Claudia Salinas in court Monday.
In dramatic testimony on Monday, a model and social media influencer vehemently denied luring Lauren Marie Young to Harvey Weinstein’s hotel suite and shutting the door to the bathroom, where he allegedly trapped Young, and masturbated while groping her breast.
“That never happened,” Claudia Salinas, 38, said in court Monday. “If I had done that, I would remember that. I never closed a door behind anybody ever.”
Last week, Young, also a model, testified that Salinas followed her and Weinstein into the producer’s hotel suite after a meeting at the hotel bar in Los Angeles in 2013. In her testimony, Young said Salinas shut the suite’s bathroom door, trapping Young inside with Weinstein where Weinstein allegedly groped Young while masturbating naked. Young claimed that Salinas was “standing right there” when she managed to leave the bathroom.
Salinas said that the meeting at the Montage hotel bar took place, but contested other aspects of Young’s account of the night. Not only did Salinas deny shutting the bathroom door on Young, she also denied being in a hotel suite altogether.
However, Salinas acknowledged that she previously told investigators that she did not know if Young went to Weinstein’s room that night and that her only recollection of the “uneventful” evening was that she had met Weinstein and Young for drinks at the hotel bar.
Salinas had told investigators last year that she did not remember if anything had happened after she, Weinstein, and Young met for drinks.
“I don’t recall, but it could have happened,” Salinas had told investigators in 2019, referring to the alleged assault.
She told the court Monday, “I meant that if it happened, I most certainly wasn’t there.”
She also said that she wasn’t present in any “bathroom scenario” involving Young or Weinstein and said that she had never seen Weinstein in a bathroom robe.
Weinstein’s defense lawyer called Salinas to the stand Monday and within seconds, asked her about the events of the evening in question.
In a dramatic rapid-fire exchange, Weinstein’s lawyer, Damon Cheronis, asked Salinas if she had ever seen Weinstein run out of a bathroom suite naked.
“No,” she replied.
“Did you ever lure Lauren Young into a bathroom with Harvey Weinstein?” Cheronis asked her, to which Salinas, said, “No.”
He asked her if she had ever locked Young in a bathroom with Weinstein and if she had ever stood outside a bathroom door with Young and Weinstein inside. Salinas emphatically said “no.”
“Did you ever see Lauren Young follow a naked Harvey Weinstein out of a bathroom with a white dress around her elbows? Cheronis asked, to which Salinas said, “absolutely not.”
“Are you sure?” Cheronis asked Salinas.
“Yes, I’m sure,” she replied. “I would remember that.”
Salinas, who first met Weinstein when she was 19, described the then-powerful Hollywood producer as being “flirtatious” with her.
She also said that she had been to Weinstein’s hotel suites on other occasions but did not remember “that particular suite,” in which Young said that the alleged assault took place.
She said that there were always “other people” in the hotel suites including Weinstein’s assistants and hotel staff whenever she had visited him.
Salinas told the court that Weinstein always told her to bring her “good-looking friends” to events he invited her to, but said that she thought it was an “innocent suggestion.”
Salinas said she often brought her friends to events, adding, “All my friends are good looking,” provoking some laughter in the packed courtroom.
She also told the court that Weinstein had a “very strong personality” and that “at times, he wasn’t nice to me.” She said that Weinstein never helped her with her career. Salinas has appeared in three of Weinstein’s movies, including Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights, Hell Ride, and Crossing Over.
- A Model Said Harvey Weinstein Trapped Her In A Hotel Bathroom And Masturbated While Groping Her BreastNishita Jha · Feb. 5, 2020
- The Testimony That Changed The Harvey Weinstein StoryNishita Jha · Feb. 3, 2020
- The Harvey Weinstein Rape Trial Heard Its Most Horrific Testimony YetNishita Jha · Jan. 31, 2020
Tasneem Nashrulla is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Tasneem Nashrulla at [email protected]
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