The testimony of Mel Gibson regarding an interaction he had with one of Harvey Weinstein's accusers has been approved.
However, despite a lawyer's plea, the 66-year-old actor is unable to answer questions concerning his prior anti-Semitic statements.
The decisions were made by Judge Lisa B. Lench on Friday (14.10.22) before "Braveheart" actor Mel was scheduled to testify before the jury about a conversation he had with a masseuse, one of Weinstein's newest alleged victims to come forward against the disgraced Hollywood mogul.
Mel's involvement was contested by Weinstein's attorneys at the beginning of his most recent trial in Los Angeles, where he is facing 11 allegations of rape and sexual assault.
They asserted that Mel might be prejudiced against Weinstein, who is Jewish, as a result of his infamous anti-Semitic comments from 2006 and 2010.
Judge Lench disagreed, saying that it didn't really matter what the "Lethal Weapon" star could say in court about his talk with the masseuse, who will be referred to as Jane Doe #3.
Weinstein, 70, is charged with restraining the woman and committing sexual battery.
In May 2010, after receiving a massage from the woman at a Beverly Hills hotel in California, according to the prosecution, Weinstein followed her into the bathroom and performed a sex act on himself while still naked.
With the following justification: "Any evidence of Mr. Gibson's racism or anti-Semitism would give rise to a bias against my client, who challenged him," Weinstein's attorney Mark Werksman argued in favour of Mel being questioned about his anti-Semitic remarks.
Even if Mel's earlier remarks were "despicable," according to Deputy District Attorney Marlene Martinez, they had no bearing on the question of what he knew about his chat with the masseuse.
In his latest trial, Weinstein has entered a not guilty plea and refuted any non-consensual sexual behaviour.
The state's highest court has agreed to hear his appeal in that case, and he is now serving a 23-year sentence for a 2020 conviction for rape and sexual assault in New York.
Five years after a number of women's accounts of Weinstein's behaviour sparked the #MeToo movement, he was transported to Los Angeles for a trial that started on Monday (10.10.22).
The court and counsel will resume the jury selection process on Monday morning (17.10.22), and the trial is scheduled to last eight weeks. Opening arguments are scheduled to begin on October 24.