Harvey Weinstein will likely spend the rest of his life behind bars, a fact cemented by powerful testimony from Evgeniya Chernyshova—a 43-year-old former model and actress who had, until now, been known publicly as Jane Doe 1. “I’m tired of hiding,” Chernyshova told The Hollywood Reporter. “I want my life back. I’m Evgeniya, I’ve been raped. This is my story.”
Now a florist and mother of three, Chernyshova revealed her name a day after Weinstein was sentenced to 16 years in prison for raping her in 2013. (The disgraced mogul, who is serving a 23-year sentence in New York for sex crimes, cannot serve his Los Angeles sentence concurrently, a Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge ruled on Thursday. Weinstein denies all allegations.)
As for why she chose to remain anonymous, Chernyshova explained: “I did it because I was ashamed and humiliated. I thought it was a good decision to protect my kids. But it was a horrible decision for myself because I’ve been cut off from everyone. It isn’t right to go through this hell alone.”
In his Los Angeles trial, the 70-year-old Weinstein was convicted on three charges—forcible rape, forcible oral copulation, and penetration by a foreign object—against Chernyshova. Weinstein was acquitted of one charge, while jurors remained deadlocked on charges related to his alleged attacks on two other women, including Jennifer Siebel Newsom, who is married to Gov. Gavin Newsom. Prosecutors dropped charges of allegations made by a fifth woman, who did not appear in court to testify. District Attorney George Gascón has not announced whether Weinstein will be retried on the counts for which the jury did not reach a verdict. “I believe all of the victims who testified,” Chernyshova told The Hollywood Reporter. “All of them. And I want to say this—this is not only my victory, this is our victory.”
According to Chernyshova, Weinsten raped her at the Los Angeles Italia Film Festival during Oscars week 2013. The producer allegedly introduced himself to her, although they had previously met at an industry event in Rome, before she retreated to her room at the Mr. C Beverly Hills Hotel. As Chernyshova was preparing for bed, she says, she received a call from the front desk alerting her to Weinstein’s presence downstairs. After she rebuffed his attempt to come upstairs, Chernyshova says she heard a loud knock. “He’s like, ‘Hey, it’s Harvey Weinstein. Open the door. We have to talk. I’m not going to fuck you, I just have to talk to you,’” he said, according to Chernyshova.
In an attempt to stop his advances, Chernyshova opened the door. “And that is the thing I have regretted for the last 10 years—that I did open this door,” she told the outlet. When Weinstein began to remove his jacket, “Something clicked, like a change in his eyes,” she said. “I realized that something was wrong.”
Chernyshova, who was married at the time, drew attention to her wedding ring and talked about her children to fend Weinstein off. “But he did what he did. He assaulted me in the bedroom, and then he dragged me to the bathroom and he raped me there.”
Chernyshova wouldn’t share her story until the fall of 2017 during a conversation with her then-16-year-old daughter, Maria. Maria had been assaulted in high school. “I told her that there was only one condition that I was gonna be able to [report my case], and that’s if she also came forward with her case,” Maria told THR. She brought her case to the LAPD just weeks before bombshell New York Times and New Yorker stories about Weinstein’s pattern of sexual assault would be published.
Five years later, Chernyshova testified against Weinstein for three days, a period she called “the worst experience of my life.” After Weinstein’s guilty conviction, she filed a civil suit against him, seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages for sexual battery, false imprisonment, negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Following the sentencing, in which Chernyshova provided a stirring victim statement pleading for Weinstein to die in prison, she told THR, “I feel free, and a heavy weight and burden has been lifted off my chest. I am looking forward to a good night’s sleep.”