Harvey Weinstein accused of sexual harassment in 2008 by former screenwriter

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A former screenwriter said Harvey Weinstein pleaded with her to watch him masturbate in exchange for greenlighting a script she was pitching in 2008.

A former screenwriter said Harvey Weinstein pleaded with her to watch him masturbate in exchange for greenlighting a script she was pitching in 2008.

Louisette Geiss spoke out about her allegation at a news conference alongside her attorney, Gloria Allred, in Los Angeles on Tuesday.

She spoke as additional developments were made public in the ongoing Weinstein scandal, including actresses Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie coming forward with allegations against the movie mogul.

Geiss said she first met Weinstein at Cannes Film Festival, then saw him again at Sundance Film Festival in Utah in 2008.

During Sundance, Weinstein invited Geiss to the premiere of a movie he was involved in, "Where in the World is Osama bin Laden," Geiss said.

After the premiere, Geiss said she and Weinstein agreed to meet at the restaurant located at the hotel they were both staying in. After speaking for some time, the restaurant was closing, so Geiss said Weinstein invited her to his office which was adjacent to his hotel room.

Geiss said she had "heard some stories" regarding Weinstein's behavior with women. So she said she asked him to shake her hand and vow that he would not try to touch her. Geiss said she did this in front of a hotel security camera.

"He shook my hand and kind of laughed it off," Geiss recalled.

VIDEO: Louisette Geiss accuses Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment
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Former actress and screenwriter Louisette Geiss spoke at a news conference alongside her attorney Gloria Allred on Tuesday, accusing movie mogul Harvey Weinstein of sexually harassing her in a hotel room in 2008.



Giess said the two spoke for about 30 minutes about her script, and she felt that "he seemed genuinely interested" about the project.

According to Geiss, this is when Weinstein excused himself to go to the bathroom.

"He returned in nothing but a robe with the front open, and he was buck naked," Geiss said.

Geiss said Weinstein told her to keep talking about her script while he hopped into his hot tub.

"When I finished my pitch, I was obviously nervous, and he just kept asking me to watch him masturbate. I told him I was leaving," she said.

MORE: Stars speak out against Harvey Weinstein

That's when Weinstein got out of the tub and grabbed her forearm, Geiss said.

"He led me to his bathroom, pleading that I just watch him masturbate. My heart was racing and I was very scared," she said. Geiss said she pulled away and headed for the door.

"He started following me and telling me that he could introduce me to Bob Weinstein and that I could get a three-picture deal and that he would greenlight my script - but I had to watch him masturbate," Geiss said.

Geiss said she was on the verge of tears but managed to exit the room. She said immediately after the incident, she told her sister and a good friend.

She said over the years, when people ask her why she got out of the movie industry, she would tell them about the incident with Weinstein.

The shocking allegations led to another major loss for Weinstein. His wife, Marchesa designer Georgina Chapman, said she's leaving him.

MORE: Harvey Weinstein and wife Georgina Chapman split

She told People magazine, "My heart breaks for all the women who have suffered tremendous pain because of these unforgivable actions."

Also Tuesday, the University of Southern California's film school said it is rejecting a planned $5 million donation from Weinstein planned to benefit women filmmakers.

"The USC School of Cinematic Arts will not proceed with Mr. Weinstein's pledge to fund a $5M endowment for women filmmakers," the school said.

Geiss' public allegation comes on the same day The New Yorker published an expose, reporting that Weinstein had previously raped three women.

Actress Asia Argento and a former aspiring actress named Lucia Evans went on the record to allege Weinstein forced himself on them sexually. A third woman spoke anonymously.

Attorneys for Weinstein did not immediately return messages Tuesday. The New Yorker quoted Weinstein representative Sallie Hofmeister responding that "any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein."

The story, written by Ronan Farrow, revealed that 13 women have said Weinstein sexually harassed or assaulted them between 1990 and 2015. The incidents described range from unwanted groping to forced sex. Some of those incidents overlap with the eight allegations of sexual harassment previously reported by The New York Times, all of which resulted in financial settlements.

But they also go much further. In the article, Patricia Arquette and Mira Sorvino are among those who claim Weinstein sexually harassed them. Representatives for the actresses did not immediately return messages seeking comment.

Additionally, The New York Times reported that Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie came forward with their own stories of sexual harassment by the movie mogul.

In the report, Paltrow describes Weinstein's attempt to lure her into giving him a massage in a hotel room when she was a young aspiring actress. Her then-boyfriend, Brad Pitt, confronted Weinstein at a film premiere.

Angelina Jolie says she has "a bad experience with Harvey Weinstein" in her youth. She says she has refused to work with him and has warned others.

Weinstein was fired Sunday by the Weinstein Co., the studio he co-founded, three days after a bombshell New York Times expose alleged decades of crude sexual behavior on his part toward female employees and actresses, including Ashley Judd.

Weinstein responded to the report in a lengthy, rambling statement in which he pleaded for a second chance and apologized for the pain he had caused.

Since his firing, much of Hollywood has reacted with disgust and outraged, including Meryl Streep, Lena Dunham, Jennifer Lawrence and George Clooney. Congressional Democrats, including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, have given charities thousands of dollars in donations they had received from Weinstein.

Weinstein has not publicly commented since Thursday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Related Topics:
entertainmentcelebrityu.s. & worldsexual harassmentrapesex crimes
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