“Beautiful Girls” actress Lauren Holly is the latest woman to share her story of harassment at the hands of Harvey Weinstein, describing an encounter she had with him in a hotel room on Canadian talk show “The Social.”
The actress, who has been on “The Social” several times previously, explained her decision to reach out to the show as a platform to share her story. “I realized that I had a responsibility that I needed to come forward and say it,” she said. “I didn’t want to go chasing after some publication, I didn’t want to post it on social media, it seemed like my voice was too quiet if I did that.”
Holly described her initial reaction to the New York Times expose on Weinstein, stating that she was floored when she initially read it because it felt like her story as well. The actress continued: “This happened in the late 1990s; I was in my 30s. I was not a young ingenue, and I was certainly not new to Hollywood; I was a seasoned, Hollywood person.”
She explained that she was already familiar with Weinstein, having worked with him on “Beautiful Girls” and interacted with him socially.
A meeting was set up between her and Weinstein at a hotel to talk about her future with his company, which she didn’t find “abormal at all” because she had routinely met with producers, writers, and directors in hotel suites.
She described the early stages of their meeting as normal: “Everything was absolutely professional from the get-go.” After some small talk, Holly said that Weinstein asked to be excused, and returned to the main part of the suite wearing a hotel bathrobe. “No doubt it was odd,” she said, “however, when he walked in and he was in the bathrobe, he said, ‘Okay, let’s get to it, this is what we’ve got going on at my company, these are the scripts we have in the pipeline, this is what I think might be right for you,’ and he gestured for me to follow him.”
Holly recounted that she followed him into the bedroom part of the suite as he continued talking. After entering the suite, she said that Weinstein dropped his robe, went into the bathroom, and began using the toilet.
“At this point my head was exploding,” she said. “He keeps the conversation going, he finishes, he turns on the shower, he gets in the shower. He’s continually talking to me, he’s in the shower washing himself. Leaning out, asking me for responses.
“My head is going crazy at this point. He’s acting like the situation is normal. He’s acting like we’re having a normal encounter. I’m thinking to myself, ‘Am I just a prude? Am I supposed to be more open minded?’ I didn’t quite know how to handle myself at that moment.”
According to Holly, Weinstein left the shower, dried off, and began approaching her while still naked.
“The adrenaline rush I felt, I wanted to flee, I was scared. He told me that I looked stressed and he thought maybe I could use a massage, maybe I could give him a massage. I began just sort of babbling like I was a child, I think it was just the fear.” She told him she didn’t have a massage license and that maybe they could call the front desk to have a masseuse come up.
Holly said Weinstein began to threaten her, stating that she needed to “keep him as [her] ally” and that it would be a “bad decision” if she left the room. At that point, Holly said, she “pushed him and ran.”
After leaving the hotel, Holly went to a previously planned dinner with other Hollywood notables, who, when she explained why she arrived distraught, said that since Weinstein hadn’t raped or assaulted her, she should “keep [her] mouth shut because it’s Harvey Weinstein.”
The actress continued that although she isn’t certain the encounter had any negative impacts on her career, she did pivot away from film in the intervening years. Holly also recounted a later experience with Weinstein, in which the two were staying at the same hotel and he requested to meet her. She, however, went to great lengths to avoid him.
More than 30 women have come forward since the New York Times published an investigative report on the Hollywood producer, alleging sexual harassment and assault. Fired from The Weinstein Company, Weinstein was also expelled from the Producers Guild and the Motion Picture Academy. His wife Georgina Chapman has also filed for divorce.