Melissa Thompson, one of the three women who filed a class action lawsuit against Harvey Weinstein in June this year accusing him of sexual misconduct and assault, has released video footage of a meeting with him in his office from 2011, allegedly hours before he raped her.
The video was taken as part of a demo for a video platform that her start-up company was offering. Thompson, who was 28-years-old at the time, met the co-founder of the Weinstein company and Hollywood producer to pitch the idea to him.
The conversation, captured on camera, sees Weinstein asking if he is “allowed to flirt” and stating that Thompson is “hot”. He embraces her, and touches her body. According to a new interview with Sky News, Thompson alleges Weinstein put his hand “up under the table up my dress”, which is not seen on camera.
Weinstein is then seen asking Thompson to meet for a drink at the Tribeca Grand. She agrees, and told Sky that it felt safer than being alone in his office. However, she said when she arrived, he led her up to her room and raped her.
The women suing Weinstein – Caitlin Dulany, Larissa Gomes and Melissa Thompson – filed the lawsuit on behalf of “hundreds of other females like them” who were subject to “unwanted sexual conduct” from Weinstein “that took many forms: flashing, groping, fondling, harassing, battering, false imprisonment, sexual assault, attempted rape, and/or completed rape.”
A statement from Weinstein’s lawyer Benjamin Brafman said: “Several respected journalists and trustworthy individuals have seen the entire video. What they shared with us is that the video, when viewed in its entirety, in context and not in select excerpts, demonstrates that there is nothing forceful, but casual – if not awkward – flirting from both parties. Anything short of that is intended to make Mr Weinstein appear inappropriate, and even exploitative. It was produced by Ms Thompson to bolster her position in a civil lawsuit seeking money. This is a further attempt to publicly disgrace Mr Weinstein for financial gain, and we will not stand for it. Facts do matter.”
As well as the civil suits, Weinstein also faces criminal charges – he has denied all allegations.