Warning: This article includes graphic details and might be distressing for some readers.
A former Weinstein Company production assistant says that Harvey Weinstein sexually assaulted her after she repeatedly refused his advances.
In a press conference on Tuesday in New York held by lawyer Gloria Allred, Mimi Haleyi claimed the movie mogul forcibly performed oral sex on her in 2006. Haleyi was in her 20s at the time, Allred said.
Haleyi said she was watching TV with Heinstein at his New York apartment before he began making sexual advances on her. In graphic detail, she tearfully described him holding her down in what she said appeared to be a child’s bedroom.
“I said, ‘I am on my period. There is no way this is going to happen.’ He wouldn’t take no for an answer and took me into a bedroom … that looked like a kid’s bedroom with drawings on the wall,” Haleyi said.
“He held me down on the bed, I tried to get him off me and kept asking him to stop but it was impossible. He was extremely persistent and physically overpowering.
“He then orally forced himself on me while I was on my period. He even pulled my tampon out. I was mortified. I was in disbelief.”
Among the dozens of women 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.
Among those who have accused Weinstein of sexual harassment are Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow. Actress Rose McGowan recently went public with her allegation 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.
Representatives for Weinstein did not immediately comment on Tuesday. Weinstein, who is staying in an Arizona rehabilitation facility, has previously denied any non-consensual sexual encounters.
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 film 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.
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More meetings followed, though, including an invitation from Haleyi 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.
"I would not have wanted anyone to do that to me, even if that person had been a romantic partner," said Haleyi.
"I remember Harvey rolling over and saying, 'Don't you feel like we're so much closer now?"'
Allred, who is representing other women who have made allegations against Weinstein, declined to say whether Haleyi will file criminal or civil charges.
If this brought up any issues for you, or if you just feel like you need to speak to someone, please call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) .