The “Jane Doe 1” victim of Harvey Weinstein reveals her identity: “I’m Sick of Hiding”
On February 23, Weinstein was given a 16-year extension in Los Angeles for the rape of the unnamed woman known only as Jane Doe 1. Evgeniya Chernyshova finally feels ready to share her experience, and she discusses the difficult path to justice and her decision to come forward.
Evgeniya Chernyshova received a message on December 19 while she was driving to select a Christmas tree close to her Los Angeles home. She had been anticipating this message for five years in one way or another. “We have a verdict,” said the text from Chernyshova’s attorney, Dave Ring. The mother of three, 43, came to a stop in the middle of the road, turned on her emergency flashers, and started crying.
Chernyshova discovered that Harvey Weinstein had been found guilty of raping her in a hotel room in 2013 as she sat in her car with her 16-year-old daughter and 23-year-old son. Russian-born Chernyshova confesses, “I had to ask my daughter if I understood the English correctly. Why are you crying, mom? she asks. It’s fine.
For Weinstein’s victims, the LA trial had a mixed result: Chernyshova’s case was the only one to result in a conviction out of the four women the former businessman was accused of raping and assaulting there. She was the first of the 44 witnesses named by the prosecution to testify during the trial, and the only witness who was permitted to make a statement during Weinstein’s sentencing on February 23.
For forceful rape, forcible oral copulation, and penetration by foreign object, the judge gave Weinstein a 16-year sentence. It is almost certain that the 70-year-old former producer will will away in prison as a result of serving that time in addition to the 23-year term he is already serving in New York. Weinstein has always refuted the charges.
Chernyshova, a former model and actress, began the process of coming out regarding Weinstein anonymously when she reported the crime to police in 2017. Chernyshova went by the name Jane Doe 1 throughout this procedure. Before now. Speaking in front of the public for the first time, Chernyshova declares, “I’m weary of hiding. “I wish to regain my life. Evgeniya here; I was raped. This is my story.
Chernyshova spoke in-depth, frequently in tears, about her violent encounter with Weinstein, her decision to come forward at her daughter’s urging, and the isolating experience of being a Jane Doe, which she claims prevented her from connecting with other victims and being open with friends and acquaintances about what she was going through. Chernyshova’s interview took place in the Manhattan Beach office of her lawyer. Chernyshova claims she chose to stay anonymous because she felt humiliated and ashamed. “I believed that choosing to safeguard my children was a wise move. But because I’m no longer in contact with anyone, I made a terrible choice for myself. Going through this misery alone isn’t right.
Chernyshova currently owns and operates Bottega Bouquet in Beverly Hills, which specializes in floral design. Her priest and the children’s babysitter were among the few people she told about the rape that had altered her life ten years prior. She admits that speaking in public today makes her nervous about the future. Yet I’m pleased with myself. I am powerless to do action if I remain hidden. I’ll just sit there in my suffering.
Chernyshova, a Siberian native, started modeling at the age of 15. She says of her home, “A lot of people assume it’s simply ice there and white bears. Yet the summer is lovely, with lots of green and flowers. She originally wanted to become an obstetrician, but after winning a local beauty pageant, Chernyshova received a modeling contract and started to walk the runways all over the world. She eventually settled in Italy, got married, and started acting in modest roles. I was energized and enthusiastic about my life, she claims. “There, I had a really lovely career. I’ve been quite fortunate for the Siberian girl.
In 2013, Chernyshova ran upon Weinstein at the Los Angeles Italia Film Festival, which was honoring Al Pacino at the Chinese Theater in Los Angeles. They had previously exchanged pleasantries during a gathering of the entertainment world in Rome. Weinstein introduced himself, perhaps unaware that he and Chernyshova had previously interacted, and Chernyshova had no further thoughts about the meeting. Chernyshova claims that she returned to her room at the Mr. C Beverly Hills Hotel by herself that evening. When the front desk called to inform her that she had a guest below, she had already changed out of her red carpet attire and into a robe. I overheard a noisy conversation in the background, and he picked up the phone and announced, “It’s Harvey and we need to chat,” And I thought, “What?” Very perplexed. We can chat tomorrow, I said. Chernyshova was taking off her makeup when she heard a loud tap on her hotel room door a little while later. Hello, it’s Harvey Weinstein, he says. Unlock the door. We must speak. I only need to talk to you; I’m not going to, fuck you.
Chernyshova, who was married and traveling on business at the time, claims she was uncomfortable with an unknown man noisily conversing at her hotel room door. She claims that although she didn’t feel in danger, she was humiliated and wanted him to stop, so she opened the door. And opening this door is something she has regretted doing for the past ten years, she continues. He simply passed me by and walked right up to the chair. We’re simply talking, he said. Nothing is occurring. Why are you feeling so anxious? According to Chernyshova, Weinstein started to get irritated with her after taking off his jacket. Something changed as his eyes changed, she claims. “I saw that there was a problem.”
At first, Chernyshova blamed her poor command of the language and reasoned that perhaps she wasn’t communicating clearly. She talked about her kids and displayed her wedding band to Weinstein to make it clearer that she wasn’t available romantically and that she wanted him to leave. She claims that when he opened his pants, she started to cry. To persuade him that “I have kids, please do not do that,” I kept displaying photographs of my children. Nonetheless, he made his decision. Following his assault in the bedroom, he dragged me to the bathroom where he raped me. Following his remarks, Weinstein informed Chernyshova that he would give her tickets to an event and then he departed. Chernyshova cleaned her hotel room, took a shower, and called her nanny in Italy.
She struggled with depression after the rape, at times binge drinking, and she also split from her husband, who has since passed away. Chernyshova claims, “I was despise myself. There were a lot of stunning women and celebrities there, but he selected you, I kept thinking. Hence, you are the one who took action. I was mentally unstable and depressed. I was completely insane. Chernyshova thinks that she felt this shame for generational and cultural reasons. “I like my mother, but people of her generation taught me that if awful things happen to you, it’s your fault. You are accountable for it.
A talk with her daughter Maria, who was 16 at the time, in September 2017 would spark a change in Chernyshova’s viewpoint. Maria, now 21 years old, recalls that everything really began when she told her mother about the sexual attacks she had had as a sophomore in high school. Maria objected to Chernyshova’s request that she report the boy who had assaulted her and was still bullying her to the police. Maria explains, “I warned her that she would never really be able to understand me. And she admitted to me that she does comprehend since she had been sexually assaulted. Maria claims that it was tragic when mother and daughter realized they had this awful connection. Maria adds, “We were both crying, and I felt that she must have gone through a lot.”
Maria forced her mother to sign off on a deal. I explained to her that there was only one requirement before I could submit my case, and that was if she also came forward with hers. Maria spoke first, and Ring, a trial lawyer who frequently represents victims of sexual assault, was recommended to represent Chernyshova’s daughter. The New York Times and New Yorker both published articles with sexual assault allegations against Weinstein just weeks after Maria spoke to the police, and Evgeniya realized that her rape was not an isolated incident. Despite this remarkable coincidence of timing, Chernyshova was still too afraid to speak to the police about her own assault. In October 2017, Ring took her to the LAPD detectives after she told him about it. She was terrified, perplexed, and overwhelmed Ring claims. She was aware that she needed to act on this knowledge.
That was just the beginning of a very long process that would involve extensive police work in Los Angeles, numerous investigations, and several different detectives and prosecutors working the case. On the opening day of Weinstein’s eagerly anticipated trial in New York in January 2020, he was accused of raping Chernyshova in Los Angeles. The legal system shouldn’t take this long, but it did for a variety of reasons, and Ring claims that she persevered and made it through it. But because she kept hearing, “Oh, it’s going to happen, in spring, in summer,” as the year passes, it was very challenging for Evgeniya. It was simply pushed again and again and again. She was thus almost hiding out throughout this time.
Chernyshova testified at the Weinstein trial for three days in October 2022, describing the ordeal as “the worst experience of my life.” Around that time, she had trouble sleeping and was frequently throwing up due to stress. The tactics used by defense attorneys to bully and degrade you, according to her, are harsh. Chernyshova was questioned by Weinstein’s lawyer Alan Jackson about why she uploaded an Instagram picture of her grinning with Pacino at a Los Angeles Italy Film Festival event, labeled with a happy emoji, soon after the attack. Chernyshova claimed that she was making an effort to maintain a positive public image. She claims of the defense lawyer, “He intended to make me look not believable. She claims of the defense lawyer, “He intended to make me look not believable. You have to die if you don’t go outside or smile. You must die if you have been raped, end of the story. There is no afterlife.
Jurors told the Associated Press after the trial that Chernyshova’s poise while testifying was crucial to their decision to convict Weinstein. For the other three women, a different result was reached: the jury decided to acquit Weinstein in one of the victims’ cases but was unable to reach a decision in the other two. I believe every victim who gave testimony, adds Chernyshova. “They are all. We have won; this is not just my win, I want to emphasize that.
Chernyshova filed a civil lawsuit against Weinstein on February 9, just before a 10-year statute of limitations expired, asking for unspecified compensatory and punitive damages for sexual battery, false imprisonment, carelessness, and intentionally causing emotional distress.
Even after the jury rendered its decision, Weinstein’s defense team questioned Chernyshova’s moral character in an effort to get the case reopened. At Weinstein’s sentencing, the defense argued that Chernyshova’s civil lawsuit was proof of a financial motivation and that it was improper for the jury not to be allowed to consider what Jackson called “sexually explicit text messages” between Chernyshova and Pascal Vicedomini, the creator of the film festival Chernyshova was attending. As the judge noted, “I don’t think it makes her testimony untrue,” the application was denied.
Chernyshova, who was present for Maria’s punishment, made a sad victim statement to the judge, saying, “I will live with this for the rest of my life. And he ought to.” Weinstein also spoke, reiterating his innocence. While seated in a wheelchair and donning a gray L.A. County Prison jumpsuit, Weinstein declared, “This is a made-up narrative. Jane Doe 1 switched on the tears since she is an actress.
Chernyshova declared, “I feel liberated, and a tremendous weight and load have been taken off my chest,” immediately following the sentence. I am anticipating a restful night’s sleep.
After her rape, Chernyshova has changed occupations, launching a floral design company and becoming a licensed doula who has assisted in the delivery of more than 60 children. Pregnant women occasionally Googled Chernyshova and were perplexed. You’re not a doula, they said. You work as an actor. You live a public life. What’s the purpose of this? Several inquiries were asked of me.
Chernyshova anticipates being able to tell her entire experience to everyone she encounters going forward. I can speak now that I finally have a voice, she claims. “I will put just as much effort into rebuilding myself as I did into trying to destroy myself or punish myself. and to lend a hand to others. She and Maria are thinking about establishing a foundation to assist other Jane Does. Chernyshova declares, “I envisage a great future for me. It’s a solid choice.