Video of Harvey Weinstein flirting with businesswoman before allegedly raping her

By @chelean on
Harvey Weinstein
Film producer Harvey Weinstein arrives at Manhattan Criminal Court in New York City, U.S., July 9, 2018. Reuters/Lucas Jackson

A video of disgraced Hollywood big shot Harvey Weinstein behaving inappropriately toward a woman has been aired. The woman, 28-year-old Melissa Thompson, said Weinstein raped her after a business meeting in 2011.

Sky News has obtained the video, which shows Weinstein hugging, touching and making sexually suggestive comments to Thompson. She said she was at The Weinstein Company offices in New York in September 2011 for a meeting with the embattled film producer about her tech start-up company’s new video and analytics service. She recorded the meeting as part of her demo.

Her recording shows Weinstein and Thompson alone in an office together. Thompson said she was supposed to meet with the TWC’s marketing team, but when she arrived at the offices, it was only Weinstein who was present. Weinstein is shown in the video arriving in a room, telling staff to “don’t interrupt” before shutting the door and locking it.

When Thompson offered him a handshake, Weinstein hugged her instead, with his hands caressing her back.

“So am I allowed to flirt with you?” Weinstein asked as he sat down. “Ummm we’ll see, a little bit,” she answered.

Thompson proceeded with her presentation, and Weinstein appeared to be interested. After her demo, Weinstein said, “Wow. Okay, I’m going to use your service… on Marilyn Monroe, and then you know you can sign me up, tell your boss.”

“Now I see he’s trying, in any way he can, to move me into that zone of comfortable then uncomfortable and confused, and vulnerable, and recognising that he’s powerful and I’m not, and that I need this deal from him, and he has the power to give it to me,” Thompson told Sky News. “I think (he) was playing a cat-and-mouse game from the very beginning to see how far he could push me, and what my reactions might be, so that he could gauge… how he would play me; where my levers where, what were my vulnerabilities.”

There was a time in the video when Weinstein is seen reaching down under the table, out of view of the camera. Thompson said that was when he ran his hand up her leg under her dress.

“Let me have a little part of you. Give it to me. It’s okay, would you like to do it some more?” he is heard in the video asking.

“A little bit… a little high, that’s a little high, that’s a little high.”

When asked if she thought she had been flirting with him as well, Thompson said she didn’t purposely encouraged him.

“I think there was a combination of confidence and naivety that led me to this dynamic that we see now, watching back. At first, I tried to volley a little bit with him. If he made a comment, I would try to catch it and return it in a way that felt a little safer than the way he threw it at me,” she said. “I was trying to save face a bit … trying to manage the situation. I didn’t want to blow the meeting.”

Their meeting ended but Thompson said Weinstein also made arrangements to meet her in the Tribeca Grand Hotel lobby restaurant. She thought he would be closing their deal then. She believed it was safe because it was at a hotel lobby. But when she got there, Weinstein told her to follow him. They went to his hotel room. Thompson said it was there that he raped her.

“If I would try to fight myself away from him, he would then move around to a place where he could block me in. I constantly felt trapped, no matter where I turned. He cornered me, over and over again.

Her recording and the alleged rape are included in the class action lawsuit against Weinstein and those connected to him who might have known what was happening.

Weinstein’s lawyer Benjamin Brafman said in a statement that Weinstein and Thompson were engaged in in a “casual — if not awkward — flirting.” Thompson, he said, produced the video to “bolster her position in a civil lawsuit seeking money.”

Last month, a lawsuit against Weinstein filed by a British actress has been allowed to proceed. Kadian Nobile claims Weinstein violated several federal laws against sex trafficking when he lured her to his hotel room and falsely promised her an acting role in exchange for sex.

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