Video shows Harvey Weinstein behaving inappropriately with businesswoman
Sky News has obtained a nine-minute video which shows disgraced film executive Harvey Weinstein acting inappropriately with Melissa Thompson, a 28-year-old businesswoman. The footage was shot in September 2011, when Thompson visited the The Weinstein Company to pitch her tech company's online marketing tool. The meeting was recorded as part of the demonstration, and the video has never been publicly released.
In the footage, Thompson offers a handshake and Weinstein gives her a hug instead. Then he opens the meeting by saying, "Can I flirt with you?" As the video continues, he rubs her back, strokes her arm allegedly runs his hand up her dress. Weinstein also asks her about her personal life, and makes sexually suggestive comments. At the end, they agree to meet at the Tribeca Grand Hotel to close the deal. You can view the footage on Sky's website.
Thompson met Weinstein at the Tribeca Grand Hotel, and alleges that he invited her up to his room and raped her. Weinstein denies all allegations of non-consensual sexual contact. His lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, released the following statement:
"Several respected journalists and trustworthy individuals have seen the entire video. 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. This is a further attempt to publicly disgrace Mr Weinstein for financial gain, and we will not stand for it. Facts do matter."
The 66-year-old movie mogul has been accused of sexual misconduct by over 80 women, including The 66-year-old has now been accused by over 80 women, including Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Beckinsale, Rose McGowan, Salma Hayek, Cara Delevingne, Angelina Jolie, Uma Thurman, and Heather Graham.
Last May, Weinstein was indicted by a New York City grand jury on charges that he forced an aspiring actress to perform oral sex on him at his office in 2004 and that he raped a woman at a hotel in 2013. Weinstein plead not guilty. If convicted, the charges carry a penalty of between five and 25 years in prison. Weinstein denies the allegations, and insists the encounters with both women were consensual.
Last June, three women, including Thompson, filed a class-action lawsuit against Weinstein. In August, actress Emma Loman filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles, alleging Weinstein raped her at the Cannes Film Festival in 2006. She also claims, like other of Weinstein's victims, that he threatened to ruin her career if she made her accusations public.
Weinstein is also facing a defamation lawsuit from actress Ashley Judd, and a lawsuit from producer Alexandra Canosa, who claims he raped her, threatened her, and sexually abused her numerous times. Authorities in Los Angeles and London are currently investigating other accusations against Weinstein that have not fallen out of the statute of limitations.
Thompson's footage gives us a glimpse of the disturbing behavior that continued for far too long.