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Lauren Holly is the latest actress to come forward and share her own harrowing encounter with disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein.
During a visit to the Canadian daytime talk show The Social on Monday, Holly detailed her experience with Weinstein in a hotel room suite, explaining that she felt a “responsibility” to speak out after reading the New York Times bombshell report on multiple sexual harassment claims against the film exec.
“I was floored. It was my story,” she said about her initial reaction to the Times exposé. “I had never told anyone publicly.”
Holly, who starred in Miramax’s 1996 film Beautiful Girls, was a seasoned actress in her 30s and had met Weinstein on numerous occasions when she was invited to a business meeting with him in the late 1990s.
“I was certainly not new to Hollywood,” she clarified on The Social. “I was a seasoned Hollywood person, I had been working there a lot, I was well known. I wasn’t an innocent young girl that had just come there.”
Holly admitted she was “very excited” about getting a chance to talk business with the exec, whom she considered “the most powerful person in Hollywood at the time,” and didn’t find it at all abnormal that they had planned to meet at a hotel.
“Everything was absolutely normal, professional from the get-go,” said the actress, then the two sat down and drank a glass of champagne before Weinstein asked to be excused.
“He came back to the room and he was dressed in the hotel bathrobe. No doubt it was odd,” Holly recalled. “He said, ‘Okay, let’s get to it. This is what we’ve got going on at my company.’ [Then] he gestured for me to follow him.”
The actress said Weinstein asked her to follow him to the bedroom area of the hotel room, where he continued to discuss business ventures and what projects his company had in the works that might be right for her.
“He dropped his robe, went into the bathroom in front of me, and began to use the toilet. All the time talking,” she said. “At this point, my head is exploding.”
Weinstein proceeded to jump into the shower, while continually asking Holly questions. She added, “He’s in the shower washing himself, leaning out of the shower, asking me for responses. He’s acting like the situation is normal. He’s acting like we’re having a normal encounter.”
Holly told the studio audience she momentarily questioned herself, internally asking, “Am I just a prude? Am I supposed to be more open-minded? I didn’t quite know how to handle myself at that moment.”
The actress explained the fear kicked in when Weinstein got out of the shower and came toward her, still without a bathrobe on.
“When he came toward me, everything changed,” she recounted. “I wanted to flee, I was scared. He told me I looked stressed. He said that he thought maybe I could use a massage, maybe I could give him a massage.”
Fumbling with her words, Holly said she then suggested that he call a masseuse into the suite, as she didn’t know how to properly give a massage. “He began to get angry,” she recalled. “I began to get really afraid. He told me that I would make a bad decision if I got out of there. … I pushed him and ran.”
After the encounter, Holly noted she was told to stay quiet about Weinstein’s advances, and she still has her “suspicions” about why she didn’t make as many movies in the following years. “Things need to change,” the actress declared on Monday’s show. “Harvey Weinstein is our sacrificial beast.”
Since the Times and The New Yorker released their respective investigative reports into allegations of sexual harassment, assault and rape by Weinstein, a chorus of Hollywood actresses have stepped forward to accuse the mogul of sexual misconduct and inappropriate advances.
Holly’s Beautiful Girls co-star Mira Sorvino went public with her experience with Weinstein for The New Yorker‘s piece, in which she claimed Weinstein gave her a massage and inappropriately attempted to “get more physical.”
Weinstein has since been terminated as co-chairman of The Weinstein Co., expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and suspended from BAFTA.
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