MANHATTAN (CN) — A production assistant accused Harvey Weinstein on Tuesday of forcing himself on her orally while she had her period — allegations that her attorney calls a “new low” for the disgraced Hollywood producer.
“He even took my tampon out,” production assistant Mimi Haleyi told reporters this afternoon. “I was mortified. I was in disbelief. I was disgusted.”
Represented by celebrity attorney Gloria Allred, Haleyi joins a growing chorus of women accusing Weinstein of sexual harassment and assault.
Like many of those accusers, whose ranks now include Angelina Jolie, Rose McGowan, Asia Argento and Lupita Nyong’o, Haleyi claims that her harassment began with a request for a massage at a hotel in Cannes in 2006.
“I said ‘No, sorry, I’m not a masseuse,’ and suggested he contact hotel reception with his request,” Haleyi recalled, speaking to reporters in a small conference room of the Lotte New York Palace Hotel in Midtown Manhattan. “He kept asking about massages, and I felt the meeting was going nowhere so I left. By that time, I was crying as I felt completely humiliated and stupid for having been excited about meeting with him.”
Haleyi says that the two of them first met two years earlier at the 2004 European premiere of Martin Scorsese’s blockbuster film “The Aviator,” which went on to win five Academy Awards.
After this incident, Haleyi says, Weinstein invited her to help on the set of a television show that he was producing. After accepting the offer, Haleyi allegedly met with Weinstein in the lobby of New York City’s Mercer hotel.
She recalled the producer behaving as “a total gentlemen” but that Weinstein followed up with invitations for Haleyi to accompany him on his private jet to Paris, to watch fashion events and stay at the Ritz.
“I declined as this seemed like an invitation of a romantic nature,” she said. “He didn’t like that answer. He kept messaging and calling me and even showed up at the apartment where I was staying in the East Village, twice in one day, and physically forced himself in through the door, pleading with me to come with him to Paris.”
Haleyi’s alleged assault occurred on their third meeting. She said she had agreed to meet with Weinstein at his SoHo home out of a desire to maintain a good professional relationship.
“It was not long before he was all over me making sexual advances,” she said. “I told him no, no, no, but he insisted,” she said. “I said I’m on my period, there’s no way this is going to happen. Please stop.”
Tears punctuated the production assistant’s press conference. “I wouldn’t want anyone to do this to me, even if this person had been a romantic partner,” she said. “I remember Harvey afterwards rolling on his back and saying, ‘Don’t you feel we’re so much closer to each other now?’ I replied, ‘No.’”
Allred declined to reveal whether she would file either civil or criminal charges, noting that Weinstein is reportedly undergoing sex-addiction therapy.
“I don’t think it’s appropriate to contact [Weinstein] until he completes his treatment,” she said.
Allred did, however, call for Weinstein to offer more than words.
“Vague apologies are not enough,” she said. “It is time for him to take meaningful action to demonstrate in deeds, not just words, that he is taking responsibility for what he has done and that he is willing to make amends to the victims.”
Asked why her client waited more than a decade to come forward, Allred said: “She had her reasons, and we’re not going to comment on what those reasons were.”
Despite initially planning to speak only through her prepared statement, Haleyi told reporters later that she knew of Weinstein’s reputation, but she didn’t know other women had similar stories.
“At the time, I thought, ‘Wow, he must think very little of me,” she said.