Actress and screenwriter says Harvey Weinstein tried to coerce sex at Sundance Film Festival
Another woman accusing Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein of sexual abuse has stepped forward, with actress Louisette Geiss saying the producer exposed himself to her in 2008 during a meeting about a script.
At a press conference organized by attorney Gloria Allred, Geiss said the incident took place at the Sundance Film Festival after she encountered Weinstein at the premiere of the Morgan Spurlock’s documentary Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden.
“After the premiere, he asked me about my music company and the script that I had written and was pitching at the festival,” Geiss told reporters. “We agreed to meet at the hotel restaurant where we both were staying. … Harvey then offered to reconvene the meeting in his office, which was adjacent to his hotel room.”
Geiss, whose credits include the TV shows Angel and Two and a Half Men and the movie Wishmaster 3, claimed she made Weinstein shake hands and agree she’d enter the room if he promised “he will not touch me.”
“Obviously I was hesitant,” she said. “I had heard some stories previously about Harvey’s behavior with women.”
Geiss alleges Weinstein “laughed it off,” and they went on to have a “great conversation” about the film she was pitching. “He seemed genuinely interested and I was excited,” Geiss said. “After about 30 minutes he asked to excuse himself and go to the bathroom He returned in nothing but a robe with the front open, and he was buck naked.”
According to Geiss, Weinstein urged her to keep talking about the movie while he got into the hot tub adjacent to the room. “When I finished my pitch, I was obviously nervous, and he kept asking me to watch him masturbate. I told him I was leaving. He quickly got out of the tub and grabbed my forearm as I was trying to grab my purse. He led me to his bathroom pleading that I just watch him masturbate.”
That’s when she said she fled. “My heart was racing and I was very scared. I pulled my arm away finally and headed to the door,” Geiss said.
Weinstein followed, she claims, pledging to help her career in exchange for sexual favors. Geiss said Weinstein told her she “could get a three-picture deal and he would greenlight my script. But I had to watch him masturbate.”
That’s when Geiss left the room. Her story matches other allegations against Weinstein, including claims made by numerous women in a New Yorker story posted Tuesday. In response to that story, which including three women — including actress Asia Argento — accusing Weinstein of sexual assault, Weinstein issued a statement via his representative denying the allegations.
“Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein,” a rep for Weinstein said. “Mr. Weinstein has further confirmed that there were never any acts of retaliation against any women for refusing his advances. Mr. Weinstein obviously can’t speak to anonymous allegations, but with respect to any women who have made allegations on the record, Mr. Weinstein believes that all of these relationships were consensual. Mr. Weinstein has begun counseling, has listened to the community and is pursuing a better path. Mr. Weinstein is hoping that, if he makes enough progress, he will be given a second chance.”