Woman ‘raped by Harvey Weinstein’ releases video of him touching her
‘Am I allowed to flirt with you?’ Woman ‘raped by Harvey Weinstein’ releases video of earlier meeting where the mogul ‘acted inappropriately’ towards her and ran his hands over her body as they hugged
- Melissa Thompson went to Weinstein’s New York office to pitch a tech platform
- Weinstein brushed his hands up her legs and tried to massage her, she says
- Afterwards, he invited her to a nearby hotel where, she claims, he raped her
- Ms Thompson today shared video of their meeting in which he touches her
One of Harvey Weinstein’s accusers has shared a video of him inappropriately touching her before he allegedly raped her.
The footage shows the disgraced movie mogul hugging and caressing tech start-up worker Melissa Thompson who went to his New York office to pitch a technology platform he could use to market films.
During the 2011 meeting, Weinstein brushed his hands up Ms Thompson’s legs and tried to massage her, she says.
Another section of the video shows Ms Thompson saying to Weinstein: ‘Data’s so hot right?’ Weinstein replies: ‘It is hot. You’re hot.’
Afterwards, he invited her to the nearby Tribeca Grand hotel where, she claims, he raped her on the bed after cornering her. Weinstein denies any non-consensual sexual contact.
Ms Thompson today shared video of the meeting which she had recorded on her laptop.
The footage, broadcast for the first time by Sky News, shows Weinstein entering the room and saying ‘hello Melissa Thompson.’
Ms Thompson, then 28, stands and offers a handshake but he pushes her hand aside and hugs her instead.
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As he caresses her back during the awkward embrace, Weinstein says: ‘That’s nice, let’s keep it up’.
The producer then sits down next to her and asks: ‘So am I allowed to flirt with you?’
Ms Thompson replies: ‘Ummm we’ll see, a little bit.’
Weinstein can later be seen rubbing his right hand up and down her left arm as she, flustered, tries to concentrate on finishing her pitch.
Another section of the video shows Ms Thompson saying to Weinstein: ‘Data’s so hot right?’
Weinstein replies: ‘It is hot. You’re hot.’
Ms Thompson alleges that Weinstein, out of view of the camera, reached under her dress and ran his hand up and down her thigh
After the meeting, Weinstein invited her to the nearby Tribeca Grand hotel where, she claims, he raped her on the bed after cornering her. Pictured: The moment he invited her
Ms Thompson alleges that he then, out of view of the camera, reached under her dress and ran his hand up and down her thigh.
He says in the video: ‘Let me have a little part of you. Give it to me. It’s okay, would you like to do it some more?
Ms Thompson replies: ‘A little bit… a little high, that’s a little high, that’s a little high.’
Asked if she encouraged Weinstein’s behaviour, Ms Thompson said she didn’t mean to but admitted she tried to ‘volley’ with him as a way of managing the situation.
Ms Thompson told Sky News: ‘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.
‘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.’
Thompson is one of three plaintiffs named in a class action lawsuit filed in June against Weinstein, Miramax, The Weinstein Company and a host of other defendants
Thompson is one of three plaintiffs named in a class action lawsuit filed in June against Weinstein, Miramax, The Weinstein Company and a host of other defendants.
Thompson alleges that the movie mogul raped her at the Tribeca Grand hotel in 2011 after harassing her during a meeting at his offices.
Harvey Weinstein’s lawyer Benjamin Brafman said in a statement: ‘Several respected journalists and trustworthy individuals have seen the entire video.
‘What they shared with us is that the video, when viewed in its entirety, in context and not in select excerpts, demonstrates that there is nothing forceful, but casual – if not awkward – flirting from both parties.
‘Anything short of that is intended to make Mr Weinstein appear inappropriate, and even exploitative.
‘It was produced by Ms Thompson to bolster her position in a civil lawsuit seeking money.
‘This is a further attempt to publicly disgrace Mr Weinstein for financial gain, and we will not stand for it. Facts do matter.’
Sky News said it did not pay Ms Thompson.
Weinstein has been accused of sexual assault by dozens of women.
‘SHE COULDN’T OUT-MUSCLE HIM’: MELISSA THOMPSON’S RAPE CLAIM AGAINST WEINSTEIN
The following is an excerpt from the class action lawsuit which describes the alleged rape. Harvey Weinstein has vehemently denied all allegations of forcing himself on women and is preparing for his next court date to face charges involving other alleged victims.
‘On September 29, 2011, Thompson met with Weinstein to pitch Intercast at The Weinstein Company’s office at 375 Greenwich Street in New York City. Thompson was shown to Weinstein’s empty office where she set up her laptop to demonstrate the digital marketing platform. She turned on the video recording on her computer to use the live feed of her and the pitch attendees to demonstrate how Intercast works.
‘As Weinstein walked into his office, he repeated several times to the people just outside his office, ‘Don’t interrupt, don’t interrupt.’ He then shut and locked his office door. He was alone.
‘Thompson stood up from her seat and extended her right hand to shake his hand. Weinstein deflected her hand with his left hand, moving her right hand towards his shoulder, and then ran his hands from her upper back around to her lower back, commenting ‘That’s nice.’
After making small talk, Weinstein asked Thompson ‘So am I allowed to flirt with you?’ Thompson responded: ‘Ummmmm. We’ll see. A little bit.’ Thompson felt cornered, as if she had to play along to not blow the pitch before it had even started. Weinstein became curt and said: ‘Oh, then I won’t. What do you want?’ making clear that she had to play if she wanted his business.
‘Thompson then redirected Weinstein’s attention to business and to the technology demonstration on her computer. She explained Intercast, its technological capabilities, and how President Obama and TWC’s competitors were using the technology.
‘Weinstein then asked how the technology would work if he wanted to show a trailer of his Marilyn Monroe movie. As Thompson began to respond, Weinstein reached down and began caressing her leg and moving his hand under her dress. Thompson panicked. Her legs felt wobbly. Her speech was interrupted. She hesitated and then continued with the pitch, believing that if she didn’t react he would stop. Weinstein mumbled: ‘it’s fun when you do this,’ referring to his hand caressing her thigh, but then tried to reassure her that it was part of the deal, stating: ‘but I am actually seriously having a conversation with you.’
‘Thompson continued her pitch, focusing on the technology’s capabilities and the cost of the options. She tried to keep the pitch business-like, not returning Weinstein’s caresses and keeping her elbows on the table. She worried that he would perceive any response to his behavior as welcoming his actions. She also feared that, if she angered him, his advances would become more forceful.
‘As Thompson continued to make the pitch and run through examples of where and how Intercast had been used, Weinstein caressed her shoulder, and ran his hand up and down her arm. When he ran his hand up her leg and under her dress, Thompson moved away from him and attempted to delicately balance saving face, while shutting down his actions,to get through the meeting. Thompson felt her brain shifting between fight or flight mode. As his caresses increased, she lost her ability to focus on the pitch, forgot what she was saying, and could not think clearly.
‘During the pitch, Weinstein stood up to call Stephen Bruno, TWC’s President of Marketing (who is now at Netflix). Weinstein said, ‘Steve, what are you doing? Where are you, at 99 Hudson? Can you take 5 minutes out? I want you to meet Melissa Thompson, whose got this Intercast to do spots and all sorts of things. Come up with a 375. Ok. Thanks.’
Weinstein hung up and asked Thompson if she wanted a glass of water. He told her to follow him to the kitchen attached to his office. She thought this was a good diversion to the pattern of impropriety and power-wielding that Weinstein orchestrated. But, when they got to the kitchen, Harvey quickly pivoted and captured her, pinning her against the refrigerator, making sure he was between her and the exit.
When they returned to the office, Weinstein told Thompson he needed to work on editing a movie for an hour and asked Thompson to meet him for a drink at Tribeca Grand Hotel at 5:30 p.m., promising to make a deal for Intercast’s services. Thompson felt pressured to do so in order to secure the deal.
‘Thompson left TWC’s offices, arrived at the Tribeca Grand, set up her laptop to work in the restaurant area, and ordered a Diet Coke.
‘At 5:30 p.m., Weinstein arrived in the restaurant, and without pause, asked for the check. He then threw cash on the table, told Thompson to grab her drink and follow him. He departed towards the elevators, moving Thompson along with him.
‘Thompson knew that there were screening rooms at the Tribeca Grand, regularly used for entertainment business meetings, and expected that was where they were headed. They exited the elevator on the third floor.
‘During this time, Weinstein was talking to Thompson about their mutual friends, including her boyfriend, as well as Weinstein’s wife. Based on the nature of the conversation, Thompson felt more comfortable, believing that Weinstein was acknowledging he was not going to try anything untoward given their respective relationships.
Just a short distance down the hall, Weinstein opened a door and hustled Thompson into a sitting room in his hotel suite. Thompson was surprised that she found herself in his private room. In a desperate attempt to set a professional tone for the meeting, Thompson opened her laptop on the coffee table directly in front of the entrance and kneeled down to set it up. Weinstein walked to a refrigerator in the far corner of the room, opened a Diet Coke, and then sat behind her on the couch and began rubbing her shoulders.
‘Thompson kept trying to shift away from him, but Weinstein used his strength to maintain contact and continued to massage her shoulders. Thompson racked her brain on how to distract him. She had gone through all of the pitch materials and made a quick and desperate decision to try to distract him with a new video. As he was watching it, Thompson excused herself to use the bathroom and tried to figure out how to leave the hotel room politely. She sat in the bathroom, running through scenarios on how to excuse herself from the room. She racked her brain, scared and upset that she was in Weinstein’s hotel room.
‘When Thompson came out of the bathroom, however, Weinstein had no pants on. Weinstein walked towards her, naked from the waist down, and told her to join him in the shower. She declined. He then reached behind her dress and pulled the zipper down. Thompson panicked and tried to pull away.
‘Thompson tried to pull the zipper back up. As she did so, Weinstein lowered himself to his knees and tried to take her stockings off. As he pushed one leg of her stockings down, she tried to pull the other one up. His hands were everywhere and she could not get out of his grasp or keep up with deflecting him. While Weinstein ran his hand up Thompson’s bare leg, she tried to back away from him and declared in a raised voice that she did not think her boyfriend would appreciate what he was doing. While maintaining a hold on her and with his face below her waist, Weinstein responded in a resolute tone: ‘F*** him.’
‘By then, he had maneuvered Thompson into the bedroom. Blocked by Weinstein’s position and size, Thompson was petrified and felt cornered. She felt nauseous, and did not know how to extricate herself from the situation.
‘Weinstein then took off his shirt and laid face down on the bed. Apparently sensing her hypervigilance, Weinstein told her ‘you don’t have to do anything; just rub my shoulders.’ Thompson felt she had no good choice in the situation. She told herself that if she could leave after the massage—if this was the extent of the assault—that she would be relatively unscathed. It seemed like the only way out of a situation over which she had no control.
‘ When she sat on the bed, he flipped over onto his back and aggressively tried to undress her. He tried to pull off her stockings again, while she resisted, leaving one stocking on and one stocking off.
‘He pulled her dress up, exposing her underwear, despite her attempts to keep herself covered.
‘Weinstein then started to masturbate, demanded that she ‘come here,’ and pushed her head between his legs, in an attempt to force her to fellate him. Thompson viscerally and forcibly refused. She jerked away as hard as she could, visibly upset.
‘Thompson was shaking uncontrollably and breaking out in hives. In response to Thompson’s jerking away, Weinstein grabbed her, using brute force to push her flat on the bed on her stomach as he pulled her dress up and moved her underwear to the side. Thompson was fighting back, but could not out-muscle him.
Weinstein held Thompson down and raped her. Thompson closed her eyes, traumatized, praying for the assault to end. Eventually, Weinstein withdrew and began masturbating next to her as she scrambled to create distance from him. Weinstein ejaculated on the bed, immediately following which his demeanor changed and he acted like nothing had happened.
Thompson felt completely dissociated and ill. Covered in hives, Thompson couldn’t think straight or breathe. Acting like everything was normal, Weinstein again asked Thompson to take a shower with him. She refused and Weinstein proceeded to shower alone. He masturbated in the shower where Thompson could see him while Thompson got dressed and gathered her things to leave.
Before she left, Weinstein began talking to her about contracts with Intercast and for roles he had in mind for her, and told her he would set up a meeting with TWC colleagues.
Thompson was completely unnerved, panic-stricken, and in a state of shock and disbelief. Thompson felt nauseous and distressed.
Moments of the assault that just occurred flashed in her mind—something that would continue for years to come. She tried to gather herself and left the room alone, Weinstein now standing in an open bathrobe after his shower.
‘Thompson felt dirty and ashamed.’
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