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Harvey Weinstein is being accused of sexual harassment by a former actress and screenwriter named Louisette Geiss — on the heels of a second explosive exposé that details decades of alleged abuse and harassment at the hands of one of Hollywood’s most powerful men.
Geiss held a press conference Tuesday along with her attorney Gloria Allred, a women’s rights advocate who is currently taking on both Bill Cosby and President Donald Trump in court.
Similar to many of the women who told their stories in The New York Times and The New Yorker pieces, Geiss says Weinstein met with her at the Sundance Film Festival in 2008 under the guise of her pitching him a screenplay. They initially met in a restaurant, but it was about to close and Geiss said Weinstein offered to move the meeting to his office, which was adjacent to his hotel room. She said she agreed — but only if he’d shake her hand and promise not to touch her because she’d heard stories. Geiss said he agreed and laughed it off. Their meeting went well for the first 30 minutes, but then she said he left the room and came back in wearing only a robe that was open in the front exposing his naked body. Geiss said he told her to keep talking, that he was going to get into the hot tub and later repeatedly asked her to watch him masturbate.
Allred said a number of other accusers have approached her, but the statute of limitations on their potential legal claims has passed. She’s calling on Weinstein to agree not to assert that defense and instead resolve the claims in confidential arbitration. If he would agree, Allred said Weinstein might have a hope of salvaging his career and the women would get justice.
“It gives them a day in court,” she said. “Why would he do it? Because I think he wants to work in this town again.”
Until Saturday, Allred’s daughter, attorney Lisa Bloom, was part of Weinstein’s legal team. When that business relationship was first announced, Allred made it clear the possibility of facing off with her daughter in court wouldn’t stop her from representing the mogul’s accusers. (Now that Bloom is no longer representing Weinstein, that won’t happen.)
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