Harvey Weinstein Accuser Lauren Sivan Also Was Sexually Harassed by Roger Ailes
The TV news reporter, who revealed that Weinstein masturbated in front of her into a potted plant, says the late Fox News chief made her sit in his lap and "twirl for him, to see how you look from behind."
Harvey Weinstein was one incident, and it was gross (he masturbated in front of me into a potted plant at a New York restaurant), but women have multiple stories of harassers, and I am one of them. I have worked in news since I was 19. My first job out of college was at Fox News. I thought it was normal, to feel like you had to be attractive to men to get ahead. Before I went on-air in a local market, I was a producer for eight years. I'd see it all from the production side: Female talent would show up for work and boss Roger Ailes would call down to the control room and say her skirt was too long, she's not wearing high heels, tell her to change: "I don't want to see flats ever again." I would think, "It's television — there's an aesthetic to worry about."
What's not normal is when Roger made you, as on-air talent, twirl for him, to see how you look from behind. He'd be lying on his office couch, feet up. I remember he had me sit on his lap. He didn't think I was projecting my voice properly and wanted to feel my diaphragm. I knew this was not OK. But all the women there who wanted a career walked this fine line with Roger.
When Harvey came out with his not-even-an-apology, I was so angry. I was worried he would get Ashley Judd and the others blacklisted. I knew what type of guy he was because of my experience, so I thought I could validate their stories by coming forward. After my story was published, my phone immediately blew up. I got very scared because it was so overwhelming. I thought, "This is going to follow you for the rest of your life. Every time someone googles me, that's what's going to come up." Look, I hope this won't be my obituary. But I'm glad to see all that's happened since I came forward. My solution to stopping sexual misconduct? 1) Believe women. 2) Get rid of NDAs. They protect perpetrators, not victims.
This story first appeared in the 2017 Women in Entertainment Power 100 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.