AceShowbiz - Mel Gibson can testify about a conversation he had with one of Harvey Weinstein's accusers. However, a lawyer requested the actor, 66, cannot be questioned on the stand about his previous anti-Semitic remarks.
The rulings were made by judge Lisa B Lench on Friday, October 14 ahead of "Braveheart" actor Mel being lined up to inform a jury about a conversation he had with a masseuse, who is one of Weinstein's latest alleged victims to come forward against the shamed Hollywood boss.
Mel's involvement was challenged by lawyers for Weinstein at the start of his latest trial in Los Angeles, which sees him on 11 charges of sexual assault and rape. They claimed Mel's infamous anti-Semitic remarks in 2006 and 2010 meant he could be biased against Weinstein, who is Jewish.
But Judge Lench ruled it had little bearing on what the "Lethal Weapon" actor's testimony may contain about his conversation with the masseuse, who will be known as Jane Doe #3 at the hearings.
Weinstein, 70, is accused of committing sexual battery by restraint against the woman. Prosecutors say after getting a massage from the woman at a California hotel in Beverly Hills in May 2010, a naked Weinstein followed her into the bathroom and committed a sex act on himself.
Weinstein's attorney Mark Werksman argued for Mel being questioned about his anti-Semitic remarks by saying, "Any evidence of Mr Gibson's racism or anti-Semitism would give rise to a bias against my client, who challenged him."
Deputy District Attorney Marlene Martinez said, even tough Mel's previous comments were "despicable," they had no relevance for the matter about what he knew about his conversation with the masseuse.
Weinstein has pleaded not guilty in his new trial and denied any non-consensual sexual activity. He is serving a 23-year sentence for a 2020 conviction for rape and sexual assault in New York and the state's highest court has agreed to hear his appeal in that case.
Weinstein was brought to Los Angeles for a trial that began on Monday, October 10, five years after a string of women's stories about his behaviour spurred on the #MeToo movement.
The trial is expected to last eight weeks, and the judge and attorneys will return to the jury selection process on Monday morning, October 17, with opening statements set to start on October 24.