Harvey Weinstein Accuser Says He "Orally Forced Himself on Me"
Mimi Haleyi appeared alongside attorney Gloria Allred at a Tuesday press conference in New York City.
A new alleged victim of Harvey Weinstein's has come forward with her story, adding her name to the more than 50 women who have accused Hollywood's formerly most powerful man of sexual harassment and assault.
Mimi Haleyi, a former production assistant, claimed that Weinstein "orally forced himself" on her while she was on her period during a visit to his New York City apartment. The alleged sexual assault happened in 2006 when she was in her 20s. Haleyi read a detailed statement during a press conference in New York City on Tuesday, where she was joined by her attorney Gloria Allred.
Haleyi says she met Weinstein at the London premiere of The Aviator in 2004 and later ran into him again at the Cannes Film Festival in 2006. "I was planning to spend some time in New York so I asked Harvey if I could help on any of his productions there," she said about pursing production work. She says he told her, "Why don't you come and see me at my hotel and we'll talk about it?"
Haleyi says she went to the hotel where his production company, The Weinstein Co., was set up at Cannes and was "escorted up to Harvey's room by an assistant who left." After a few minutes, she says he asked her to give him a massage. She declined and suggested he contact hotel reception. She said, "He kept asking about massages and so I felt the meeting was going nowhere and I left."
She added, "By that time, I was crying and felt completely humiliated and stupid about having a meeting with him."
He later got back in touch and arranged for her to help on one of his New York television show sets (Allred would not reveal which). "I didn't see or speak to him until shooting was over," Haleyi said, adding that she emailed him a thank-you note. He said she was welcome back next season and suggested they meet in the lobby of New York City's Mercer Hotel for a chat, where she says he was a "complete gentlemen and completely charming."
She later had a "normal conversation" when seeing him days after at TWC's Tribeca offices. He offered for her to come with him to Paris, she said, and wanted to fly her private and put her up at the Ritz Carlton. She declined because it seemed of a "romantic nature," and, she says, he "didn't like that answer." He continued to call her and showed up to her East Village apartment twice in one day, she said, "forcing" himself into her door and offering another Paris invite.
"I finally said, 'I'm not coming to Paris with you and I hear you have a terrible reputation with women,'" she said. "That's when he backed off."
At this point, Haleyi said she still hoped to continue a professional relationship with the mogul, but felt that she made it clear she wasn't interested in anything beyond that. "Whenever you mention Harvey's name to anyone in the industry, you'd often be met with eye rolls. But there was no indication he was doing anything criminal or that he was actually forcing himself on anyone," she clarified about his "reputation."
Weinstein did again get in touch with her when he returned from Paris, she said, inviting her to his home in SoHo. She agreed to "maintain a relationship." He sent a car to get her, which had a copy of the New York Post with a cover photo of Weinstein and estranged wife Georgina Chapman, who was then his girlfriend, in Paris. "I wonder if it had been strategically placed there," she said.
She was escorted up to his apartment and it was not long before she says he was "all over me making sexual advances." She continued, "I told him 'no, no no,' but he insisted."
Haleyi says she then told him she was on her period and that there was "no way" anything was going to happen. "Please stop," she recalls saying.
"He wouldn't take no for an answer and backed me into a room which was not lit, but looked like a kid's bedroom with drawings on the walls," she said. "He held me down on the bed, I tried to get him off of me but it was impossible. He was extremely persistent and physically overpowering."
She continued, "He then orally forced himself on me while I was on my period. He even pulled my tampon out. I was in disbelief. I would not have wanted anyone to do that with me even if the person had been a romantic partner."
Near tears, she added, "I remember Harvey rolling onto his back afterwards saying, 'Don't you think we are so much closer to each other now?' To which I replied, 'No.'"
Allred said Haleyi, who is no longer in the entertainment industry, has not gone to the police because the incident may not be within the statute of limitations, but "may be relevant information to have as Weinstein is investigated." Allred added, "They may or may not be interested in calling others as witnesses if he is charged with any crime or crimes, which he has not yet been."
Ahead of the presser, Allred described Tuesday's allegation as a "new low" for Weinstein, who has been accused of sexual harassment and assault, including multiple allegations of rape, ever since reports in both The New York Times and The New Yorker first exposed his alleged years of misconduct and predatory behavior earlier this month.
On Monday, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman launched an investigation into The Weinstein Co., and Weinstein is currently under investigation by the NYPD, LAPD and London police.
Allred, a women's rights advocate, is currently taking on both Bill Cosby and President Donald Trump in court. The attorney most recently held a news conference with Weinstein accuser Louisette Geiss, who alleged the Hollywood producer sexually harassed her at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival.
Allred's daughter, attorney Lisa Bloom, was initially part of Weinstein's legal team until she dropped the disgraced movie mogul as a client on Oct. 7. When that business relationship was first announced, however, Allred made it clear that she had no issue about the possibility of facing off with her daughter in court in order to represent the accusers.
"Obviously, that doesn’t feel good," Bloom told The Hollywood Reporter of Allred's public statements. Adding of why she took on Weinstein, "I wasn’t defending his behavior. I was advising him to immediately apologize and that’s what he did. Perhaps that was too fine of a distinction for people to appreciate."
Most recently, actresses Brit Marling, Lupita Nyong'o and Sean Young joined Kate Beckinsale, Cara Delevingne, Minka Kelly, Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, Ashley Judd and many other Hollywood stars in coming forward with their own harrowing accounts with Weinstein.
Weinstein has unequivocally denied any allegations of nonconsensual sex and any acts of retaliation against any women for refusing his advances. He has yet to comment on Tuesday's claim.
Tatiana Tenreyro contributed to this report.