Former reality star Holly Madison won’t be called to testify during Harvey Weinstein’s Los Angeles rape trial, a judge ruled on Tuesday.
The defense wanted Madison to take the stand in order to undermine testimony from actress Ashley Matthau, one of the uncharged supporting witnesses. Matthau, who’s accusing Weinstein of sexual battery, claims the former mogul masturbated on her at his hotel in 2003 in Puerto Rico, where they were shooting Miramax’s “Dirty Dancing” sequel, “Havana Nights.”
Madison, who dated and lived with Playboy founder Hugh Hefner from 2001 to 2008, is close friends with Matthau. The defense intended on questioning her about the two partying together at the Playboy Mansion to prove that Matthau wasn’t a “young, sexually inexperienced naif” who was unfamiliar with “the ways of Hollywood.”
“They want to portray her as this innocent girl but they don’t want me to ask about all the fun times she spent frolicking in the grotto at Hugh Hefner’s mansion with Playboy bunnies,” Weinstein’s lawyer Mark Werksman said.
“Holly Madison had been down on her luck financially and used Hugh Hefner as a meal ticket,” he said, noting their age difference.
When Werksman insisted that he should be “entitled” to ask about Matthau’s relationship with Madison, deputy district attorney Marlene Martinez said “who she partied with has nothing to do with her being assaulted … whatever friendship she has with Holly Madison has nothing to do with her being assaulted.”
Judge Lisa B. Lench agreed with the prosecution, ruling against Madison’s testimony.
Madison has been increasingly vocal recently about her negative experiences as Hefner’s girlfriend, including in interviews for the 2022 A&E docuseries “Secrets of Playboy.”
Jury selection continues on Tuesday as Weinstein faces 11 counts of sexual assault against five women between 2004 to 2013.
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