A former Hollywood assistant says that Harvey Weinstein sexually assaulted and threatened her when she was working for her business manager in 1989.
Heather Kerr, a once hopeful actress who appeared on The Facts of Life, has secured high-profile attorney Gloria Allred in a sexual assault claim against the disgraced mega-producer.
As reported by the New York Daily News, Kerr and Allred gave a press conference on Friday detailing Kerr’s traumatic “casting couch” encounter with Weinstein almost 30 years ago. At the time, Kerr was reportedly working for the rising producer’s business manager and followed a suggestion from her boss that she take a meeting with Weinstein to get advice on furthering her acting career.
But when Kerr met with Weinstein in his office the meeting turned decidedly unprofessional, she said in the news conference.
“I offered to provide him with a reel of my acting work. He had this sly, sleazy smile on his face,” she said.
“The next thing I knew, he had unzipped his fly and pulled out his penis. He then grabbed my hand and pulled me towards him and forced my hand onto his penis and held it there.”
As the Daily Mail reports, the flustered young woman made an excuse at the time that she had to leave for a play rehearsal. Though she managed to escape from his office, the producer allegedly insulted and demeaned her, threatening that if she didn’t comply with his demands she would not have a career.
“He told me that first I’d have to have sex with him and then he would take me to parties and show me who I needed to sleep with after that but that he first needed to know ‘how good I was,'” Kerr said.
“He told me that I was not that good looking but that he would be willing to help me anyway, like he was doing me a favor.”
Weinstein also allegedly told the actress that this was the only way to make it big in Hollywood.
Kerr says she quit her assistant job shortly after the incident, and soon gave up on a promising acting career.
At the press conference, Allred indicated that she had been contacted by numerous women beyond the dozens who have already come forward to accuse Weinstein of misconduct and assault, and mentioned the possibility or criminal charges against him — but said any of her clients’ pursuit of criminal action would happen outside of the media spotlight.
“If they decide that they do want to report to law enforcement, either in areas such as Los Angeles, New York and London, where investigations are taking place at this time … they will not be speaking to the press if they do that.”
Since a New York Times investigative report earlier this month alleging decades of sexual misconduct, more than three dozen women have come forward to accuse Weinstein or harassment or assault. The disgraced producer is reportedly seeing sex addition treatment in Europe.
[Feature photo: Associated Press]