Daphne Zuniga, an actor best known for her roles on “Melrose Place” and “One Tree Hill,” testified in the Harvey Weinstein trial Tuesday.
She was called by the prosecution as a witness related to Jane Doe #4, who was revealed to be First Partner of California, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, the actor, filmmaker and wife to Gov. Gavin Newsom.
Zuniga is good friends with Siebel Newsom and testified that she recalls the day she first told her about a meeting with Weinstein.
Siebel Newsom has not taken the stand yet but is expected to testify in Weinstein’s case, where she will be a star witness. She came forward with abuse accusations against Weinstein in a 2017 essay in Huffington Post and alleges Weinstein raped her in 2005 when she was an up-and-coming filmmaker and actor, before she married Gov. Newsom. In recent years, she has become a leading voice for gender equality and against sexual harassment.
Zuniga and Newsom’s relationship
On Tuesday, Zuniga testified that she and Siebel Newsom first met in 2004 and quickly became close friends. Zuniga recalled hiking with Siebel Newsom in Franklin Canyon in Beverly Hills, Calif., sometime in late 2005 when Siebel Newsom informed her that she had taken a business meeting with Weinstein. When Zuniga asked her how the meeting with Weinstein went, she remembers Siebel Newsom responding, “I don’t want to talk about it.”
Zuniga said Siebel Newsom quickly changed the subject, and she never asked her friend about the Weinstein meeting again. She clearly recalled Siebel Newsom’s temperament on that hike changing from “upbeat” with “lovely energy” to “looking down” and appearing to be “agitated” and “upset.”
Zuniga explained her participation in the trial, telling the jury that Siebel Newsom had called her in 2021 to inform her that she was part of Weinstein’s case and that detectives would likely be calling Zuniga to question her. During that call, Zuniga told Siebel Newsom that she remembered their hike and would cooperate with authorities. She eventually did an interview with an investigator in December 2021.