NEW YORK – A former Weinstein Co. production assistant has come forward alleging that movie mogul Harvey Weinstein sexually assaulted her after her repeated refusals.
In a press conference on Tuesday, Mimi Haleyi claimed Weinstein forcibly performed oral sex on her in 2006. Haleyi was in her 20s at the time, according to her counsel, Atty. Gloria Allred, who was also present during the press conference in New York.
In graphic detail, Haleyi narrated how Weinstein was holding her down at his New York apartment in what she said appeared to be a child’s bedroom, and “orally forced himself on me.”
“He was extremely persistent and physically overpowering,” said Haleyi. “He then orally forced himself on me, while I was on my period. He even pulled my tampon out. I was mortified.”
Weinstein representative Sallie Hofmeister, however, said also on Tuesday: “Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein.”
Haleyi said she first met Weinstein at the London premiere of “The Aviator” in 2004. She encountered him again at the Cannes Film Festival in 2006. She expressed interest in working on one of his films and he invited her to his hotel room and asked for a massage.
Haleyi refused, replying, “No sorry, I’m not a masseuse,” and suggested he instead contact hotel reception. More meetings followed though, including an invitation from Weinstein to attend a fashion show in Paris.
Haleyi worked as a production assistant on a television series produced by Weinstein Co. but she and Allred declined to name the show.
According to Haleyi, the alleged sexual assault incident occurred at Weinstein’s Soho apartment after the movie producer sent a car to pick her up.
She began crying Tuesday as she recounted what she thought would be a professional meeting.
“I would not have wanted anyone to do that to me, even if that person had been a romantic partner,” Haleyi said. “I remember Harvey rolling over and saying, ‘Don’t you feel like we’re so much closer now?'”
Allred, who is representing other women who have made allegations against Weinstein, declined to say whether Haleyi will file criminal or civil charges.
But Allred called on Weinstein to meet with her and make amends to the alleged victims.
“We need justice for these victims,” said Allred. “Vague apologies are not enough. It’s time for him to take meaningful actions.”
Among the dozens who have claimed Weinstein sexually harassed them – including Gwyneth Paltrow and Ashley Judd – several women have said Weinstein raped them. Police investigations regarding these rape allegations were already underway in Los Angeles, New York, and London.
Actress Rose McGowan had recently went public with her allegation that Weinstein raped her. A settlement was reached between her and Weinstein in 1997. Italian filmmaker and actress Asia Argento and one-time aspiring actress Lucia Evans likewise told The New Yorker that Weinstein sexually assaulted them by forced oral sex. /kga