A former news anchor has come forward to accuse Harvey Weinstein of forcing her to watch him masturbate in the hallway of a restaurant. Lauren Sivan, a former news anchor in New York, tells the Huffington Post that Weinstein trapped her in the hallway of a restaurant and masturbated in front of her until he ejaculated into a potted plant in the hall.
In the article by Yashar Ali, Sivan explains that she did not come forward with the accusation sooner because she was in a relationship at the time and she feared Weinstein’s power, but she did relay the event to friends.
The masturbation incident, which took place a decade ago at the restaurant-club Socialista, occurred after Sivan rebuffed his attempt to kiss her. Weinstein did not respond to Ali’s request for response.
Weinstein has taken an indefinite leave of absence from the Weinstein Co. amid sexual harassment allegations from several women.
Also on Huffington Post, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, a filmmaker and wife of California Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom, published a column in which she related her own experiences with Weinstein and called for the end of “open secrets” of sexual harassment by powerful Hollywood producers and other elites.
“Based on my years in the industry and unfortunately, my own personal experience with Harvey Weinstein, I can tell you that I believe every single word that was written in the extremely disturbing, but not all that shocking, New York Times piece published yesterday,” wrote Newsom. “Not all that shocking because very similar things happened to me. I was naive, new to the industry, and didn’t know how to deal with his aggressive advances ― work invitations with a friend late-night at The Toronto Film Festival, and later an invitation to meet with him about a role in The Peninsula Hotel, where staff were present and then all of a sudden disappeared like clockwork, leaving me alone with this extremely powerful and intimidating Hollywood legend.”
In 2011, Newsom, who is an outspoken advocate for of womens’ rights, made the documentary “Miss Representation” which deals with the lack of women in power in America and the media’s dearth of powerful female portrayals.
Newsom’s letter delves beyond Weinstein to the heart of the problem: the unspoken and complicit acknowledgement that Hollywood’s most powerful men were leveraging their positions of power to sexually harass and abuse female employees then silence them from speaking out or taking legal action.
“Let this be the end of ‘open secrets.’ Let there be no more passive waiting for the victims to reach a certain number before we actually do something about this culture of sexual harassment and assault. And let this really be the end of Harvey Weinstein and the Weinstein’s of the world― no matter their wealth, no matter their power, no matter their privilege,” she wrote. “We need more people in power ― particularly men in power ― to break the code of silence and stand up for what is right and what is just and challenge this culture of sexual harassment and assault against women.”