A leading figure in New Zealand’s entertainment industry is on trial in the Rotorua High Court.Photo/Andrew Warner
Warning: distressing content
An entertainment hopeful says she was lured out for a night out by an industry leader pretending to be taking a break from her career.
Instead, she was drugged and raped, leaving her feeling “disgusted” and “failed”.
The young woman gave evidence in the Rotorua High Court today as a man faces 25 charges involving rape, sexual assault and drug-related offenses against nine women.
The young woman, who was then a teenager, told the jury she had previously felt pressure to have sex with the man because she feared what would happen if she didn’t.
The jury had previously been told by crown prosecutor Anna Paulette that the man held responsible positions in the industry and took advantage of his role with women.
In the official case, the man sometimes forced women to take illegal drugs before sexually assaulting or raping them.
Pollitt told the jury they would hear from women who said they were on drugs and had no control over their bodies.
It is a defense that the man is popular with the women and does not need to provide them with drugs or alcohol in order to have sex with them.
The jury previously heard from the man’s wife, who said she knew her husband was being unfaithful but she was fine with it as long as he didn’t engage in relationships with the women.
The young woman said the man had earlier lured her to a hotel, saying they were going to work out together. After entering his room, she said she began to feel nervous, as if she thought she was in trouble.
He said things like this to her: “You look like you want to be”. She replied that she wanted nothing.
The young woman burst into tears as she recounted the incident. As she continued, she said his tone changed and she began to feel intimidated because he was older than her.
She said she kept trying to leave him and repeatedly told him she had to because she would be late for work.
“I knew in my heart that if he didn’t get what he wanted, I wasn’t going to leave.”
The guy started kissing her and it developed into sex, even though she didn’t want that to happen.
“I know he has a wife…and I’ve only just started dating. I really like this new guy I’ve met…I just feel sick and sick.”
The woman said the man “got what he wanted and he’s done it”.
After she left, she sent him a message saying: “What the hell is that.”
She said he replied, “Yeah, but it’s nice, right?”.
The young woman said she deleted all the messages because she just wanted to forget.
After some time, the man contacted her again and suggested that she go with him because he had the opportunity to spend time with top entertainers.
She thinks top entertainers will be with them, so she thinks she’ll be safe.
“I’m excited…I know (this guy) has a lot of connections. I thought maybe this could be the start of something for me.”
The young woman said she thought it would have been nice if someone had been there.
“I tried to forget and move on.”
When the man came to pick her up, he was alone, saying that he was going to meet a top artist.
He drives her to their place and they go to a party.
The young woman, who said she was drunk, remembers going to another location later and the man put white powder on her finger and put it in her mouth.
She later recalled being at their residence thinking she would be sleeping in a single bed.
She said she had flashbacks including being naked and the man sexually assaulting her. The next morning, she woke up in the man’s bed to find blood on the sheets. She said she was sore in parts of her body and knew it was caused by the man forcing himself.
The trial is in its third week and is expected to last at least six weeks. It was before Justice Ryan Harvey and a jury of nine women and three men.