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A  key accuser in the New York City rape trial of Harvey Weinstein broke down in tears on the witness stand on Monday during an exhaustive cross-examination over the nature of her relationship with the once-powerful movie mogul.

The drama, which prompted the judge to send the jury home about an hour earlier than usual, came as the defense sought to paint the 34-year-old woman as an opportunistic manipulator who took advantage of Weinstein while pursuing an acting career, even after he allegedly raped her.

The woman said she tried to make Weinstein "my pseudo father" after a rough upbringing. She said she sent him flattering emails and kept seeing him because “I wanted him to believe I wasn't a threat."

“I was afraid of his unpredictable anger," the woman testified.

She became emotional while reading an email passage about being abused earlier in her life. It was part of a lengthy confessional email she sent to her then-boyfriend in May 2014 about her relationship with Weinstein. She was bawling as she left the courtroom, and her cries could be heard from a nearby witness room.

She returned after about a 10-minute break, but continued to weep loudly, resting her head on the witness stand and blotting tears with a tissue. The lead prosecutor tried to console her, but she couldn't continue. Her cross-examination will resume Tuesday.


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