- One of Harvey Weinstein’s accusers has released a video to Sky News that shows him inappropriately touching her the same day he allegedly raped her.
- Melissa Thompson recorded the interaction as part of a demo for the product she was pitching Weinstein.
- Weinstein is seen caressing her and making sexually suggestive comments after closing and locking the office door.
One of Harvey Weinstein’s accusers has released a video of her and the film mogul in a business meeting in which Weinstein makes sexual advances toward her hours before she claims he raped her.
Melissa Thompson went to The Weinstein Company Offices in New York in September 2011 for a business meeting with Weinstein to discuss her tech company’s new video program and data analytics software. She filmed the meeting to show an example of her product.
In the video she first shared with Sky News, Weinstein walks into the room and tells co-workers or staff in the nearby room, “Don’t interrupt, don’t interrupt” as he shuts and locks the door.
Thompson offers a handshake, to which Weinstein moves her hand and hugs her as he caresses her back.
“That’s nice. Let’s keep it up,” he says.
Thompson tells Sky News after that initial interaction that she immediately knew she had to be “more vigilant” of the situation she was in.
“So am I allowed to flirt with you?” Weinstein asks soon thereafter.
“Umm. We’ll see, a little bit,” Thompson responds.
“Alright. Then I won’t. What do you want anyway?” Weinstein dismisses.
Thompson and Weinstein had met briefly once before, but this is their first official interaction.
Thompson says she felt Weinstein was trying to test her and see how vulnerable or comfortable she was in each situation he created or comment he threw at her.
Right before she thought she’d say something to make him stop, Thompson said he could sense it, and he would pull back.
“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 recognizing 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,” she told Sky News.
Weinstein appeared to be genuinely interested in the services Thompson was showing him, and eventually said he’d buy her product.
At one point while the two are discussing a movie Weinstein could use the service for, out of the shot of the camera, Thompson says Weinstein reached his hand up her dress.
“You just tell me what I can do and when it’s going to happen,” Weinstein says.
“It’s fun when we do this,” he adds. Thompson says they can do both.
When asked if she thinks she encouraged Weinstein’s behavior at all, Thompson said she was attempting to “volley” with him and give him back what he was giving her, but in a safer way in an effort to manage the situation she terms as a “combination of confidence and naivety.”
“Data’s so hot right?” Thompson jokes.
“It’s hot. You’re hot.” Weinstein replies.
“Let me have a little part of you. Give it to me. It’s okay, would you like to do it some more?”
“A little bit … a little high, that’s a little high, that’s a little high,” Thompson responds before diverting the subject back to business and her product. (RELATED: Tucker Carlson: NBC ‘Suppressed’ The Weinstein Story And It ‘Protected’ Him)
Thompson thought her experience working on Wall Street in a male-dominated environment would have prepared her for this, but Weinstein was the first person she “couldn’t handle.”
At one point in the video, Weinstein tells her to follow him to the kitchen. Thompson is seen adjusting the angle of the computer. Thompson said it was because she knew she was losing to the ability to control the situation.
“I had entered that fight or flight mode, and I was scared of him.”
After coming back from the kitchen, Weinstein asks Thompson if she can meet him later somewhere for a drink, to which Thompson agrees to.
Thompson tells Sky News that she thought that meeting was going to close the deal, and felt she was going to be safer in a public place at an appropriate hour, like the hotel lobby they planned to meet in at 5:30 pm.
When Weinstein arrived, he told Thompson to follow her. She thought they were going to a conference room, but he took her to his hotel room, where she says he then 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. He’s a big individual, and I constantly felt trapped, no matter where I turned. He corned me, over and over again,” she said.
Thompson, one of dozens to accuse Weinstein of sexual assault, said she wished people hadn’t treated Weinstein’s behavior with such indifference through the years, because “we don’t have to live with being raped when we think we’re going to a business meeting.”
Weinstein’s lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, responded to the video in a statement saying, “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.”
“Facts do matter,” he ended.
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