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British actress Romola Garai claims that Weinstein invited her to a room at the Savoy Hotel in London when she was 18 years old to “approve” of her in a role. Weinstein wore only a bathrobe during the encounter and Garai now calls the experience “an abuse of power” by Weinstein.
“Like every other woman in the industry, I’ve had an ‘audition’ with Harvey Weinstein, where I’d actually already had the audition but you had to be personally approved by him,” Garai said of the incident. “So I had to go to his hotel room in the Savoy, and he answered the door in his bathrobe.”
Garai accused Weinstein, as others have this week, of putting female actors in “humiliating situations.” Other such claims were made by a female television reporter who accused Weinstein of masturbating in front of her while cornering her in a hallway of a restaurant in 2007.
Garai claims that once she was in the room with Weinstein she simply sat on a chair and had a conversation with him about the role, but still felt “humiliated” by the experience. “The point was that he could get a young woman to do that, that I didn’t have a choice, that it was humiliating for me and that he had the power,” said Garai. “It was an abuse of power.”
Weinstein was ousted from his eponymous production company, The Weinstein Co., on Sunday following a number of accusations and a scathing exposé by The New York Times detailing decades of sexual harassment by the mogul.
Prior to his ouster, Weinstein petitioned a number of top executives in Hollywood for support in a private email. “I am desperate for your help,” Weinstein wrote, before adding, “We believe what the board is trying to do is not only wrong but might be illegal and would destroy the company.”
Shortly before the announcement that Weinstein would be voted out of his position, the producer’s legal counsel, Lisa Bloom, announced that she would be resigning. Weinstein had previously claimed to be suing the Times, and his current legal counsel, Charles Harder, told The Hollywood Reporter that he is “preparing the lawsuit.”
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