“I will take this meeting if you will shake my hand and say you will not touch me,” said Louisette Geiss today of an encounter with Harvey Weinstein at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival.
Almost breaking into tears, the Two and a Half Men actress and screenwriter told the media in lawyer Gloria Allred’s office that she was hesitant to go to a late-night meeting with the mogul because she had heard stories about his behavior and made him make an agreement in front of a nearby security camera nine-years ago.
Geiss said that Weinstein didn’t touch her directly during the meeting, but he emerged at one point in a bathrobe and that “he could greenlight my script but I had to watch him masturbate.” Geiss says she soon left the meeting and actually left the entertainment industry in 2009.
“I never thought I would have a chance to stand up against Harvey Weinstein,” Geiss added, noting she first met Weinstein at Cannes Film Festival.
Utah’s statute of limitations on such matters is four years, so there is little chance Geiss’ case could go before the courts. “She has evidence she is looking forward to presenting to a judge,” attorney Allred said.”We’re not willing to disclose at this point but we would present to an arbitration judge.”
Allred would not reveal today if Geiss met Weinstein again after the 2008 incident.
“It is not enough for him to acknowledge pain that he has caused and to seek therapy,” said Allred today of the sexual harassment claims against Weinstein as a new alleged victim came forward. “He needs to go further and provide justice to those who allege that they are his victims. The suggestion of a confidential settlement or arbitration by Allred to Weinstein also comes as she said Tuesday that a number of other women have approached her detailing encounters with the producer.
“Why would he do it?’ asked Allred rhetorically. “Because I think he wants to work again in this town.” The lawyer also said she had no plans right now to “go after The Weinstein Company.”
Giess’ appearance is the latest bombshell in a day that has already seen an explosive New Yorker piece that alleges Weinstein raped at least three women including actor-director Asia Argento and harassed much more with company insiders covering up for him over the years. The online piece by Ronan Farrow was followed within hours by Shakespeare in Love alum Gwyneth Paltrow, Rosanna Arquette, and Angelina Jolie claiming they too had been harassed by the Oscar-winning producer.
Weinstein through a spokesperson has denied he has engaged in non-consensual acts.
All of this comes after the fuse was lite when New York Times published an extensive piece online on October 5 detailing decades of inappropriate behavior by Weinstein and settlements with the likes of Rose McGowan. That piece saw The Weinstein Company co-chair subsequently express his regrets in a mild statement, threaten to sue the NYT for millions and say he was going to take a leave of absence, as well as take on the NRA and Donald Trump.
Those plans were curb stomped after a whirlwind weekend that saw advisor Lisa Bloom, Allred’s daughter and others jump ship, other women come forward with harassment allegations and Weinstein unsuccessfully seeking support from other Hollywood bigwigs. The curtain came down on this act when TWC canned Weinstein late October 8.
Today, Hillary Clinton finally spoke out about the allegations, saying she was “shocked and appalled.” Both Weinstein and Allred were big supporters of the former Secretary of State’s ultimately unsuccessful run for the White House last year with the movie mogul reaching into his own pocket and helping to raise millions for the campaign.
As well as representing a client in case against the much accused Bill Cosby, Allred is currently locked in a lawsuit with Donald Trump over defaming remarks he made after former Apprentice contestant Summer Zervos alleged the now 45th POTUS sexually harassed her in meetings in LA and NYC over a decade ago. Allred has rejected the “baseless” attempt by Trump’s lawyers to have the matter tossed out of court.