Wednesday, April 24, 2019
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Video shows Harvey Weinstein caresses wife before alleged rape

NEW YORK – A video of Harvey Weinstein On television, he showed Wednesday how he boldly offered a woman who later accused him of rape and repeatedly touched her and stroked her arm and back during a business meeting. Melissa Thompson, who had sued Weinstein in June, said she had taken the shot, which was shown by Sky News while she was video technology for the movie mogul, the #Metoo villain in his New York office in 2011 was showed.

Weinstein is featured in the video, which rejects Thompson's handshake, hugging her instead and rubbing her back.

Then he strokes her shoulder while sitting side by side in front of her laptop.

At some point he says to her, "Let me have a small part of you, can you give it to me?"

After swiftly agreeing to use the technology to promote his films, Thompson said that Weinstein raised his hand in her dress.

The video, which covers only the two from the waist up, does not show Weinstein's hands at the time, but shows how Thompson reacts with discomfort and Weinstein says, "That's too high, that's too high."

It also shows that she jokes about his progress and says that "dates are hot".

Sky News broadcast only parts of the video. Thompson's lawyers refused to share it with The Associated Press.

Weinstein's lawyer said the whole video "shows that there is nothing powerful" and shows "casually, if not embarrassing, flirting from both sides".

"Everything else is supposed to make Mr. Weinstein inappropriate and even exploitative," attorney Ben Brafman said. "It was produced by Ms. Thompson to bolster her position in a civil lawsuit to get money, this is another attempt to publicly disparage Mr Weinstein for financial gain, and we will not stand it – facts are important."

In an interview with Sky News, Thompson said that Weinstein's behavior was distracting and she was struggling to stay "on screen" with the Product Pitch. She said his affect had changed from the beginning, his eyes had darkened and he "looked like a predator".

Thompson said she later met Weinstein at a nearby hotel bar, where she said she expected to end the technology deal. She said that Weinstein took her to a hotel room and raped her.

On the way, she said, he rejected their attempts to fight or get away.

"If I tried to fight him off, he would move to where he could block me somewhere, and he's a big individual," Thompson told Sky News. "I felt constantly trapped, no matter where I went."

Weinstein was charged with sexual assault on three women in New York. Thompson is not among them.

Thompson, who had previously worked on Wall Street, rejected suggestions that encouraged her to take action.

She told Sky News she wanted to keep the conversation professional and politely repress her progress while trying to keep the deal.

"I've never met anyone I could not handle until Harvey Weinstein," she said. "We do not have to live with being raped if we think we're going to a business meeting."

In the meantime, prosecutors filed a lawsuit on Wednesday accusing the defense of withholding evidence against a grand jury that could have denied Weinstein the allegations, including emails proving that he had a friendly relationship with them one of the suspected victims. In one she wrote: "I love you, always do it, but I hate to feel like a prey," according to a defense motion to dismiss the case.

The prosecution argued that they were not obliged to send the e-mails, since Weinstein himself could have said something about the relationship, but decided against it. They added that the jury's secret verdicts presented to the judge showed that they presented evidence "fair and in a way that was not misleading."

Separately on Wednesday, a federal judge in Manhattan heard arguments about whether a civil lawsuit brought by six women against Weinstein and men on the board of his film company should continue.

US District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein expressed his skepticism about the strength of the allegations that the men had championed to cover up Weinstein's misdeeds by intimidating women, and gave her lawyer the opportunity to review the complaint by 31 October. He said that the most useful claim was that Weinstein abused his power to make actor careers or break to get sex.

Weinstein "was not as attractive as Paul Newman," he said.

More than 75 women have accused Weinstein, who was one of Hollywood's most powerful men, of slandering the New York Times and the New York magazines in the #Metoo movement.

Several actresses and models accused Weinstein of criminal sexual assault. These include: film actress Rose McGowan, who raped Weinstein in Utah in 1997; "Sopranos" actress Annabella Sciorra, who said he raped her in her New York apartment in 1992; and Norwegian actress Natassia Malthe, who said he attacked her in 2008 in a London hotel room.



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