As the ever-growing litany of stories about the allegedly disgusting and criminal behaviors of Harvey Weinstein climbs into a heartbroken, outraged roar, a few gross details still manage to stand out. One of the most ear-catching was the account of journalist Lauren Sivan, who came forward almost two weeks ago with a story about Weinstein luring her to a deserted restaurant he was an investor in, blocking her exit, and then, when she turned down more direct advances, masturbating into a potted plant in front of her.
Now, The Hollywood Reporter has more details on the incident—or possibly just one that was a lot like it. The site talked this week to the then-proprietor of Manhattan restaurant Socialista, who said Sivan’s account of the incident made his “memory click.”
“What I remember about this incident is that my sous chef came into my office, furious, telling me that ‘some fat fuck’ saying he’s an owner—he didn’t know the name—had come into the kitchen with a woman and shoved a $100 bill at him and told him to get out,” Armin Amiri told THR. Amiri—who has also worked as an actor, including in one film Weinstein produced—said the story got even more disgusting from there: “I went to check things out and saw Harvey soon after, fixing his belt, behind the bar. I never saw the woman. My chef and I go to the kitchen. He picks up a pot that had been placed back on the stove. It had been defiled. It was so bizarre. We couldn’t believe it happened.”
Amiri says he never confronted Weinstein about the story, because he “couldn’t prove any of it.” “My heart goes out to all the brave women who have come forward,” he said in a statement. “Once Ms. Sivan spoke out, and after being contacted by several media outlets, I’ve felt responsible to state what I remembered.”
So, which is it? Did Harvey Weinstein wheezily jizz into a potted plant, or a cooking pot? As Sivan herself points out, there’s no reason to think the answer isn’t, “Both, god.” She tweeted a response after the story first came out, suggesting that the real takeaway here is that this particular ploy was just another page from Weinstein’s extensive playbook of ways to manipulate women into situations where they felt unable to deny him the things he wanted from them.