AceShowbiz - Footage of Harvey Weinstein's creepy business meeting with his rape accuser surfaces via Sky News. In the video, the former co-chairman of The Weinstein Company was caught acting inappropriately toward Melissa Thompson, 28, who is now suing him for sexual assault.
Melissa met Weinstein at The Weinstein Company offices in 2011 to pitch her tech start-up's services which they would use for his Marilyn Monroe movie. As he arrived in the office, he was heard telling his staff "don't interrupt." He reportedly locked the door.
Weinstein was seen rejecting Thompson's attempt at a handshake and greeting her with a hug instead, during which he rubbed her lower back. Throughout the meeting, he made suggestive comments toward Thompson like, "Am I allowed to flirt with you?" and "You're hot. Let me have a little part of you. Give it to me. It's okay, would you like to do it some more?"
The disgraced movie mogul was caught on camera touching Thompson's shoulder. She also said that Weinstein would put his hand under the table and up her dress. At one point, she was seen telling him, "That's a little high, that’s a little high," looking uncomfortable.
Thompson said, "Every time that he toed the line of being inappropriate enough where I may have said something, he could sense it and he pulled back and he changed the dynamic again." She added, "Now I see, he's trying any way he can, to move me into that zone of comfortable then uncomfortable and confused and vulnerable and recognizing that he is powerful and I'm not. And that I need this deal from him and he has the power to give it to me."
Asked if she thought that she could have been encouraging his behaviour or flirting with him, Thompson said, "I don't think I purposely encouraged him. I think there was a combination of confidence and naivety that led me to this dynamic that we see now, watching back."
She admitted that she "was trying to save face a bit ... trying to manage the situation," because she "didn't want to blow the meeting." She went on explaining, "I worked in an environment that was heavily male dominated... I thought I could handle it, I had never met anyone that I couldn't handle... until Harvey Weinstein."
At the end of the meeting, Weinstein invited her for drinks at a nearby hotel lobby later in the afternoon. Assuming it would be a meeting to close the deal, Thompson agreed to meet him again. After arriving at the hotel lobby, Weinstein led her to his room instead of a conference room, and that's where he raped her, Thompson said.
"If I tried to fight myself away from him, he would more around to block me in somewhere and he's a big individual. I constantly felt trapped, no matter where I turned. He cornered me over and over again," Thompson recalled.
The recorded meeting and the alleged rape are both included in a class action lawsuit against Weinstein and others connected to him who might have known what was happening.
Responding to the video, Weinstein's lawyer Benjamin Brafman says in a statement, "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." The statement continues, "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. This is a further attempt to publicly disgrace Mr Weinstein for financial gain, and we will not stand for it."