Harvey Weinstein's defence rests without disgraced producer giving evidence

11 February 2020, 17:51 | Updated: 12 February 2020, 13:49

Harvey Weinstein's defence has concluded its case without the disgraced film producer giving evidence at his rape trial in New York.

The 67-year-old's lawyers called only a few witnesses as they tried to undercut his accusers' case.

One of those witnesses was a former agent of Jessica Mann, who has accused Weinstein of raping her in a Manhattan Hotel one morning in March 2013.

Thomas Richards, who was subpoenaed by the defence, said he had breakfast with Mann and Weinstein the same day, and the dynamic between them appeared to be "friendly".

Asked by Weinstein's lawyer Damon Cheronis whether he was testifying to help Weinstein, Richards said: "Not at all."

But under cross examination by Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzzi, Richards said he had been drinking the night before the breakfast and his memory of the following day was not clear.

A former friend of Mann's, Talita Maia, said Mann did not show any distress after the alleged attack.

Mann, who was an aspiring actress, has said that Richards was with her in New York at the time.

The judge is expected to instruct jurors not to view Weinstein's decision not to testify as a sign of guilt.

Prosecutors rested their case last Thursday after jurors heard testimony from six women accusing Weinstein of sexual assault.

Closing arguments are expected to begin later this week.

The former producer, who has denied any non-consensual sex, has pleaded not guilty to raping Mann, and to sexually assaulting former production assistant Mimi Haleyi in 2006.

He faces life in prison if convicted of predatory sexual assault - the most serious charge against him.