A new video of a business meeting between Harvey Weinstein and a woman who has accused him of raping her shows him hitting on the woman and appearing to touch her inappropriately — just hours before the accuser says he raped her in a hotel room.
Sky News obtained the video of a 2011 meeting at The Weinstein Company offices in Manhattan between Weinstein and Melissa Thompson, who worked for a tech startup at the time and was pitching him an analytics product.
In an interview with Sky News, Thompson said she believed the meeting would have been with a marketing team, but Weinstein requested the two meet alone and can be heard in the video telling off-camera staffers not to interrupt them.
In the roughly 8-minute video shown on the Sky News website, Weinstein can be seen maneuvering Thompson’s attempted handshake into a hug, during which he says, “that’s nice.”
Almost immediately, Weinstein asks: “Am I allowed to flirt with you?”
Thompson, then 28, responds: “Ummm we’ll see, a little bit.”
In the video, Thompson is polite and friendly with Weinstein, but at one point he reportedly touched her leg off-camera. At that point, Thompson says, “”A little bit… a little high, that’s a little high, that’s a little high.”
Thompson told Sky News that she did feel she ever encouraged Weinstein’s advances and felt that he was playing a game of “cat and mouse” with her to test her limits and identify her vulnerabilities.
“At first I tried to volley a little bit with him. If he made a comment, I would try to catch it and return it in a way that felt a little safer than the way he threw it at me,” Thompson told Sky News.
“I was trying to save face a bit … trying to manage the situation. I didn’t want to blow the meeting … I worked in Wall Street before I went to business school, and I worked in an environment that was heavily male dominated… I thought I could handle it, I had never met anyone that I couldn’t handle… until Harvey Weinstein.”
As seen in the video, Weinstein expressed genuine interest in the product she was pitching and indicated that her pitch had been successful. Thompson told Sky News that Weinstein asked to meet her in the lobby of the Tribeca Hotel, not far from the offices, later that evening, for what she believed would be a meeting to close the deal.
When she arrived to the hotel, Thompson said, Weinstein lead her away from the lobby and into the hotel; she believed he was taking her to a conference room. Instead, he brought her to a hotel room where he allegedly raped her.
“If I would try to fight myself away from him, he would then move around to a place where he could block me in,” Thompson said.
“I constantly felt trapped, no matter where I turned. He cornered me, over and over again.”
Thompson is among three women currently suing the megaproducer for alleged sexual assault. Dozens more women have accused him of sexual misconduct, assault, and rape.
Weinstein has denied all allegations of non-consensual sex.
[Feature image: AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File]