was whispering . . . ,” Perez said, lowering her voice.
“What’s wrong with you?” Perez wanted to know.
“I think something bad happened. . . . I think I was raped . . . and her voice started shaking.” Sciorra broke down in tears, Perez recounted.
In a later conversation, Sciorra told her friend she “woke up on the floor and my nightie was up.”
The 59-year-old accuser told the jury Thursday that she was shaking on the ground after Weinstein forced sexual intercourse, then ejaculated on her leg and her nightgown, a family heirloom from Italy. Then he began performing unwanted oral sex on her, and she was paralyzed and unable to put up a fight.
Perez said she asked Sciorra whether she wanted to call the police, but her friend resisted reporting Weinstein, a powerful producer, who she later said could have ruined her career.
“I can’t. I can’t,” Sciorra told her, Perez testified. “And she hung up the phone, and I kept trying to call her back all night long, and I was so upset and she wouldn’t pick up the phone.”
Perez, whose early films include Spike Lee’s “Do the Right Thing,” said she “put two and two” together months later that the Miramax founder and filmmaking powerhouse was the rapist when she learned he was harassing Sciorra in London.
That’s when Sciorra revealed more details of the traumatic night in New York.
“She was confused why he was there. . . . He pushed his way through the door, and she was crying and saying I tried to fight back,” Perez recalled of the conversation.
“And then she said that she ended up in the bedroom with her hands pulled over her head and that he raped her.”
Sciorra, like Perez, is a Brooklyn native, and the two became good pals three decades ago.
Perez, who has a famously bubbly public persona, was serious and composed in court. The only moment of levity was when she was asked by a defense attorney to refer to a document.
“Does anybody have reading glasses?” she asked the packed courtroom. Weinstein lawyer Donna Rotunno offered hers.
Perez held back tears at one point when she admitted having betrayed a promise “never to tell anybody” Sciorra’s secret. She conveyed some of what she knew to another friend after she was reached by journalist Ronan Farrow, who in October 2017 broke one of the early stories about Weinstein’s alleged misconduct.
Earlier in court Friday, a forensic psychiatrist testified that rape and sexual assault victims often continue contact with their abuser and often stay silent about it.
The prosecution called Barbara Ziv as an expert witness to account for some of the behaviors exhibited by the accusers in Weinstein’s case.
Two of the accusers in the case — who have yet to testify — swapped friendly or even flirtatious emails with the film producer after he allegedly assaulted him. One woman — who said he raped her in a hotel room in 2013 — had a consensual sexual relationship with Weinstein for years to follow.
Sciorra kept her alleged rape a virtual secret for 25 years. The Emmy-nominated actress was in Mirimax films early in her career — “Cop Land” and “The Night We Never Met.”
Ziv said a victim’s contact with an assailant “can range from having text messages or email exchanges with them to continuing in a relationship with them, or to developing a relationship with them even if one did not exist until the sexual assault.”
Most victims want to “put it in a box or forget about it, but they can’t,” she added on direct examination by prosecutor Joan Illuzzi-Orbon.
Ziv, a Temple University professor, also testified in 2018 at Bill Cosby’s second trial for sexual assault in Pennsylvania. A short time after she gave testimony, the legendary comedian and actor was convicted on three counts. He’s now serving up to 10 years in prison.
She told the Weinstein jury that her role at trials is to dispel “commonly held beliefs” about rape and sexual assault that are untrue.
“It is a very common belief and wrong that victims of sexual assault resist their assailants,” Ziv testified.
Weinstein’s accusers in some cases do not describe physically battling him when they say he overpowered them in aggressive encounters.
His defense says the acts in question were consensual.
Weinstein, 67, faces up to life in prison on the top counts — predatory sexual assault. The charges relate to an alleged trend of sexual offenses and require the jury find “two or more” sexual assaults occurred. Sciorra’s allegation is related to those charges.
Sciorra, who was on the witness stand for five hours on Thursday, said Weinstein forced his way into her Gramercy Park apartment after giving her a ride home from a dinner they both attended in late 1993 or early 1994.
She described a terrifying experience that scarred her as she tried to bury her pain and move on.
“I didn’t want to have to talk about what happened. I disappeared . . . I began to drink a lot. I began to cut myself,” Sciorra told the jury. She said she painted her wall red and wiped her blood on it.
Former model Kara Young, Sciorra’s friend from the 1990s, also testified Friday to seeing Sciorra at an Oscars viewing party around 1994 with marks on her upper thighs. She asked what it was, and Sciorra admitted to harming herself.
Weinstein also faces individual counts of rape and criminal sex act. He is accused of forcing intercourse on aspiring actress Jessica Mann in 2013 at a Manhattan hotel. He also faces charges for performing unwanted oral sex on production assistant Mimi Haleyi in 2006 at his apartment.
Three additional accusers — including one whose allegations are the basis for new criminal charges against him in Los Angeles — are also expected to testify to support his alleged history of bad conduct.