Another woman has come forward with sexual harassment claims against Harvey Weinstein, as two lawyers quit the embattled Hollywood mogul’s legal team and US President Donald Trump said the allegations against him were no surprise.
- TV anchor Lauren Sivan has now detailed an alleged encounter with Harvey Weinstein
- President Donald Trump said he was not surprised by allegations
- Two lawyers have quit the movie mogul’s legal team
TV news anchor, Lauren Sivan, lodged another claim of misconduct against the Oscar-winning producer, who is confronting sexual harassment allegations dating back years.
She detailed an alleged 2007 encounter with Mr Weinstein in a news report on Friday.
Ms Sivan, then working at New York cable channel Long Island 12, alleged Mr Weinstein cornered her in the hallway of a Manhattan restaurant which was closed to the public, and masturbated in front of her.
She had rejected an attempt by Mr Weinstein to kiss her.
She claims he responded, “Well, can you just stand there and shut up”.
Ms Sivan, who is now a reporter and host for Fox broadcast TV’s Los Angeles station, Fox 11, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
But she reaffirmed the news report on Twitter.
“Yeah. This happened. Luckily I didn’t need a job or favour from him + didn’t have to be polite. Others did. Keep that in mind,” she tweeted, then followed up with a second post: “For those asking why I waited? YOU try telling that story 10 years ago. Only possible now because of women with bigger names far braver than me”.
Lauren Sivan: “For those asksing why I waiting? You try telling that story 10 yrs ago. Only possible now because of women with bigger names far braver than me”
Mr Weinstein is under pressure after allegations against him were published in a New York Times expose on Thursday.
He is on indefinite leave from the company he co-founded while it conducts an investigation into the claims, made by women including actors Ashley Judd and Rose McGowan and stretching back years.
Two lawyers quit his team over the weekend, including Lisa Bloom, who has previously acted in high-profile cases representing victims of sexual harassment and assault.
Ashley Judd is one of several women who have spoken out against the Oscar-winning filmmaker. (Imdb: Paramount Pictures)
The scandal’s fallout also included the resignation of Weinstein Co board member Marc Lasry, chairman and CEO of Avenue Capital Group.
Mr Lasry joined an exodus from the nine-member board, with billionaire Dirk Ziff and, according to reports, Technicolor executive Tim Sarnoff also leaving.
President Donald Trump, preparing to board a helicopter to travel from the White House to a North Carolina fundraiser on Saturday, was asked by reporters to weigh in on the embattled Hollywood figure.
“I’ve known Harvey Weinstein a long time,” Mr Trump replied.
When asked if he was surprised by the accusations, the president replied: “I’m not at all surprised to see it”.
Mr Trump brushed off a query about his 2005 Access Hollywood tape comments, in which he bragged about women letting him kiss them and grab their genitals because he is famous.
“That’s locker room,” he said, echoing his characterisation of the remarks after the audio was revealed during last year’s presidential campaign.
But Mr Weinstein and his lawyers, including Mr Harder, have criticised the New York Times’ report in statements and interviews, though neither have referenced anything specific.
“We are confident in the accuracy of our reporting,” a New York Times spokesperson said in a statement.