02/10/2020 - "People's memories can become distorted," says Expert in rape trial of Harvey Weinstein

Professor Elizabeth Loftus, a human memory expert witness from the University of California, told jurors that receiving misinformation about an event, trying to remember it in therapy and discussing it with law enforcement can all distort memory.

She said: “I’ve seen a situation where people are motivated to want to try to remember more,” spurring them on to fill in “details that feel like memories.”

Hollywood mogul, Weinstein, 67, has pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting former production assistant Mimi Haleyi and raping former aspiring actress Jessica Mann. Since 2017, more than 80 women have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct.

The former Hollywood producer, denied any non-consensual sex. His trial is widely seen as a key event in the #MeToo movement in which women have accused powerful men in business, entertainment, media and politics of sexual misconduct.

Prfessor Elizabeth Loftus continued, "“There are several studies that show false memories can be expressed with a great deal of emotion,” she said. An event "can be remembered as being more upsetting or traumatic than it was at the time,"

Under cross-examination, the Professor said that people are likely to remember the core of a traumatic memory correctly, even when details surrounding it become distorted.

Prosecutors rested their case against Weinstein on Thursday, after calling six accusers to
testify against him. The defense began presenting its case on Thursday.