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Attorney Gloria Allred held a press conference Friday morning in which her client, actress Heather Kerr, who appeared on The Facts of Life, claimed ousted Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein exposed himself to her and forced himself on her sexually in a private meeting when she was an aspiring actress.
“He asked me if I was good,” said Kerr. “I started to tell him about my training and acting experience and he said, ‘No. I need to know if you’re good.’ He said if he was going to introduce me around town he needed to know if I was ‘good.’ He kept repeating that word. I offered to provide him with a reel. He had this sleazy smile on his face. Because he was sitting so close on this couch I started to get a sick feeling in my stomach. The next thing I knew he unzipped his pants and pulled out his penis.”
Kerr then claimed that Weinstein “grabbed her hand and forced it onto penis and held it there” at which point she “pulled away as casually as possible.” Weinstein then “said this is how things work in Hollywood and all actresses who’d made it did it this way.”
Kerr said she quit acting shortly after the incident with Weinstein. She then broke into tears and was consoled by Allred. After Kerr’s statements, Allred addressed Weinstein, saying, “Harvey, you and others like you are done. Women won’t take it anymore. We’re taking our power back and will never allow things to go back to way they were. You and your kind will someday be in a museum, or worse.”
Allred then offered advice and support to all other women who have similar stories to Kerr’s: “Go to harassment lawyers for confidential consultation. The balance of power has shifted in Hollywood. There have been and will be criminal consequences for men who sexually harass women. Women, you are not alone and I will continue to fight for you. Any predator who has caused [women] to suffer will now face the consequences he so richly deserves.”
When Allred opened up the floor to questions she said that the Academy, which recently expelled Weinstein as a member, “did the right thing.” She also claimed that she’d been contacted from people all around the world. Whether Kerr’s allegations would lead to criminal prosecution against Weinstein, Allred said, “I’m not ready to comment on that yet. It’s up to my clients whether they’ll feel comfortable in reporting to law enforcement.”
When asked directly how pervasive the issue of sexual harassment is in Hollywood, Allred said, “Harvey is not the exception…I can say with absolute certainty it is widespread.”
Allred also represents actress Louisette Geiss, who earlier this month alleged Weinstein sexually harassed her at the Sundance Film Festival in 2008 under the guise of her pitching him a screenplay. Allred also represents women claiming sexual misconduct and assault against Bill Cosby and President Donald Trump.
Allred’s daughter, attorney Lisa Bloom, was part of Weinstein’s legal team when the initial New York Times expose revealing Weinstein’s alleged history of sexual harassment was released. She resigned as Weinstein’s legal counsel shortly thereafter. When Bloom and Weinstein’s 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.
Over 40 other women have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct, harassment or assault, including a number of women who have accused the ousted Weinstein Co. founder of rape, for which he is currently under investigation by the LAPD.
Tara Bitran contributed to this report.
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