In a story that’s becoming increasingly familiar but no less sickening, another woman has come forward to accuse ousted Weinstein Co. head Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment. According to Variety, actress and screenwriter Louisette Geiss states that Weinstein tried to force her to watch him masturbate while she was pitching a movie at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. Geiss made her statement in a press conference, represented by high-profile attorney Gloria Allred.
In her statement, Guess relates:
“We went to his office and had a great conversation about his current film and about the film I was pitching. He seemed genuinely interested in the script I had co-written. After 30 minutes he excused himself to go to the bathroom.”
“He returned in a robe with the front open, buck-naked,” she went on. “He told me to keep talking about my film and that he was going to get into his hot tub which was in the room adjacent to his office, steps away. I kept talking as he got into the hot tub. When I finished my pitch, he asked me to watch him masturbate. I told him I was leaving. He quickly got out of the hot tub. As I went to get my purse to leave, he grabbed my forearm and pulled me to his bathroom and pleaded with me to watch him masturbate. My heart was racing and I was very scared.”
The presence of Allred is significant, as Weinstein was initially represented by Allred’s daughter, Lisa Bloom, who fled the case last week as the allegations against Weinstein mounted exponentially. At the time, Allred said that she “would consider representing anyone who accused Mr. Weinstein of sexual harassment, even if it meant that my daughter was the opposing counsel.”
It looks like Allred is going forward on that statement, saying at the press conference that she is “hoping to enter into arbitration with Weinstein,” according to Variety. She also issued a warning to other sexual offenders in the workplace: “The old adage of ‘never underestimate a woman’ could never be truer than it is today, especially if that woman is someone is someone seeking employment, or seeking to retain their employment. Because there are many lawyers who will help them and advise them in reference to what they can do if they are sexually harassed on the job.”