Ex-Weinstein worker alleges sexual assault
NEW YORK — A former Weinstein Co. production assistant has come forward alleging that Harvey Weinstein sexually assaulted her after her repeated refusals.
In a press conference yesterday in New York held by attorney Gloria Allred, Mimi Haleyi claimed Weinstein forcibly performed oral sex on her in 2006. Haleyi was in her 20s at the time, Allred said.
In graphic detail, Haleyi described Weinstein holding her down at his New York apartment in what she said appeared to be a child’s bedroom.
“He was extremely persistent and physically overpowering,” said Haleyi.
Weinstein representative Sallie Hofmeister said yesterday, “Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein.”
Among the dozens — including Gwyneth Paltrow and Ashley Judd — who have claimed Weinstein sexually harassed them, several women have said Weinstein raped them. Police in Los Angeles, New York and London are investigating rape allegations.
Actress Rose McGowan recently went public with her allegation that Weinstein raped her after reaching a settlement with Weinstein in 1997. Italian filmmaker and actress Asia Argento and one-time aspiring actress Lucia Evans told The New Yorker that Weinstein sexually assaulted them by forced oral sex.
Haleyi said she first met Weinstein at the London premiere of “The Aviator” in 2004. She encountered him again at the Cannes Film Festival in 2006. She expressed interest in working on one of his films and he invited her to his hotel room and asked for a massage.
Haleyi refused, replying, “No, sorry, I’m not a masseuse,” and suggesting he instead contact hotel reception. More meetings followed, though, including an invitation from Weinstein to attend a fashion show in Paris. She worked as a production assistant on a Weinstein Co.-produced television series, though she and Allred declined to name the show.
The alleged incident occurred at Weinstein’s Soho apartment after the movie producer sent a car to pick up Haleyi. She began crying yesterday as she recounted what she thought would be a professional meeting.
Allred, who is representing other women who have made allegations against Weinstein, declined to say whether Haleyi will file criminal or civil charges.