Louisette Geiss, a former actress who once met with Harvey Weinstein to discuss her screenwriting, said the film producer masturbated in front of her and tried to keep her in his room.
Geiss spoke at a news conference Tuesday in Los Angeles, alongside the lawyer representing her, Gloria Allred. Geiss said she was at the Sundance Film Festival in 2008 when she was approached by Weinstein. The two went to a restaurant together before going back to his office, she said.
“I said, ‘I will take this meeting with you, but shake my hand that you will not touch me,’” Geiss recalled. “He shook my hand and kinda laughed it off. We went to his office and had a great convo about his current film and the film I was pitching. He seemed genuinely interested and I was excited.”
Thirty minutes into the conversation, Weinstein excused himself to use the bathroom. He allegedly returned in nothing but a robe and was otherwise “buck naked.” Geiss said Weinstein had his penis out, went into a hot tub and began masturbating.
“I was obviously nervous and he just kept asking me to watch him masturbate,” she said. “He quickly got out of tub and grabbed my forearm as I tried to grab my purse, leading me to the bathroom and pleading with me to just watch him masturbate.”
Weinstein allegedly said if she stayed and watched, he would green-light her pitched script.
“I pulled it together and quickly exited,” she said.
Geiss joins a growing list of women who have reported being harassed or sexually assaulted by Weinstein. An explosive New Yorker article published Tuesday interviewed three women who say Weinstein raped them. Others, including A-list celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie, said Weinstein made advances on them early in their careers.
Geiss’ alleged experience also echoes former news anchor Lauren Sivan, who said Weinstein trapped her in the hallway of a restaurant and masturbated in front of her until completion.
While the statute of limitations has passed for Geiss, Allred said she would like Weinstein to enter into an arbitration process wherein a retired judge could listen to evidence on both sides to determine who is right. Allred said if Weinstein expects to get back into the good graces of Hollywood, and if he believes he is innocent, he should accept her offer.
“The window to end this soul-crushing behavior of sexually harassing women is only now just recently opened,” Geiss said. “We can all feel we’re really on the precipice of empowerment here and the journey to revolution. I implore other women to please stand up and come forward.”