TV reporter Lauren Sivan says she was a victim of Harvey Weinstein's unwanted sexual advances.
After first speaking about the allegations with the Huffington Post, Sivan appeared on Monday's Megyn Kelly Today, and further claimed that in 2007, when she was anchoring at a Long Island cable news station, she met the Hollywood movie mogul at a restaurant in New York City. Sivan said the two later went to an eatery that Weinstein owned and claimed he invited her downstairs to tour the kitchen.
While there, Sivan alleges that Weinstein attempted to kiss her. "I immediately rebuffed and said, ‘Whoa, whoa, whoa. I had no idea that that’s what this was. I’m sorry, I have a very serious boyfriend and I’m not interested,’" she told the Post, claiming that Weinstein then blocked the door and proceeded to masturbate in front of her. "[He] said, ‘Well, then stand there and be quiet’ … It happened very quickly and he immediately exposed himself and began pleasuring himself.”
Sivan told Kelly that Weinstein's recent statement in response to the New York Times piece -- which points out the multiple sexual harassment accusations against him -- is what led her to go public with her own story. In his statement, Weinstein, 65, said he came of age in the “60s and '70s, when all the rules about behavior and workplaces were different.”
"I appreciate the way I've behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologize for it,” the statement continues.
Meanwhile, Weinstein’s attorney, Charles Harder, issued a statement last week calling the Times story “saturated with false and defamatory statements," and threatened to sue the paper.
"That’s when I said, 'Oh no. Enough is enough with this guy,'" Sivan said of Weinstein. "There was no remorse, there was not even acknowledgement of the type of behavior that was going on."
Sivan also explained why it took her so long to come forward about the alleged incident. “I was lucky enough to never have to deal with him again, I didn’t work with him,” she continued. “I didn’t need anything from him, so I didn’t have to contact him again. And also there’s that feeling that so many women feel, of shame, of perhaps I did something to give him the wrong impression.”
She went on to confessed to Kelly that she had some fear about rehashing what allegedly happened. “He was a titan in Hollywood, he could ruin people’s careers if he didn’t like you,” she said. "At the time I had this great job, I was an anchor at my hometown station in Long Island, I was living with my boyfriend in the city. I had this great life. I didn’t know what going public would do for me."
On Twitter, Sivan later defended her decision to hold off on speaking of her alleged run-in with Weinstein. "YOU try telling that story 10 years ago," she wrote. "Only possible now because of women with bigger names far braver than me."
For those asking why I waited? YOU try telling that story 10yrs ago. Only possible now because of women with bigger names far braver than me
Standing behind her account of her alleged night with Weinstein, Sivan also tweeted: "Yeah. This happened. Luckily I didn't need a job or favor from him + didn't have to be polite. Others did. Keep that in mind."
Yeah. This happened👇🏽luckily I didn't need a job or favor from him + didn't have to be polite. Others did. Keep that in mind. https://t.co/mXs2RIU5kU
She further noted while on Megyn Kelly Today that she believes the other women accusing Weinstein of sexual harassment.
“I absolutely believe all of their stories, all of their stories," she said. "The casualness that he had in just luring me down there -- he knew exactly what he was doing. That gave me the impression I was definitely not alone. I was definitely not the only one.”