The allegations of sexual harassment against Harvey Weinstein have now spread beyond Hollywood, New York City and London. In an article published today by The Buffalo News, Paula Wachowiak, now 62, says Weinstein exposed himself to her when she was a 24-year-old intern.
Shortly following the 1980 incident, which Wachowiak describes as “traumatic,” she says Weinstein asked her, “So, was seeing me naked the highlight of your internship?”
“Actually, Harvey, you disgust me,” Wachowiak says she responded, at which point Weinstein laughed and drove off.
The account would mark one of the earliest, if not the earliest, example of Weinstein’s harassment. He has denied any acts of non-consensual sex.
Wachowiak, a Buffalo resident described by the Buffalo News as a grandmother of three and an employment specialist who works with people with disabilities, says she was a production assistant on Weinstein’s first movie The Burning. She had applied for an internship with Weinstein’s Buffalo concert promotion company, and Weinstein offered instead an internship on the slasher movie then shooting in the area.
One day she was told by her supervisor to take a manila folder to Weinstein’s hotel room. “When I got to Weinstein’s room he let me in but he was behind the door when it opened,” Wachowiak says. “When I got into the room I realized that he was holding a hand towel around his waist.”
Wachowiak says Weinstein dropped the towel. “He sat on the bed with the folder over his groin and pointed to checks and asked me why we were paying for this or that. There was one check for break-a-way glass that was very expensive and I had to explain how difficult it was to transport,” she recounts.
According to the Buffalo News, Weinstein “began complaining about having a kink in his shoulder and asked for a massage.” She told him, “That’s not in my job description.” After he signed the checks, “she walked out of the room, closed the door and burst into tears.”
Later, after the “You disgust me” exchange, Wachowiak saw Weinstein at the New York City premiere of The Burning. She remembers him asking, “What? Are you everywhere?” She responded, “Yes, Harvey, I am.”