Mimi Haleyi — who formerly worked as a production assistant on a Weinstein Company television series — is the latest woman to come forward with a sexual assault allegation against Harvey Weinstein, accusing the fallen mogul of forcing himself onto her in 2006, while she was on her period.
Along with her attorney Gloria Allred, Haleyi disclosed, on Tuesday afternoon at a New York City press conference, extremely graphic details of her multiple interactions with Weinstein.
Haleyi says she was first introduced to Weinstein at the European premiere of “The Aviator” in 2004. She was in her 20s, though she declined to reveal her exact age at the time. She later saw Weinstein, for the second time, at the Cannes Film Festival.
“At that time, I was planning to spend some time in New York, so I asked Harvey if I could help on any of his productions there. He said why don’t you see me at my hotel and we’ll talk about it,” Haleyi shared. She agreed to meet Weinstein at his hotel, where she understood the Weinstein Company was set up for the festival. When she arrived, she was escorted up to his room by an assistant, who then left.
“Harvey asked if I’d give him a massage. I said, ‘No sorry, I’m not a masseuse,’ and I suggested he contact hotel reception,” Haleyi recalled. “At that time, I was crying because I felt humiliated.”
Despite the humiliating interaction at Cannes, Haleyi was hoping to form a business connection with Weinstein, since she was eager to break into the entertainment industry, so she agreed to meet up with him again in New York City when he said he’d help her secure a job on a television show, produced by the Weinstein Company.
“He suggested we meet in the Mercer Hotel lobby for a chat. He was a complete gentleman and completely charming,” Haleyi said. A few days later, she saw him at TWC offices in Tribeca, where he wanted to meet with her to discuss her work on his television production, and then he offered to take her on an extravagant trip to Paris for a couture show. “I declined, as this seemed like an invitation of romantic nature,” she said. “He didn’t like that.”
After Haleyi declined to go to Paris, she said Weinstein continued to send her messages and showed up at her apartment in NYC. She said he “literally forced himself in through the door, pleading to come to Paris.”
“I said, ‘I’m not coming to Paris with you and I hear you have a terrible reputation with women.’ That’s when he backed off,” Haleyi said.
When Weinstein returned from Paris, he reached out to Haleyi and asked her to meet him at his home in Soho. Again, she agreed because she “wanted to maintain a good relationship with him” for purely business purposes. Haleyi repeatedly said at the press conference she was not interested in a sexual or romantic relationship.
When Weinstein’s driver picked her up, Haleyi says there was a copy of the New York Post in the car with a photo of Weinstein in Paris with his then-girlfriend and now-estranged wife, Georgina Chapman, which made her wonder if “he had strategically placed” it there to make her jealous that she did not agree to go on the trip. When she arrived at his home, she says they watched TV and it was not long before Weinstein started to make sexual advances and eventually forced himself onto her.
“Then 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 shared with reporters through audible tears. “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 and disgusted. I would not have wanted anyone to do that to me, even if that person had been a romantic partner.”
“I remember Harvey rolling over and saying, ‘Don’t you feel like we’re so much closer now?’”
Haleyi says she told a few friends at the time about the horrific experience, but she decided to come forward now in support of all the other women who have been subjected to sexual harassment or sexual assault.
“Mr. Weinstein appears to have reached a new low in what he did,” Allred said. “[Mimi] said it was disgusting, and it is. No intimate or sexual activity should ever be performed on any woman who does not consent, and [Mimi] made it clear that there is no way she would have consented to that — with anyone, let alone, Mr. Weinstein.”
Haleyi is the latest woman to speak up against Weinstein, who for the past 20 days, has been facing endless allegations of sexual harassment, assault, and rape, which Weinstein’s team has denied. The producer, who is currently in a rehab facility in Arizona, was forced out of and subsequently resigned from the board of The Weinstein Company. He has been suspended from the Academy, the Producers Guild, and BAFTA.
Allred, known for fighting for women’s rights, is also representing former actress Heather Kerr, who just four days ago, accused Weinstein of sexually assaulting her back in 1989.
Weinstein’s fall has set off a domino effect of exposing accused men in the entertainment industry, including director James Toback, who has had dozens of women speak out against him; photographer Terry Richardson, who was recently banned by Conde Nast after multiple women came forward with accusations; and celebrity chef John Besh, who stepped down from his restaurant group amid sexual harassment allegations.