Published: Thu, September 13, 2018
Arts&Culture | By Matthew Castillo

Video shows Harvey Weinstein appearing to fondle businesswoman before alleged rape

Video shows Harvey Weinstein appearing to fondle businesswoman before alleged rape

"At some point, his whole affect changed and he looked like a predator".

"If he would make a comment, I would try to catch it and return it in a way that felt a little safer than the way he threw it at me".

When she arrived, Weinstein allegedly led her to his hotel room where she says he raped her. Today, Sky News published a video shot by Ms. Thompson just hours before the alleged attack.

The video shows Melissa Thompson, one of three women now suing Weinstein for sexual assault, pitching her tech startup to the movie mogul at The Weinstein Company offices in 2011. After the door closed, he approached Thompson, who tried to shake his hand. Instead, Thompson said, he raped her.

The meeting gets off to an bad start as Weinstein brushes away a handshake and embraces Thompson in a hug, making long strokes down her back and saying "That's nice'".

Thompson is shown mildly flirting back and touching his shoulder, but she said she was "trying to save face" and manage the situation.

Nearly immediately, Weinstein asks: "Am I allowed to flirt with you?" "It's okay, would you like to do it some more?" he can be heard saying.

"I never met anyone that I couldn't handle until Harvey Weinstein", she said.

Weinstein "was not attractive in such a way that Paul Newman was", he said. "His eyes became dark", she recalled to Sky. "I had entered that fight-or-flight mode and I was scared of him".

A television network has aired video of Harvey Weinstein fondling a woman who accused him of rape.

"We don't have to live with being raped when we think we are going to a business meeting", Thompson told Sky. "It's not bad", he says as he rubs her back. In an interview with Sky, she said he would go from "almost pulling a trigger on using" her service, and then he would put his hand under the table and up her dress.

Thompson, who had previously worked on Wall Street, rejected suggestions she encouraged Weinstein's behaviour.

As part of the demo, she recorded the meeting.

Weinstein's lawyer says the full video "demonstrates that there is nothing forceful" and shows "casual, if not awkward, flirting from both parties". Anything short of that is meant to make Mr Weinstein appear inappropriate, and even exploitative.

Thompson was part of a class action lawsuit against Weinstein filed in June in which she claimed the producer began to harass and fondle her, several U.S. media outlets reported. "This is a further attempt to publicly disgrace Mr Weinstein for financial gain and we will not stand for it. Facts do matter".

Weinstein has been indicted on sex crime accusations involving three women in NY but not Thompson, according to the AP. "But I hate feeling like a booty call", according to the defense.

"Defendant moves to dismiss the indictment or counts thereof on various grounds of alleged defect or deficiency in the presentation of the matter to the grand jury", said Cyrus Vance Jr's office on Wednesday in a response to a sprawling and politically charged August 3 motion to dismiss from Weinstein's primary attorney Ben Brafman.

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