This week has seen a number of stories circulating about Harvey Weinstein, the powerful Hollywood executive, and the many gross, sexually manipulative, and outright criminal acts he’s allegedly done to the women around him over the years. Now, on the same day that Weinstein announced an indefinite leave of absence from The Weinstein Co., The Huffington Post has one more depressing, infuriating story about Weinstein’s behavior to cap off the week. It’s a story that’s a lot like the many alleged incidents in The New York Times’ expose on him, with a few key caveats: It’s even more explicit, and, unlike many of the earlier reports, which are thought to be attached to strict nondisclosure agreements, it’s entirely on the record.
HuffPo’s story centers on reporter Lauren Sivan, who says that, in 2007, Weinstein invited her and several associates to a club he was an investor in. Once there, he invited her for a tour of the attached restaurant, dismissed the few staff in attendance, and then attempted to kiss her. When she declined, citing a boyfriend, Weinstein allegedly said, “Well, can you just stand there and shut up.”
Here’s Sivan’s description of what happened next:
At this point, Weinstein and Sivan were in a vestibule between the kitchen and bathrooms. The only way for Sivan to get away from Weinstein required her to get past him and go through the kitchen. Sivan says she was trapped by Weinstein’s body and was intimidated.
Weinstein then proceeded to expose himself to Sivan and began to masturbate. Sivan said she was deeply shocked by Weinstein’s behavior and was frozen and didn’t know what to do or say. The incident in the vestibule didn’t last long. Sivan says Weinstein ejaculated quickly into a potted plant that was in the vestibule and then proceeded to zip up his pants and they walked back into the kitchen.
A friend of Sivan’s, speaking anonymously, confirmed many of the details of the night. Weinstein allegedly called Sivan the next day, saying he’d “had a great time last night” and asked her if she wanted to accompany him on a trip. She reminded him that she had a boyfriend and quickly ended the call.