New video, via Sky News, has surfaced of Harvey Weinstein behaving inappropriately with a woman during a September 2011 business meeting in the The Weinstein Company offices in New York City. Melissa Thompson, then 28, says that the meeting had been arranged to demo a video and analytics service that her tech start-up had developed with the company’s marketing team. When she arrived however, she soon found herself alone in Weinstein’s office where the producer then asked for privacy and locked the door behind them.
Thompson recorded the meeting as part of the demo, and in the video obtained by Sky News, it’s immediately clear that something is amiss. When Thompson reaches out her hand to shake with Weinstein, he swats it aside and instead embraces her in a long, uncomfortable looking hug and intimately runs his hands up and down her back. “So am I allowed to flirt with you?” he then asks, as they sit down and prepare to start the discussion.
From there, things only go from bad to worse as Thompson attempts to pitch her service, but Weinstein continues to make advances, touching her inappropriately and making suggestive remarks. At one point, he appears genuinely interested in using her service, instructing her to tell her boss to sign him up. He then asks to meet her for a drink later at the Tribeca Grand Hotel lobby ostensibly to close the deal, but when she arrived, he led her straight to his hotel room, where she says he raped her:
“It wasn’t at 10pm, it wasn’t an invitation to go to his hotel room, it was an invitation to come to a hotel lobby that was within blocks of the office and so that to me felt much safer than being alone with him in his office.”
“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 corned me, over and over again.”
Thompson says that before she went to business school, she had worked in Wall Street which was a heavily male dominated environment, but had never met anyone she couldn’t handle until Harvey Weinstein.
The video and alleged rape are part of a class action lawsuit against Weinstein and others in his circle who covered up for him.
“Had people been more vocal and not said ‘yeah that’s Harvey or yeah you have to live with that’… you don’t,” Thompson stated in the interview. “We don’t have to live with things that are illegal and abusive. We don’t have to live with being raped when we think we are going to a business meeting.”